Don't blame Wenger - There are 11 Arsenal players responsible for shock defeat

Wenger Statue

Arsenal suffered the shock result of the season last night, losing on penalties to League Two opposition.

Sky pundit Peter Beagrie hailed Bradford City's win as a 'tremendous performance' by the Bantams. He was right, it was a game the club's supporters will never forget. Arsenal fans on the other hand will not find the memories so easy to erase.

Instantly, and perhaps inevitably the calls began for Arsene Wenger's resignation - From chief antagonist and supporter Piers Morgan who called for the manager to fall on his sword in the wake of the defeat.

But to blame Arsene Wenger for last night is unfair.

The manager must be exasperated, for he sent out a strong side last night who simply should have seen off a spirited side three divisions below them.

Too often in recent years Wenger has been criticised in cup competitions for not taking the cups seriously and missing out on a genuine chance of silverware. When they escaped a 4-0 deficit to win 7-5 against Reading, the problems were pinned on Wenger picking a makeshift defence including Djourou, Miquel and Martinez in goal against Premier League opposition.

Last night he picked nearly his strongest side available, with the exception of Mikel Arteta being benched for Francis Coquelin.

The situation was not helped by Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott being injured, but the side had more than enough in their locker to see off lower league opposition; so you would have expected.

Wenger said post-match he could not fault the effort of his players, which makes it especially worrying that the team did not have the quality to pull out a result.

The team included Polish international goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, France's first choice right-back Bacary Sagna, with Belgium's centre-back Thomas Vermaelen and German lynchpin Per Mertesacker.

Kieran Gibbs was recently called up by England, while Santi Cazorla is a part of World Cup winners Spain's side, scoring in a recent qualifier. Lukas Podolski has more than 100 caps for Germany, while Jack Wilshere is England's great hope and Oxlade-Chamberlain an international regular too. Gervinho, recently derided by fans, is an African Nations Cup finalist and has played at a World Cup.

Picking a team with that sort of quality, Wenger did everything right, sometimes as a manager there is only so much you can do.

The responsibility for last night's defeat belongs to those on lost it on the pitch; the players.

Do you agree? What's your opinion on the shock loss?

image: © dyobmit

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