Jack Wilshere says Arsenal fans deserve better after Brighton defeat
Jack Wilshere has issued a public apology to Arsenal fans after the 2-1 loss at Brighton on Sunday, saying they "deserve better."
Midfielder Wilshere called on supporters to "stick with us" as Arsenal try to salvage their season.
"I'm sorry to the Gooners out there. You deserve better. That's all I have to say," he wrote on Twitter.
"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."
I'm sorry to the gooners out there. You deserve better. Thats all i have to say. I know its 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 ❤ pic.twitter.com/UTsCdXkQmB— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) March 5, 2018
Arsenal's defeat at the Amex was their fourth in a row in all competitions.
It leaves them 13 points outside the top four with nine matches to play, and manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that his side's chances of finishing in the Champions League places are over.
Sections of the away support chanted: "We want Wenger out" as Arsenal went 2-0 down in the first half, but defender Laurent Koscielny said the manager should not get all the blame.
"As players, we have responsibility on the pitch and need to be together. It is difficult to say it's his fault or our fault," Koscielny told the BBC.
"The boss is here to give his best for the club. He's been here for 20 years so he's always loved this club.
"We need to stay united. It's a bad period but we need everyone who likes this club -- players, fans and staff -- to be together and to fight to be as high as we can."
Defender Calum Chambers, who started at right-back at Brighton, also said the team could put things right.
"Listen, we fight. We don't go into games with our heads down. We go in fighting and look to win every game," he told the official Arsenal website.
"It's always been the same here. Things just haven't been going for us at the moment. We know that, the fans know that. We're as disappointed as them.
"We're going to keep fighting -- we know we need to turn it around and we need a positive reaction."
Former players have also hit out at the current team, and Emmanuel Petit told SFR Sport he felt some players had "given up."
"In the game yesterday, the body language of certain players makes me fear the worst from now until the end of the season," he said.
"There are players who have given up, who don't have any desire or motivation. Sometimes, I find certain types of their behaviour on the pitch a disgrace because it's repetitive.
"I think certain players are guilty of that, and I think Arsene has a big share in the responsibility for that.
"I want to grab the players by the collar, shake them up. If I had been in that team, I would have already given some of them a thump a long time ago.
"When I see how certain players behave it's disgraceful, sometimes it's even a case of gross professional negligence that deserves to be punished.
"The supporters are getting on Arsene Wenger's back, but the fans should also get on the players' backs because some of them are already on holiday."
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.