• Arsenal manager stands by his methods
• Wenger: 'It is fashionable to be against this club'
Arsène Wenger claimed it is "fashionable to be against Arsenal" at present as he railed against emotional and dramatic analysis of the club's season so far and sought to close ranks to inspire a fightback.
The manager, whose team sit 10th in the Premier League after their poorest start to a season since 1994-95, displayed defiance and agitation as he reflected on the fallout from Saturday's 2-0 home defeat by Swansea City. Yet he retained characteristic conviction in his methods and he pronounced that the club are in "fantastic shape".
Wenger was preparing for Tuesday night's Champions League tie against Olympiakos in Athens; his team are already assured of qualification, albeit not as group winners, and he has left a host of first-team regulars in London to give them a much-needed breather. He, too, was determined to seek respite and promote a sense of perspective.
"I can take a distance with things when it goes well and when it goes less well," Wenger said. "I don't believe I am the king of the world when it goes very well nor that I am the worst manager in the world when it doesn't go well."
It was put to Wenger that he sounded as though he felt the world was against him. "It's unbelievable," he replied. But he went on to describe Arsenal's situation as "not as dramatic as it is painted at the moment".
He added: "What has changed a bit is that the world has become more emotional about every single thing, but that's not the real world. The real world is to take things in the right way and care about what we do.
"I really care about what I do and about this club but, as well, not go overboard. We lost a game on Saturday. No matter what happens, Arsenal will lose games again, and Arsenal will win games again.
"We have to play well and keep facing the game the way we want to play football and in the values we want to defend. We have always done that. We live in a world that needs a drama every day. You have to enjoy to play football and not to live in a dramatic world in a consistent way.
"This club is in fantastic shape. We have a good team, we have a strong structure that we have built over the years; we are in a strong financial situation and we are mentally strong. I can understand that not everybody is pleased about that, but it is a fact. That's why we have to continue to behave like we do."
Wenger had bemoaned his players' tiredness after the Swansea defeat, in the wake of a gruelling schedule of matches, but he found himself taken to task by pundits including Phil Neville, the Everton captain, who questioned on Match of the Day why Arsenal ought to be more tired than everybody else.
"It's fashionable to be against Arsenal so every single word you say, people turn it against you," Wenger said. "It doesn't stop me from saying what I truly believe after the game.
"You have some players ... they played internationals, they played against Montpellier in the Champions League, they played two away games at Aston Villa and Everton [before Swansea] ... we were the only ones who played two away games [in four days] ... and that's why I felt we lacked a bit of freshness.
"It's not the only explanation for our defeat. People turn it round. That's why I say I don't want to get too involved in that because it's superficial analysis of things, to turn it against you when it suits you. It's part of our world and you have to take that on board. The only thing that matters is: 'Do we play well tomorrow?'
"Why is it fashionable to be against Arsenal? Because we lost a game, not because we are victims. For everybody, it's the same. When you are a big team who expects to do well and you lose a game ... it's quickly fashionable. But it's the same when you play well and win. People are on to you, saying you are fantastic."