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Jack Wilshere offered a grovelling apology to fans on behalf of his team-mates as the Arsenal players got back down to the business of trying to save their season.
Arsene Wenger all but wrote off the club’s chances of finishing in the top four after the 2-1 defeat by Brighton on Sunday left them 13 points adrift of a Champions League place.
The game was marked by widespread calls from the away end for Wenger to be sacked – the most vocal the protests have ever been in his 21 years in charge – but midfielder Wilshere took to social media in the early hours of yesterday morning to urge patience from the club’s supporters.
“I’m sorry to the Gooners out there,” he said. “You deserve better. I know it’s difficult at the moment in this difficult period we are going through as a team but we need you. We will do better but please stick with us.”
Despite the call for his head, Wenger is expected to remain in position whatever the outcome of their last-16 Europa League clashes with AC Milan, the first lef of which is on Thursday.
But the board will review his position in the summer despite offering him a two-year contract last May after the slump in Premier League form worsened this season.
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has confirmed he would accept the job if offered it in the event of Wenger leaving, but Joachim Low remains a more likely candidate to succeed him along with Luis Enrique, with Roberto Martinez a potential outsider.