'The older you get, the more it becomes age discrimination' - Arsene Wenger hits out at ageist criticism
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hit out at critics who cite his age as a reason for his team’s poor results in recent seasons.
Wenger (68) says that he can accept criticism of him and his players but claims that his advancing years are becoming more of a factor in the coverage of Arsenal’s recent struggles.
"The older you get, the more it becomes age discrimination. I accept if the results are not good enough then you have to take the consequences," he told BeIN Sports.
"But overall that perpetual thing of how long you have been at a club and how old you are. I find that a bit difficult to take."
The Frenchman remains unconcerned by his public image and maintains that people will come to appreciate all that he has done for the club he has managed since October 1996.
He added: "I am maybe naive enough to believe that with the time going on, with perspective and context what will stand out is what I have done for my club and not so much the result of the last game or how much I will be applauded when I stop one day.”
Arsenal host Stoke City on Sunday hoping to reduce the gap of eight points between themselves and fifth placed Chelsea, although with just eight matches remaining it is unlikely that the Gunners will move out of sixth.
Wenger’s side lost the reverse fixture against Stoke at the Bet365 Stadium back in August, with the Potters’ on-loan Paris-Saint-Germain forward Jese Rodriguez scoring the game’s only goal.
Although Arsenal have lost just two games at the Emirates Stadium this term, the visitors might take heart from the fact that Arsenal have a Europa League quarter-final clash with CSKA Moscow to prepare for.
Wenger will likely rest some key players for the tie’s first leg which takes place next Thursday, as winning the Europa League has emerged as his team’s best chance of Champions League qualification.