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Per Mertesacker thinks Arsene Wenger’s farewell was “the players’ fault” and that he “contributed” to the Frenchman’s departure.
Wenger left the Emirates Stadium in May after the conclusion of the Premier League season and was replaced by former PSG coach Unai Emery.
There had been persistant speculation over Wenger’s future for several seasons and Mertesacker has said that the players must take some reponsibility.
“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 German website Spox.
“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.”
When asked if Wenger’s resignation came too late, Mertesacker replied: “No. Not a second too early or too late. When the news of his departure was finally out, the atmosphere changed.
“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.”