Former Arsenal man Per Mertesacker has said Arsenal players could not produce results for former gaffer Arsene Wenger, leading to the Frenchman’s exit.
Wenger left the North London side in the summer after 22 years with the Gunners finishing seventh on the league table.
But Mertesacker has blamed the players for not standing with the boss at a time when a pressure was building around him.
“It was a bit surprising for us. He came into the meeting and said that he had decided together with the bosses to leave at the end of the season,” Mertesacker told ESPN.
“It was a sad moment because I had the feeling I contributed my share to it.
“His farewell was also the players’ fault because we had many chances to get better results. We failed while he backed us all the time.
“I was the first who felt the need to say something and said I deeply regretted it. It was important for him to see that we had something to say as a team and that we stood by his side.”
The German still believes that the Frenchman left the Emirates side at the right time.
“No. Not a second too early or too late. When the news of his departure was finally out, the atmosphere changed,” he said.
“It was said what a great man he was, who changed this club extremely. You could not have had more success with this team. He got a deserved farewell and left this club as a legend