Gunners great blames players NOT Wenger for Arsenal woe

Once the Arsenal team runs onto the pitch for any game of football it is up to the 11 players out there representing us all to perform and produce the right result, so we can see the logic in laying the blame with these players when things do not go exactly according to plan and the Arsenal suffer the sort of disappointment that has been all too prevalent this season.

In defence of his former boss Arsene Wenger, the former Brazil and Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva has done just that this week, suggesting in comments reported by Sky Sports, that it is the people selected by the long serving Frenchman and not the man himself who should bear the brunt of the fans’ frustrations. There is certainly plenty of that for us Gooners this year as we sit further than ever away from the Premier League summit, but is Silva right in what he says?

The Gunners great worked under Wenger for years and during a time of great glory for our club, most notbaly that amazing invincibles campaign of 2003-04, and he has drawn on his knowledge and respect for the man to offer a robust defence of Le Prof and his ongoing desire and commitment to do his best for Arsenal.

Gilberto said, “I worked with Wenger for such a long time. As I know him, he’s a person who loves the game and wants to win things. He sacrifices himself for the players and for the club.

“At the moment things are hard but he’s trying the best he can to handle the pressure and get the best out of his players. All the time the pressure is on him but there comes a time when you have to question what the players can bring back to him because he trusts them.

“It’s about somebody standing up and holding the pressure for somebody who believes in them. All the questions in the media talk about whether it’s time for Wenger to go or if he lost his appetite.

“It’s not about this, it’s about the players at the club supporting him as long as he stays in the club.”

What do we think Gooners? Is Silva right to shift the blame onto the players or should the man who trains, prepares and sends them out be the one to shoulder the fault and the frustration felt by us all?



  1. As what you have said Bob, it is the responsibility of the man who bought, trained, prepared and sent the players out to the field. Wenger’s system was revolutionary two decades ago, but now it is obsolete against the former successful players like Guardiola, Pochettino, Simeone and Zidane

    But Wenger could be successful again if he moves to another big club with an established system, such as Barcelona, Spain and Real Madrid. Luis Enrique and Julen Lopetegui were flops before managing the highly established teams, so Wenger could gain similar success if those clubs are willing to take him in the next season

    1. In every manager role the manager assumes the responsibility for what he/she is paid to manage hence why they are called managers.
      Arsene Wenger is NO exception.
      As you stated he signed, trained and managed these players to win.
      He would take the plaudits if we won the league and therefore should take the responsibility if we have a season like this.
      I can see no alternative but to sack him – there is no defence for this season under him..

  2. Unfortunately Gilberto Silva impressed Arsene Wenger so much that he never replaced him with a similar player.

    1. In those days, that was the real Wenger.. but after so many years, now we have the oldest version of him, I think Gilberto should understand that

  3. Generally speaking, when any football team loses, they are to share the blame including the manager, so the players should also take a reasonable part of the blame as they are the ones who do actual job on the pitch.

    That said, many may have forgotten Arsenal’s woes has now become a pattern, although, the warning signs have been there but it is now blown open…we are so predictable that every even knows the exact period we falter every season hence Wenger talking all the blame.

    Same thing keep happening every season, we have changed a lot of players and staff but we are getting even worse, so only one thing is left and that is the manager.
    It is the harsh truth. Wenger has definitely overstayed.

  4. With all due respect to Gilberto Silva he was playing in teams far better than we have had since he departed.He enjoyed unparalleled success with players who were World Class.We have Iwobi.Would he have been anywhere near the Invincibles Squad let alone playing in the First Team?Of course he wouldn’t.Its very easy to blame the players and without doubt they are culpable to an extent but the buck stops with the Manager.Wenger carries the ultimate responsibility for our rapid decline and it is wrong to suggest otherwise.

    1. Wenger has to take responsibility,thats for sure but dont forget he, in his second decade at the club, had to face financial difficulties and most people on here dont understand it

      1. Without sounding like a broken record (unlike you and your continued and desperate defence of a Dead Man Walking)it is wrong to put the demise down to financial restraints.
        If you look at the First Five Years of the last decade Wenger at least managed to qualify for the Champions League in each of those seasons.The Second Five Years have clearly shown we as a Club have gone backwards and spiralling in a downward descent.And in these Five Years we have spent MORE money on transfer fees and player wages than at any time in the Clubs history.(ken 1945 will now post a decade of financial player sales and purchases I’m sure-over to you Ken).
        Have those spuds up the road spent more on players than us?No.Did Leicester when they actually WON the League?NO.
        It’s very easy to blame the clubs resources as the reason we are in free fall but it is NOT correct.

        1. Dear Phil ,we spent more but still left behind by our rivals in termes of spending power.As for the Spurs and looserpool it’s the first time in almost twenty years that they are ahead of us (Wenger should take the blame though).

          1. AND dont forger we have won SIX trophies (if you weirdley decide that it’s not trophies, it’s your problem)

                1. So you decides what’s a trophie and what’s not!?in all wiki pages from the language you chose, a CS is a TROPHY

                  1. Ok then so why don’t you include
                    Emirates Cup
                    Best grass
                    Best programme etc etc etc

                    You are so desperate aren’t you?
                    Ok if it makes you feel better it’s a trophy.You small minded fans so desperate to see your name in print so you can show mummy can have it.
                    Fans with high expectations and moral understandings of ENGLISH football know better.

                2. Don’t argue with an AKB, you’ll just waste your breath. Whenever failure topic pops up they’ll bring in Liverpool and Spurs, but never Chelsea, Man city and Man U (sometimes they use this sinking ship as makeshift about changing managers and how we’ll all die if Wenger is replaced)

                  1. M’y friend bran911
                    So why are you replying?!!to lose tour breath?!we are fans juste as you are….

  5. To a certain degree things have spiralled towards mediocrity for reasons outside of Wenger’s control.

    While he never had a complete team since moving to the Emirates he did have the nucleaus a few times to go on and build but he lost RVP, Nasri and Cesc through their choice and never really recovered.

    Even now, there are issues in the squad. I don’t think Wenger can say that this aspect is not down to him entirely, I do think part of the reason he ends up here is through his own management

  6. The obviouis question, though a rhetorical one, is to ask WHO buys , keeps and trusts and plays those players who Gilberto (and countless other Gooners too) considers not good enough. Now, let me think; could it be Arsene Wenger by any chance! And manager at any level is in charge of all team matters at the club. This is more true about Wenger, prior to the new backroom imports this season, than possibly any manager in the history of British football. As such, he rightly bears the blam efor having markedly more inferior and less wholehearted players than in his first decade. The term “Feast followed by Famine” amply describes his 21 year stay. But Biblical famines lasted seven years. At Arsenal ours has now reached at least ren and still no change of the man responsible. Some, though few, Gooners still believe that the man who provided the feast, over a decade now, can do so again, given time. Well , that is a point of view. But only a handful of those who contribute on here share it and I need not name them. They are fans and entitled to their opinion. But the vast majority know how damaging and Anti-Arsenal improvement that opinion is. Thank goodness for that majority opinion which has forced him out, though precisely when is still to be publicly revealed. My view is by second half of May at the latest. Oh blessed day!

  7. Why do these players (choose to) underperform for Wenger? Is it something to do solely with Wenger’s man management style or would the poor attitude carry over with the introduction of a new manager ?

    Perhaps it is time for a tougher manager with a more ruthless mindset to take over. A lot of these players have been allowed to stay under performing for too long .

  8. Great respect for Gilberto Silva as a player but he is wrong in his support of his old boss who is but a shadow of his former self and is entirely responsible for the decline of AFC.

  9. There is more than enough blame to go around. But the buck stops with the boss. If players are letting him down he is the one in control of who plays and who stays. Walcott should have left years ago, we should not be going into seasons with one mature striker nor should we go with two mature CB’s, that is just not on. He should not be saying every season ..I believe in this teams ability so the transfer market I try not to think about it, in fact I reckon we should scrap the winter market. It all went pear shaped the moment I realized that Oli was not bought as a second choice or a different prospect to RVP, as he is his replacement. That was the moment I realized that Arsenal were not the cream anymore.

  10. “Is Silva right to shift the blame from Wenger to the players?”.

    it seems obvious to me that Gilberto is trying to explain the responsibilty that the players must take from their own awful performances in the games that are always quoted on here..Forest, Swansea, Brighton as examples.
    I have been saying from the beginning of debating here, that players need to take full responsibiliity once the game starts. Nice to have one of the Invincibles agreeing with me.
    How could players perform so badly against Forest and yet days later completely snuff out Chelsea?
    There are only two answers to that question: Either Wenger is a coaching genius OR the players underperformed in the Forest game, then played to the potential that Arsene sees in them.
    Take your pick, but at least acknowledge the reasoning.
    It is very true that Gilberto played in a different team, but it must also follow that he knows the manager and how he thinks.
    I’m going to take from this post the fact that one of our Invincibles has quite rightly questioned our players attitudes.
    He has said “it’s about the players at the club supporting him as long as he stays in the club”.
    Now THAT might be a very telling statement in the Wenger saga.
    Let’s hope they do and I KNOW I have to add the fact that I believe we need a change at the club, otherwise my thoughts will be misinterpreted.

    1. Phil,
      The two things I can say without looking up anything at all,?
      The fact that every premier leaguel clubs wage bill has increased.
      We still haven’t been able to compete with the likes of City, Unt, Liverpool or City.

      1. But Ken-Why not?
        Our revenues are higher than all bar City(I believe) and our wage bill is certainly up there and close to these clubs(I believe)so why again is it we don’t compete?
        I accept City is run on petro-dollars Chelski on Russian money and Utd is a debt mountain.But to me Wenger AND the Board show no ambition to reach that last step up.Again I accept we run on a business model and operate within our means but tell me why Wenger with his stranglehold on the Club and the entire Board with the exception of Ivan Gazidis licking his balls he doesn’t force the issue.Oh but he gets a pay increase with his new contract despite failing to reach the minimum of Champions League

        And Ken would you please explain to Pires that the Community Shield is NOT a real Trophy

          1. Phil,
            Community shield first.
            I am sure you were at Wembley for all our victories.
            Didn’t it feel wonderful to see Chelsea wilt in the penalty shoot out?
            As you know, to compete in the community shield you have to win either the league or fa cup. Just imagine if the Spuds played in the community shield next season and how they must be sick of us competing for it.
            To persuade Pires, I also need to convince The chosen one and the media.
            They backed his claim that he had won two “trophies” in his first season at United, but changed their tune when we competed.
            Having said all that, I think even our club do not see it as a trophy, otherwise it would be recorded around the stadium along with our league and cup wins.
            So, a long winded way of saying the community shield is NOT a trophy IN MY opinion.
            Just proud we have been the club that has contested it so much lately.
            I think you have answered your question regarding why are we not competing. Petro money, russian money and a horrendous debt.
            We are either top 4 or 5 (depending who one quotes) in financial terms.
            Chelsea have to find the money to buy out the clauses of sacked managers on a regular basis. Where does that money come from? The millions paid for the naming of the Etihad stadium? Their mega rich owners who can just do this from their own incredible fortunes. No good saying Kronke could do the same because his money is nowhere near the same. Even our russian shareholder has more than him.
            If it came down to money, City can/will outbid anyone as we well know, with Chelsky close behind.
            We have shown signs of fighting back with the signing of Abue, but I can never see us outbidding these two clubs unless Kronke sells up.
            If wenger controls the club completely, why didn’t we get lemar?
            wenger identified him and said he wanted him. Also Griezmann as his recent autobiography confirms.
            I think you give him to much credit reference his power over everything Arsenal.
            To think that Wenger puts the fear of god up people with the power of our board is nonsense. These are incredibly successful business men in their own right.
            You refer to Gazidis, wasn’t he Wengers right hand man for the nine years he’s been at the club?
            Lastly, Arsene’s salary.
            Obscene, just like all sportspeople, politicians, bankers etc.
            The “average working man” cannot possibly comprehend salaries such as sanchez at £350,000 a week.
            I cant explain it or condone it, but, hypothetically speaking, if Pep was offered 15,000,000 to join would you criticise it?
            Not talking about success ful/not successful but the principle.
            Leaving for Stoke game early sat. morning for a weekend down south, but look forward to reading you response Monday.

  11. I believe both players and manager are to blame,
    Manager picks players, tactics, and is responsible to adjust tactics as game situations change constantly. Responsibility his alone, so is the praise or blame.

    Players performance is their contribution; not manager’s fault player misses sitters, fouls, etc. For example, match where Kos and Mustafi both had blunders that resulted in goals against us. Not manager’s fault they panicked and hurt the team.

    Both deserve blame for our current situation. Mert called meeting to stop the slide (I believe recognizing their responsibility), and Wenger for changing formation, player combinations, etc…

    Question for me is

    What responsibility does the majority owner and board have to accept some blame themselves?

    So far with Ivan hiring Sven, Raul, and Huss, it appears they are taking corrective action as a partial solution. However, it remains to be seen who is managing in July.

    1. Durand,
      Now this one I can agree with you completely regarding shared responsibility.
      From top to bottom (players figurativally speaking) they all have let us, the clubs supporters, down.
      Just wish others could see this as clearly as you have written it.

      1. Ken
        Yes we do agree my friend. We also probably assign a major portion of blame to the board and owner for contract situations over last 2 years.

        The fact that board allowed uncertainty of so many player contracts is sheer negligence, putting it kindly. Even uncertainty about Wenger’s 2 year extension was boorishly and amateurish, and how the team became effected.

  12. How can you buy Iwobi, put him on the left and expect him to perform like Pires?? Buying Xhaka putting him in the middle and nickname him Ngolo Kante? I can say most players are playing at high level of their potentials, but their levels ain’t good enough, they are average. And who to see that, the manager, who works with them on a daily basis.

    But if a manager can start the league with such crap players and saying the team has cohesion and spirit and that we’ll win the league, this means the manager is senile old something and very deluded. May be his age is the vital factor, but I don’t think anyone can defend him at this stage. Gilberto played on the golden era, 95% of this team can’t even make the bench of the invincibles, just plain fact

  13. i blame wenger .he is too soft,tha invincibles were not that soft.they are lacking that much needed push.

  14. It’s significant that Arsenal started to flounder at the start of the super owner era. Where were Chelsea and Man city before someone decided to pour billions into them?

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