Wenger is being treated unfairly by Arsenal supporters - Bacary Sagna
MANCHESTER -- Bacary Sagna believes Arsene Wenger is being treated unfairly and the former Arsenal defender has backed his ex-boss as the man to lead the club after this season.
Wenger has faced increased calls to step down at the end of the season with the Gunners slipping to the sixth in the Premier League and thrashed by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The Frenchman's only hope of silverware this season is the FA Cup and he will face Sagna's Manchester City in a Wembley FA Cup semifinal on April 23.
But before that, the two sides face each other in the Premier League immediately after the international break with Arsenal struggling to secure a top-four spot that would secure Champions League football for a 17th season under Wenger.
Sagna, who spent seven seasons at the Emirates, is also desperate to win the trophy and finish in the top-four even if it increases the pressure on his former boss.
"We need to go to Arsenal and win the game because we want to be part of the Champions League again next season," he told reporters.
"It's going to be difficult to catch Chelsea -- it's maybe too far now -- but we want to be qualifying for the Champions League. We have to go and give a good performance, stick together and keep working hard.
"Arsenal will come back fresh, they'll have two weeks to think about their national teams and to reflect on the way they want to end the season, so they are going to be strong. We can't expect them to give up.
"I was part of the team for seven years. At the moment I am quite sad for the manager because he doesn't deserve what's happening to him. He's a great man and an institution for Arsenal. It's not fair.
"Sometimes you can have difficult moments but he's always been there for the team."
Sagna says he understands the frustrations of fans with Arsenal losing four of their last five Premier League matches and losing 5-1 twice to Bayern. But the defender believes they have a strong squad and says Wenger is the right man to turn around their season.
"Of course they are disappointed because of the results, anyone would be with what's happened on the pitch," Sagna added.
"But they have quality players, players who can react, players who are part of the Champions League every season. They can beat anyone. They remain good players.
"Maybe commitment-wise they were not that confident and without that confidence it's difficult to play. They remain a good team and dangerous to play against.
"For life I will be thankful to Wenger because he brought me to England. And I will be thankful because even when I had tough moments he always showed trust in me. I will always be thankful for that. That's why it's quite difficult for me to see him in this position but to me he is the man for this situation at Arsenal.
"I would like him to stay. I associate Arsenal with his name. Yes they are having a tough moment but the players can turn it around.
"Hopefully they will not do it against us because I want to be part of a good season for this team. So of course, I will go there wanting to win."
Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.