Arsene Wenger insists he is still standing despite the critics trying to “kill” him last season.
Wenger, who signed a new two-year deal in May, joked: “I am sorry I am still here! I can understand that you want to kill me but at the moment, I survive.”
The Gunners boss – set to field record £44million striker Alexandre Lacazette – also took aim at the fans who for years derided his view of a top-four place as a trophy.
Arsenal begin this season out of the Champions League for the first time in over two decades at the club for Wenger. But they upset the odds to sink Chelsea in the FA Cup Final two months ago.
He added: “When we qualified for the Champions League, people told me: ‘But you didn’t win a trophy.’
“Now we won a trophy, and have not qualified for the Champions League, and it’s said to me: ‘Why are you not in the Champions League?’
“That’s normal to live with but I want to focus on my job and do as well as I can and win absolutely every competition.”
Arsenal ended last season with 75 points – a total that would have been enough for Champions League football at the end of the previous two campaigns.
Wenger has now insisted he will take every game in the Europa League seriously – but contradicted himself by admitting he will use the tournament to rest players whenever he can.
He went on: “I will always play a team that has a good chance to win the next game.
“In the Europa League if we can afford sometimes to rest some players we will do it. But we have to adapt to the level of the competition and see first what kind of group we play in.”