Arsenal fans express their unhappiness with coach Arsene Wenger. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

LONDON – Arsene Wenger hit out last night at the lack of unity among Arsenal fans, claiming it had been ‘hurtful’ to the club.

Wenger announced on Friday that he would step down as manager at the end of the season after 22 years in charge.

Some fans have turned on him as Arsenal - who beat West Ham 4-1 yesterday - fell out of the race for the top four and Champions League qualification.

“The image we gave from our club is not what I like,” said Wenger, 68.

Fans have held ‘Wenger out’ signs at matches and there have been empty seats at home games in recent months.

“This club is respected all over the world,” said Wenger. “The fans did not give me the image of unity I want all over the world and that was hurtful.”

“I just feel if my personality is in the way of what I think our club is, that is more important than me.”