Wenger moved to bolster his defensive options with the deadline day signing of Spain full-back Nacho Monreal, which will cover for Kieran Gibbs' enforced absence because of a thigh injury. However, the Arsenal manager maintains his men can pull together to come through what has been a testing campaign in the wake of plenty of harsh words in the media - and from some of their own supporters.
"Everyone of us is affected by criticism, I didn't meet one person who loves absolutely to be slaughtered. All of us prefer to say 'yes you are great'," said Wenger. "You can never say you are completely unaffected, you can know it affects you and put that aside and focus on what you have done, but you cannot say you don't care what people think about you."
He went on: "The team has certainly been deeply affected by all the negativity and also by the fact they are highly focussed to do well.
"They have fantastic focus, and want to do well, but sometimes that can be a bit inhibitive.
"I don't believe that my players miss strength of character, they have plenty of character.
"They want to play in a bit more spontaneous way at home. We feel we have a bit of inhibition.
"We have to get rid of that and I think we have the strength of character needed to do it."