The 67-year-old welcomed the show of support from a group of around 100 fans in the North Bank who chanted “there’s only one Arsene Wenger” in the closing minutes of the convincing London derby victory.
It may not have been the greatest reception he has achieved but with growing signs of apathy around a stadium that was once more far from capacity Wenger will welcome any support that comes his way.
Wenger has been the subject of an extended campaign calling for the board to withdraw their offer of a new two-year contract but several supporters have organised counter-protests to call for the manager to be respected.
The same supporters also held up a banner bearing the slogan “Forever in your debt: One Arsene Wenger”, in which the Frenchman’s three league titles and six FA Cups are also pictured. It was a gesture that was evidently appreciated by the Arsenal manager, even if he did look to deflect attention from his relationship with the fans.
“I’m happy when people are happy,” Wenger said. “When you’re such a long time at the club you care really about the people who care about the club.
“You know how sad they are when it doesn’t go well. I can take care of myself because I’m used to dealing with difficult periods. But you want people who love the club to be happy so I’m happy.”
Those who love the club saw their mood lifted further by results away from North London, though Tottenham spoiled the party at the Emirates somewhat will a flurry of late goals to save themselves from defeat at Swansea.
However Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool all dropped points this midweek to offer a major fillip to Arsenal in their battle to secure Champions League football once more.
The Gunners are four points off City with a game in hand and six off Liverpool with two more matches to play and Wenger believes Arsenal are more than capable of hitting the top four, or perhaps even higher.
“We have games in hand, we have players back from injury, we had a strong bench tonight,” Wenger said. “We have done it before in more difficult conditions. Now we have to try and do it again.”