Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann is of the opinion that his former side only have themselves to blame for their fate in the Premier League this season.
The Gunners drew against Crystal Palace at home on Sunday and effectively ended their chances of securing the league title which has eluded them for over a decade.
BEST CHANCE EVER
The German ace believes despite Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur having a brilliant campaign, the momentum was with Arsenal before taking a startling turn since the new year.
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Speaking at the Laureus Sports Awards in Berlin, Lehmann was quoted by The Sun, saying: “Of course they’ve thrown it away. It’s a fact. The table is completely different to how it was on January 1.”
“I think this time it’s a little bit more disappointing than before because everybody thought Leicester could be caught at the end of the season. They can but unfortunately by Spurs and not by Arsenal. If you’re an Arsenal supporter there have been better times.” he continued.
“Of course I’m a little bit sad. It’s Arsenal and the Arsenal when I played there was probably a little bit different to the one it is now.”
The World Cup runner-up was a member of ‘The Invincibles’ when the Gunners secured top honours in 2003-04, his debut season at the club.
He cites the flaws in defence being the main cause for their downfall, but insists it is the duty of the whole team to defend rather than be dependent on just the backline to uphold the attacks of the opposition.
“From my experience defending in modern football is the responsibility of the whole team. Arsenal can’t say 'oh the defence, the defence.' You need to have the right balance and the right positioning on the pitch.
“You can’t really blame the striker for not scoring when he doesn’t get any deliveries. Probably the offensive guys don’t track back really hard.”
Asked if the lack of quality recruitments had been the issue that has hindered their progress, the shot-stopper's response suggested Arsene Wenger alone cannot be blamed for their dismal campaign.
“I only know that Wenger was the most successful manager in world football at buying and selling. Has he lost it? Well Cech was a good buy and if it was so easy then everyone could do it. You can’t get me into any criticism of Wenger.
“I’m not on the Arsenal board so can’t comment on his future. I’d prefer to see them winning the league as would everyone who’s involved with Arsenal.”
TOP CLUBS FAILING
The north London giants had the best chance of a league triumph with Chelsea struggling all season and both Manchester outfits scrapping with each other to make the top four.
After picking up just two wins from their last five Wenger's side are currently in fourth with 60 points from 33 games.
Despite the manager encouraging his squad to fight until the end, realistically they can only hope to confirm a Champions League spot with the title possibility almost out of reach.