Wenger not to blame for Arsenal’s poor displays, says Oxlade-Chamberlain

The midfielder says the 65-year-old is “an unbelievable man” and feels the players need to be held accountable for their substandard performances this term

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain insists Arsene Wenger is not to blame for Arsenal’s inconsistency this season and has urged the players to take responsibility for their poor performances.

The Gunners currently sit sixth in the Premier League having suffered three defeats in their last five matches, but have qualified for the Champions League knockout phase after finishing behind Borussia Dortmund in Group D.

Following Arsenal’s 3-2 loss at Stoke City last Saturday, video footage emerged of fans verbally abusing Wenger, while a section of supporters remain keen for the 65-year-old to leave at the end of the campaign.

When asked what he would say to fans, Oxlade-Chamberlain told Sky Sports: “It’s a hard one for me to sit here and say what I would say to them. They’re entitled to their opinion, I can understand their frustration but I wouldn’t put that on the manager. We have to stand up ourselves as players.

“On that day [against Stoke] it wasn’t the manager’s fault that we went 3-0 down in the first half, it was us as a group of players, we weren’t at the required level.

“I think on that day it would’ve been harsh for a fan to completely blame our manager. Ourselves as players we need to stand up and take some of that blame ourselves for sure.

“All that I can say is that, from my point of view, our manager Arsene Wenger is an unbelievable man off the pitch and as a manager. He’s been brilliant for me in my career and I can say that about a number of players at this football club, he’s helped us all massively.

“It’s not just him to blame when things go wrong, it’s us as well to take responsibility but he’ll say the same as me and I’m sure he’ll take responsibility because that’s what a great manager he is.”

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