He told the Guardian: “The hostility of a section of the fans and the board was unjustified.
"I felt as if I'd built the training centre and the stadium myself brick by brick... it was very hard, very brutal.
"Arsenal was a matter of life and death to me, and without it there were some very lonely, very painful moments."
Asked whether he felt his job was a matter of life and death, he said: “Yes, it was my approach to the job.
"When you drive home after a defeat, and you think about the number of people who are destroyed, you have a sense of responsibility, of guilt.
"I believe there is no other way for a manager than to identify completely with the club, and to behave like he owns it."