Wenger worrying about poor attendances at Arsenal home games

AC Milan Arsenal Jack Wilshere

AC Milan Arsenal Jack Wilshere

"It was a fundamental win [in Genoa] which gives us great belief in view of the trip to London", he told Sky.

Arsenal beat AC Milan 2-0 in the first leg of their last 16 clash and take on the Italians at home on Thursday.

Aaron Ramsey, who scored the second in last week's meeting, says maintaining those results will be key to winning back the supporters that were absent from a sparse Emirates Stadium in the weekend win over Watford.

Such has been the reordering of things in recent years by Uefa, however, that an English team missing out might not actually be too badly out of pocket if they actually win the Europa League.

Wenger acknowledged that empty seats were a concern. We've seen in the first game how good they are.

Arsenal's season now hinges on success in the Europa League as they are languishing in sixth place in the Premier League, which means winning the cup competition is the only realistic way of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

And it is that willingness to face potentially damaging situations that prompted him to issue a defiant challenge to Arsenal's furious fans this week.

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Arsene Wenger reiterated his hope that Jack Wilshere will sign a new contract with Arsenal as the midfielder nears the end of his current deal.

Alexandre Lacazette will miss the match following knee surgery, but is expected return to action following the global break.

"Then we can discuss how the team plays or something else, but I find that the criticisms that fall on Arsene on a personal level are hard to accept".

Wenger was then asked specifically about Lacazette and went into detail of when we can expect the Frenchman to return.

And on Aubameyang, he added: "I've always enjoyed playing with him, it's something special".

"We have to keep working the same way and to score more goals".

"I can't say more, because there is nothing to say about it and I certainly do not want to upset Arsene, who I adore and for whom I have a lot of respect".

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