Arsene Wenger admitted he has contributed to the “absolutely horrendous” environment surrounding Arsenal’s season.
Wenger confessed the long-running uncertainty over his own future caused a backlash which made it more difficult for the players as they missed out on a place in the top four for the first time in 19 years.
Gunners boss Wenger, who is expected to sign a new two year contract after the FA Cup final, did not join in the lap of appreciation after the game and said results have been affected.
Wenger said: “Overall I believe that we played since January in a very difficult environment for different reasons. Some obviously that you know about, and that is very difficult for the group of players to cope with that. Some other reasons where we will talk about another day.
“But the psychological environment for the group of the players was absolutely horrendous. I am very proud of what they have done, the way they responded and finished the season.
“Certainly my personal situation has contributed to that. But they should not question it, I am professional, as long as I am somewhere I do my job until the last day.
“You could not question my love or my loyalty to this club, because I said no to every club in the world to stay here with very restricted finances for years. So I don’t understand really why the question that commitment.
“It’s very sad (to miss out on the Champions League), because for 20 years we were in it, and it is the first year we will not be in it. It’s very strange because for 75 points we are one point short, and of course you can look everywhere where we did drop points.”
The Arsenal fans were unhappy again at the Emirates despite ten-man Arsenal beating Everton as they called for majority shareholder Stan Kroenke to go after Alisher Usmanov made a £1billion offer to buy his shares.
Wenger claimed he did not know if Kroenke was at the Emirates but the US tycoon is expected to fly in for the FA Cup final this week. But Kroenke has made it clear he will not sell.
Wenger said: “I respect Stan Kroenke a lot. He is not at fault if we did not reach the Champions League tonight. It is the technical department who is responsible for that. I don’t see what he has to do with that.”
Arsenal are also left facing a defensive crisis after Laurent Koscielny was sent off for a reckless tackle on Everton’s Enner Valencia while Gabriel will also miss the FA Cup final after suffering a knee injury.
Wenger added: “It (Koscielny foul) looked spectacular, but when you watch it again it is a bit harsh. But what could we do? Gabriel looks his knee, he overstretched his knee. We have a scan tomorrow to see the damage. It doesn’t look honestly too good for next Saturday.”
“We played very well, and down to 10 men for such a long time to win the game. We have shown what we have shown recently: strength, togetherness, fighting spirit, and we won the game.
“That’s all we could do before the game. It was very difficult because we were down to 10 men for a long, long time, it was hot. But we did stick together and even in the end we could have scored more goals. They had as well chances of course, but we did the job.
“This group of players is good enough to come back. They have learned a lot. They have gone through difficult periods this season and they have bounced back in a very strong way.
“That will help them absolutely next season but first, I think we have to keep 90pc of these players together, and find one or two more players who strengthen the group but we don’t need a lot. We don’t need many. But we need top quality.”