Arsenal may have had a tough week but, unlike other clubs, the blame and attention hasn’t been shifted to people who, frankly, don’t deserve it.

Elsewhere in London there has been a bit of a scandal as a manager went ballistic at his medical staff for doing their job and treating a player thought to be injured.

At Arsenal a defeat was accepted with a bit more grace than the draw suffered by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, with Arsène Wenger admitting things just didn’t go right against West Ham.

“Normally in football a manager is a man who likes to blame other people but he [Wenger] never does,” Mikel Arteta has said. “Even when there might be a reason for it.”

Arsenal have been in much tougher situations than the current one, even after losing the opening game of the season, but Arteta says the players owe the boss as he has never singled anyone out for blame.

“He has never done that and that’s why we owe him. The manager is not a shouter, he is very well respected among the players.

“He doesn’t need to raise his voice to convince us of his methods. We owe him because he has always defended us in public.”

That isn’t the case elsewhere, with plenty of managers happy to throw their players, the officials, or their own backroom staff under the proverbial bus if switches the attention.

Wenger, on the other hand, even defends his players when they probably don’t even warrant it.

“There have been times over the last few seasons when he could have really attacked us in front of the press,” Arteta admitted.

“Maybe we expected him to.

“But the way he behaved and the way he defended the club when we were really under pressure is something I admire.”

The players have their chance to respond and repay the manager once again at Selhurst Park on Sunday, with a better performance undoubtedly required.


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Usually found watching or talking about English or German football. Interested in tactics (but often despairing a lack of them). Favourite players: Bergkamp, Arteta, Özil