"I built the club": Wenger issues staunch defence of Arsenal record as Barcelona lie in wait

 
Ross McLean
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Arsenal FC Press Conference
Arsenal's season has fallen apart since the turn of the year (Source: Getty)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger issued a staunch defence of his 20-year reign at the club as his side prepare for their daunting Champions League last-16 second leg against defending champions Barcelona at Camp Nou.

The Gunners’ season is in meltdown after the one-time Premier League title favourites won just four of 12 matches to slip 11 points behind leaders Leicester and then crashed out of the FA Cup to Watford on Sunday.

Supporter unrest has intensified during that time with calls for Wenger’s resignation growing louder. Arsenal’s last chance of silverware this term now rests with the Champions League, although they face the almost impossible task of overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit.

“I built the club, and the way I did it was with hard work,” said Frenchman Wenger. “I had no external resources. If you compare the club when I arrived and how it is today, it is moving forward, and without any help from anybody.”