Arsene Wenger is NOT to blame for recent failings at Arsenal, the players and fans must share the blame

Arsenal 1982-83

Arsenal 1982-83

Yes, Arsenal have found another way to fail to convert superior, well superior everything, except the goals for column, to points on the board. Officially our lowest points tally, at this stage of the season, since 1982.

It doesn’t make good reading. But it’s the shots stat really takes the biscuit!

Olivier Giroud had the same number of shots on goals as Brand United and ended up with the same result and he only played 10 minutes!

There appears to be two problems at the club:

  1. Confidence; Play a big club, we seem to lack the ultimate belief to start or to finish off the job
  2. Arrogance; Play a middle tier club, we take the lead and expect them to roll over and die

Now I’m not saying that Arsene Wenger doesn’t own some of the responsibility for this but, the vitriol and downright abuse floating around is, well, insulting and disrespectful.

  1. How is it Arsene’s fault that top class players have 10 shots on target and hit everyone straight at the keeper?
  2. How is it Arsene’s fault that when Jack Wilshere is controlling the midfield, translating his excellent England form to The Emirates, he gets clattered by Paddy McNair (in a tackle that was brushed aside by the ref and the commentary) and has to get stretchered off?
  3. How is it Arsene’s fault that Marouane Fellaini fouls Kieran Gibbs, who crashes into Wojciech Szczesny, who is then on the floor when the deflected shot comes in?

The players are just as culpable for the situation as the the management. All involved must take a long hard look at themselves and realise what is expected when you represent The Arsenal.

As TH14 famously said;

‘You need big shoulders to play for Arsenal. The cannon is heavy.” 


This is relevant to all parties involved, not just the players and the management, but I believe the fans to.

Before I get pelters for the last statement, please hear me out.

For those who are demanding Wenger’s head on a pike at the tower, be careful what you wish for, we don’t want a David Moyes or worse a Christian Gross.

For those who blindly trust Wenger, whatever happens, beware, we don’t want to become stale and out of touch. However I fear that point may be reached much, much sooner than we all fear. For those who leave early, don’t!  Stay and support until the bitter end. I’m sorry, but why go if you don’t want to see what happens at the end.


If you truly love the club, you support them whatever.

Morale is low, it will get lower if the players see the fans can’t be arsed either. Seeing the cannon appear in the east stand with 10 minutes to go is frankly embarrassing.

And before you slag me off for not being at the game and not knowing what I’m talking about because I’m a ‘foreign fan’. In my 20+ years of going to Highbury and The Emirates, prior to emigrating, I never left early, no matter the result. You may say that makes me the idiot, but I support the club through hell, high water and 12,000 miles. (and Holloway Road isn’t that bad)

For those who boo. Boo the team (I’m not a fan of this, but we’ve all got to vent), don’t boo and abuse individual players. I was there when 60,000 turned on Emmanuel Eboue and it nearly killed the man. No one deserves that.

On all fronts, we are in a dire situation, the management, the players and the fans must unite, otherwise this could spiral and we’ll end up like the dirty side of North London, treating the Europa League as a success and blowing millions each season.


I believe ‘Victory Through Harmony’ is the saying.

Steve Wellman

5 Responses to Arsene Wenger is NOT to blame for recent failings at Arsenal, the players and fans must share the blame

  1. paulb November 25, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    failure to see Wenger has no plan b, failure to address the defensive crisis we have had for years, failure to play players in natural positions, failure in a tippy tappy system that goes nowhere, failure to hold onto leads. failure to see what everyone else can see, you carry on making excuses for Wenger’s failures while the rest of us can see he is finished, he has lost the plot, his arrogance costing the club time and time again. Me I have been following Arsenal home and away since the early 70’s and I can see we need a change, til then expect more of this rubbish we are seeing, hear more of his excuses Can’t compare the same with Man Utd as we will have a better choice of managers to choose, providing Wenger has no say in it. Everton lost Moyes, now look at them, so yes the grass can be greener on the other side, but fans like you are brainwashed into thinking it can’t be.We were lucky with the FA Cup, but we will not challenge for the PL or the CL while the dictator remains and shame on the board for giving him an extra three years.You carry on with your blinkered rose tinted Wenger AKB glasses, my eyes are wide open

  2. Victor Thompson November 25, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Your article is admirable in its moderation, but that is your privilege. Other people may not see it your way. Arsenal fans are paying the highest ticket prices in the world to support their team and they do so in their thousands.

    They are entitled to expect a performance worthy of their support and they are not getting it. If it was the fault of the players, it would not be the same faults appearing every year. There has been a change of personnel in the team for the past 10 years and yet they cannot defend. The same fault every year.

    The forwards are demoralised because however much they try, they cannot compensate for the profligacy of the defence. How can a forward line be expected to score 7 goals when the defence lets in 6?

    Much of the blame lies with the players. I agree with that, but Arsene has demonstrated over and over again that he has no idea how to organise a defence. He also refuses to change his methods even mid – match, when everyone in the ground can see his mistakes.

    I`m sorry, Arsene has to go. Do not fear what might follow. There are many good modern managers who would love to come to Arsenal. Any one of them with enough nous about the game could do better with the squad we have. How would we attract the same quality of manager if we are out of the Championship? If we carry on the way we are, that is what is coming.

    Victor Thompson

  3. Rich November 25, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

    This argument is getting really tired, particularly the “be careful what you wish for.” Let’s look at why Wenger should finally go, with our collective thanks for some great years and for getting the team through the transition to the Emirates: 1. Tactical Stubbornness: and that’s being nice. Really it appears to be tactical cluelessness. He just doesn’t appear to change tactics based on the opponent or have a Plan B of any sort, as he clearly needed last weekend. With leads against Anderlecht and Swansea, players are still pouring forward, leaving gaping holes behind that were taken advantage of. And unlike most teams in world football these days, he allows both the right and left backs to run forward at the same time far too often, a losing formula for sure. 2. Unfinished Business: every transfer window, Wenger comes up at least a player or two short. Lest us forget he lost our best players for two straight windows a few years back and then panic bought a group that is now at least half gone. But this summer was the worst, as we clearly needed to replace Vermaelen and needed to buy the DM that we have suffered without since Alex Song left. If nothing else, he was available for very cheap. But Wenger doesn’t think he needs a natural DM and so we watch Arteta and Flamini try to play the position effectively without much success. 3. Winning Formula: related to #1, the paltry record of Wenger against Chelsea and United, as well as in the UCL once we get past the group stage, shows us that he just can’t win the big games any more. In fact, his record against the top five in the EPL over the past several season is terrible. He just doesn’t seem to impart the confidence in the team that leads them to be successful when it counts the most. 4. Replacement Fears: this argument is probably the most tired of them all — think of using the same one for a world leader destroying his own country (say George W. Bush) or a CEO destroying his company. He is terrible and unsuccessful, but his replacement might be worse? David Moyes was an odd choice for United, one based on giving a chance to a quality lower tier manager. I can’t imagine Arsenal making the same mistake. I would say Klopp or Guardiola are choices, or even Martinez. Wenger has served the club well for a long time, but how much more abject failure and missed opportunities can fans and the team really take, before we become Liverpool post-Istanbul?

  4. Mike Walsh November 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    Steve….. I agree with many of your comments and at the same time share the frustrations felt by many supporters of our great club. I actually feel the fans gave the team very good support last Saturday and the stunned reaction to the defeat is an emotion I hope never to experience again.

    Even “Arsene walks on water” fans will admit that he has made a number of decisions which are now impacting on the team. To me the worst of these was not to bring Cesc back to the club where his qualities are missed as both a play-maker and leader. Yes the errors made by referee (not our best friend) added to our misery but to be honest we should have put the game out of sight long before these changed the game.

    My hope is that the post-match team talk centred on how much loyalty Arsene has continued to show to this squad of players and how fortunate they are to play for our club. This loyalty can only be returned through hard work at the training ground transferred to the pitch and perhaps some time spent on shooting practice and defensive responsibilities led by Steve Bould.

    Meanwhile Arsene needs to focus on a target of getting a world class central defender and defensive mid-fielder added to the squad in January.

  5. wellmington November 25, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    Thanks for the comments.
    I’m not defending AW, as he may well have run his course
    Just outlining that although he is commander in chief, the generals below him do share some of the responsibility too
    As for ‘be careful what you wish for’ if we do replace him, it has to not be a knee jerk replacement, but a measured process, get it wrong & we could be Liverpool post Benitez or worse
    As for the fans, the majority are true & support to the end, it’s the fickle that get noticed
    I don’t understand paying a grand + a season & leaving early. There are many fans out there who would willing pay & would stay to the bitter end.
    Although I live in Sydney, I still pay each season for my Season Ticket, knowing when I’m back I will be there come hell or high water, till the final whistle.

    This is all born out of frustration because real fans care

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