Arsene Wenger believes the pressures of top-level football in the modern era means even one defeat creates a “crisis” at the club that didn’t exist two decades ago.
The Arsenal manager who took over at Highbury in 1996 has endured plenty of difficult periods of his 18-year tenure.
This season alone a section of Arsenal fans have voiced their discontent with the boss and called for him to leave – including after a 2-0 loss at Southampton following seven wins in nine games.
The Gunners is currently on a three-game winning streak following its 3-1 defeat to Monaco in the first leg of its Champions League last-16 clash.
And Wenger believes his side can pull through further challenges this season, despite the constant pressure to perform at the top level.
“You have to stand up to be strong enough, to fight, to show that you have the courage and that you’re not inhibited because you’re under pressure, and that’s the difficulty of the modern player,” he said.
“That has increased and the resistance to stress from the young players is immense today because everything is analysed. Every pass you make, every first touch, how far you run, how much you fight, everything.
“There is a verdict on everything so that kind of stress has increased and it’s much more difficult to deal with than it was a few years ago.
“Twenty years ago you could lose a game and people would say, ‘Next time Arsenal will play better’. Today you lose a game and it is always a crisis. It’s not easy for the players to deal with that.”
Arsenal faces West Ham at home on Saturday before the reverse leg of its Monaco tie three days later.