Arsene Wenger: Don’t blame the players, blame me

Arsenal manager admits his side have been "too frail defensively" this season after 2-1 defeat by Bolton

arsene wenger
Wenger's side have picked up two points from a possible nine this week Photo: The Sport Review

arsene wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refused to criticise his players after a 2-1 defeat by Bolton Wanderers surely ended the Gunners’ title hopes for another year.

Arsenal had fallen behind to Daniel Sturridge’s first-half opener but the game looked to be turning in their favour after the break when Kevin Davies missed a penalty before Robin van Persie equalised for the visitors.

But the Frenchman’s side slumped to their first Barclays Premier League defeat of 2011 when Tamir Cohen headed home a 90th-minute winner for Owen Coyle’s men.

“The facts are the facts. I feel the players have had an outstanding attitude during the whole season and they are not to blame,” said Wenger afterwards.

“If there is someone to blame, it is me. I pick the team and I choose the players. For me, the players [have] had an outstanding attitude all season.”

Wenger admits Arsenal’s hopes of winning the title are now “minimal”, and that sloppy defending has cost the north Londoners this season.

“The chances are very minimal now, that is for sure. But we have to continue to fight,” he continued.

“I am convinced we are a very good footballing side. We have not been stable enough defensively.

“The numbers are the numbers, we have conceded six goals this week at a moment where you cannot afford to conceded six goals in three games and win the championship. We were too frail defensively during the season.

“It is very frustrating because we should have nine points from this week and we have two. That’s a little bit the story of our season.”

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