Arsene Wenger will lead his Arsenal side on to the pitch for tomorrow’s Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid in which will be his penultimate match at the Emirates before he leaves for pastures new.
Our captain Per Mertesacker said that the players were not expecting the Boss’ announcement last week. The BFG said: “We were surprised, first of all, and then then emotional and sad. You can feel that he has got a lot left in him in terms of the power he gave to the team. The message he gave to the team was that we want to win every single game and leave in style. We, as players, gave immediate feedback that we feel the responsibility to fight for him every time we step on the field.”
But the fact is that the players did not fight for him in many games this season, which is ultimately the reason why Wenger felt he couldn’t give any more, but the German says they will do their very best until the end of the season. “The team responded to his announcement fairly quickly. Everyone was surprised and sad. We had an atmosphere of, ‘We want to do it for you to send you off in the best possible way’. It is not about a single person, this club is built on a lot of people who worked here for a long time and he was one of those. His story is unique so we want to give him the best possible send off because in one way we are responsible for the situation as well.
“We sit here in one boat and we have not been that successful over the past couple of years. We won trophies, we won the FA Cup, but in terms of achieving Champions League football every season we have not done it. In terms of top-four finishes, we are not able to achieve it this season. We have been outperformed by other teams and you have to admit that. There are a lot of people responsible, not only the manager. It has not sunk in enough to say we are guilty, but we are as well responsible for the situation.”
Outperformed by a LOT of other teams is right, espècially away from home where we have lost all five League games so far this year. The players certainly weren’t fighting for wenger in those games and they should shoulder a lot of the blame for those abysmal performances. But as usual Le Prof took it all upon himself….