Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has blasted Arsenal fans for their attitude towards manager Arsene Wenger this season, calling them “despicable” in their actions.
The outspoken midfielder was reacting to recent criticism of the French boss, who was hounded on a train back to London after the defeat against Stoke City, footage of which was capture and uploaded to the internet.
That game saw the Gunners fall 3-0 behind before fighting back to 3-2, still not good enough for the travelling Arsenal faithful.
They have had a slight resurgence in recent games, but fell to a 2-2 draw against Liverpool, despite the Reds having had Fabio Borini sent off while chasing the game.
QPR travel to Arsenal on Boxing Day, and they face a wounded animal after the Liverpool result.
The Hoops have not won a single game away from home in the Premier League, and Barton knows the task will be tough, but is keen to defend Wenger.
“Some of the abuse he’s got is totally uncalled for,” said Barton.
“He’s a 60-odd-year-old man who loves football and has done incredible things for that club over a long period of time.
“He swims against the tide a little bit and for someone to subject him to the abuse that he’s subjected to on a train platform, for me, that’s despicable.
“As a football man I think he deserves a lot more respect than that, Arsene should be the master of his own destiny and he might step upstairs at some point.”