Arsene Wenger admitted the current fan discontent surrounding his Arsenal side makes him unhappy.
Arsenal are preparing to play West Brom in the Premier League on Thursday and the Emirates Stadium could have a below-capacity crowd following the latest setback of a frustratingly inconsistent season.
Once seen as frontrunners for the title, Arsenal lie fourth having been pegged back to a 1-1 draw by Crystal Palace on Sunday – a result that prompted the latest wave of discontent from their home supporters.
On Tuesday, the Arsenal Ticket Exchange Service made more than 2,500 seats available to members. The tickets become available when season ticket holders tell the club they do not intend to go to the match.
“Everybody is free to do what they want with their season ticket, we have to live with that,” Wenger told a pre-match news conference.
“It’s a Thursday night, which is unusual, and it is after a disappointing result at home. Perhaps that also plays a part.
“It [the atmosphere] has not been experienced yet and we have to live with that. We have to take it at a distance and focus on our job.
“Judgement from people, we have to live with that. It is down to us to change that judgement.
“I want our fans to be happy and when they are not it affects me.
“We do not want to play in a negative environment but if we do we still can perform. We are responsible for the performance of our team.”
Wenger tersely rejected the suggestion that Arsenal’s disappointing form could lead him to leave before his contract concludes at the end of next season.
However, he concedes he will view this term as one of missed opportunities – citing recent London derby draws as an example of his players lacking a ruthless streak.
“I don’t want to come back on that, I respect always my contract,” he added.
“You have regrets at the end of the season. Games like West Ham and Crystal Palace where we were not efficient enough, that always gives you regrets.
“Every time it doesn’t work you question something. That is part of your job.
“In the end it is always down to me and I have to stand up to that.”
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