Should Arsenal’s failures be blamed on the players?

Is Ramsey right to blame the players for letting Wenger down? By SK

Our Welsh midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, has come out to defend Arsene Wenger, claiming the Arsenal players let him down, saying they should share part of the blame and not just Wenger, for another poor outing, this season. He believes the criticism of the French man, has been way over the top.

Ramsey, according to a report in The Sun, said: “He’s been a great servant to Arsenal. He’s been a great manager to me personally and for the players. We have let him down at times. I think it’s unfair of some of the things that have been said. But people are entitled to their opinion, but he’s been great for me personally.”

Well said Ramsey but I don’t totally agree with you I’m afraid. Yes we can blame the players for not living up to expectations, even when they know they should be playing with their body and soul while on the field of play, but if I may ask, did the players choose themselves? Is it not the duty of the coach to identify and make use of the players he feels won’t let him down?

Choosing your team starts before the beginning of a season; you scout for the player you are interested in, negotiate with his agent and club, agree a fee, buy the player, put him through a pre-season training program in order for you to blend him into the club properly and by the start of the season, you should have an idea of who the player is and how prepared he is for the task ahead! If a player fails to perform during the course of the season, then the coach has to take the full blame for that. It is his duty to get the best out of his players.

Wenger has been too loyal to his players over the years and this has affected his judgement most times. Even Ramsey has been a beneficiary of Wenger’s poor judgement on team selections and that is why he finds himself always in the team, even when he has no business playing certain games! I would not blame Ramsey for trying to defend his coach, after all, against all odds, Wenger stuck to him.

Players like Diaby, Sanogo, Giroud and even Ozil, would have been shown the way out of Arsenal sooner than expected, had it been that Arsenal was coached by a man who knows his onions. Mourinho for example, won’t be patient with players who don’t perform to his expectations and that is one secret behind the trophies he keeps on winning, no matter the club he goes to. Wenger needs to either be more firm and less emotional in his team selections if he wishes to remain as an Arsenal coach and succeed, or he should just step down and allow Arsenal go for a coach who will not give room for player’s complacency. Who else does not totally agree with Ramsey?



  1. Budd says:

    Absolutely. If you have minimum ambition as sport person, you will want to win every competition you are in. Yes, Wenger is going easy on the players and I can understand that to a certain extent. But when you ask a raise and I give it to you and I never had a go at you after you let me down then there is only one conclusion: you abused my trust. And from that point on we are not friends anymore, we are just two professionals. Why is Wenger not doing this? No clue but that shows you that is not only the players. It is a big problem with a lot of causes: players, Wenger,board,fans.

    1. Fatboy Gooney says:

      The buck will always stop at the manager and that’s why they get sacked when things aren’t going right. You can’t blame the fans, their reaction is based on the players performance on the pitch and you can’t expect the fans to be happy and cheerful when the players performance is ??. It’s down to the manager to pick the team, motivate them along with tactics/game plan and since Wenger spent over £100 million during the summer the only thing that you can blame the board for is sticking with the delusional manager who continually fails to deliver.

  2. Subi says:

    Is it true that Alexis is leaving Arsenal? Same story all over again..

    1. Jansen says:

      yes its true and he has made up his mind and his team-mates know it.

  3. Pablo Picaso says:

    I think its a little bit of both. The technical team and the players.

    Of course the manager makes the team, his technical team prepares the boys and ensure they have everything required to succeed. Wenger and his staff main faults have been on recruiting / deploying the correct tactics for the boys to follow / motivating the team to win at all cost beyond paying their huge salary’s / and not been innovative or moving with the new trends.

    On the other hand the players have at most times demonstrated luck of heart / passion / the will to win at all cost / luck of caring for the funs / and laziness!

    At the end of it all both sides have a case to answer, not that they will lose any sleep about it.

  4. Jansen says:

    Ramsey and Giroud have been the biggest benefactors of Wenger putting his personal feelings ahead of form or performance on the pitch. So why would he blame Wenger?

    You can not expect players to come out in interviews and say: ” We have asked Ranieri to revert back to our high pressing game which won us our title last season but he is ignoring our request and persisting with a way of play we don’t believe in and which causes us to struggle.”
    That simply doesn’t happen.

    Having said that look what happened at Leicester when the reverted back to the way they like to play. Point being if managers fail to motivate or sell their message to players it all goes wrong. Are the players to blame? Not sure if that is relevant. Look at Chelsea were the players to blame last season or had Mourinho poisoned the atmosphere?

    For me there is very little a manager can do once he lost the group and it his responsibility to have the finger on the pulse of his group and not push the relationship with his players beyond the limit where he loses their respect.

    This group is not playing for Wenger any longer, whatever the reason might be. Never before have we so obviously not made 90 minute efforts. Sure we lost too many games to naive defending driving forward with disregard for team shape and defending in previous seasons but I don’t recall the lack of effort we have seen this year in so many games, it’s scary, it’s over for Wenger.

  5. Twig says:

    Meanwhile, stories are going round that Allegri has told his friends that he’ll be managing at Arsenal next season. COYG!!

    1. Fatboy Gooney says:

      ?? Good Morning twig, there’s no flys on you mate?
      And the latest rumours are suggesting that Arsenal have been linked with two/three Juventus players and some reports are suggesting that our offer for two were rejected by their club, that’s strange when you consider that the window is shut.

      In other news:
      Ladbroke are telling the Arsenal fans to put their banners away as Mr Wenger is odds on to STAY! ?

  6. legend Henry says:

    The manager and not the players are to blame.
    Just consider the the performance of the players when playing for their country.Especially Ramsey.
    We have been speaking about the same issues for years now with different players coming and going .
    We start the season brilliantly but crash in November, December and February for thirteen years now.
    Were all these current players around 13 years ago?
    One thing I’m very much aware is that when you favour some players(Ramsey,theo,iwobi,ozil,Giroud) at the expense of the better ones( Perez,welbeck,campbell),it automatically kills the confidence of the players.
    Do you think Sanchez,Kos,Bellerin, mustafi will be happy when they see the likes of Ramsey,Giroud,theo and even Sanogo starting ahead of Podolski,campbell, Perez , and even Welbeck?
    It surely will kill their confidence.
    And who is to blame when the same problem persists to this time and it getting worse?
    If the players are not performing,why don’t you change them?
    Who said we could not get top players who could add quality to our team?
    Who said our players were good enough to challenge for the trophy?

    If the manager says they are good enough to win a major trophy , and they are not doing that then the manager should be blamed because he has failed to win trophies with top players.

  7. ThirdManJW says:

    In my opinion the players are blameless. I think you can blame them in the short-term definitely. But when a player has been at the club for a while, and still isn’t performing, then that’s down to the manager.

    I think Ozil, and Ramsey are perfect examples. Ozil always goes missing in the big games, but should we blame him? No! The real question, is why Wenger is starting him, or at the very least, not even subbing him? Ozil is a quality player, but shouldn’t be starting the big games, because he consistently disappears in them. It’s like we’re a man down. So clearly that’s the manager’s fault for ignoring Ozil performances in these type of games.

    Then we have Ramsey, who has proven over a very long period, that he’s not good enough to play for us…simple as that! Yet Wenger keeps picking him. How can we blame Ramsey, when we clearly can see he hasn’t got the ability. Again, the real question is, why is Ramsey still an Arsenal player?

    These are just two of many individual examples, but we also have to take into account Wenger’s faults from a collective point of view. You can the best players in the world, but if you can’t get them playing as a team, and with a winning mentality, then you have no hope. And that’s the case at Arsenal. Quality players, but rarely working as a singular unit. Players are kind of doing their own thing. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve seen Sanchez press like crazy, then turn around, only to see that almost the entire team hasn’t pressed with him. Now that’s the manager’s fault. No tactics, no mentality, that’s on Wenger.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      I doubt you could drop Mesut from every big game, it’d be simpler to get rid. What would that do to his confidence, or his feelings at the least. I don’t think you could get him to accept that.

  8. mark says:

    It’s a tough one. I think yes partly the players take some blame, but I also think the manager buys the players, selects who is playing and chooses the tactics.

    If our players aren’t up to the required level, who is to blame for that??

    I would say AW.

  9. Tatek Girma says:

    It is all about the duty of the manager to get the best out of his players and his board using different approaching mechanisms. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the manager to strengthen his squad properly using the allocated resource by the club. He has been failed repeatedly to utilize at least the allocated budget for the purchase players that could improve the weak links and take the club forward. Therefore, even though there are some other factors which have contributed their share for the clubs poor performance almost for a decade, the manager is the front runner in all aspects. Oh!! what can I say any more as I am tired of the same situation movement at the club and running out of fuel at the moment.

  10. Vlad says:

    Ramsey, out of all people, should just STFU. He’s the biggest parasite at the club. While I agree that the players should share some blame with the manager, I think it’s Wenger’s responsibility to either get the most out of guys like Ramsey, or show them the door.

  11. Break-on-through says:

    I was on board with Merson on this one. I thought the players should have tried deflecting the criticism onto themselves. The players all clammed up all of a sudden leaving Arsene to take it all. When we are winning the players have plenty to say. It’s a little late here from Ramsey, and Koscielny did say a few words but not in defence of Arsene.

  12. Midkemma says:

    Now if the club has had a decade of being a selling club then how many players would be needed to turn that selling club into a title contending club, basically how much driftwood has been collected during our lean years?

    All that driftwood needs to go, Wengers wage structure appears to hinder us selling players, paying the driftwood too well. If Jenks was on a lower wage, I do wonder if he would have turned down that contract. I like Jenks because he is a Arsenal fan and appears to give 110% in every game, it just isnt good enough as back up though and now we are having difficulty in selling him.

    If we are going to lay the blame of purchased players not performing then shouldn’t we look at who purchased the player? Wenger or the board? Was it a case of Welbeck who Wenger only wanted to loan for 12 months… but the board went ahead and bought him? Welbeck had turned into Webroke within the 1st 12 months and that is one case of wasted money at the time.

    I honestly believe there is more at fault at Arsenal than just the manager and some of those faults will hinder any future manager like they are hindering Wenger, imagine if we get your dream manager and the board do not buy his targets, how will you feel then?

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