Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says Arsene Wenger should not be used as a scapegoat for Arsenal's disappointing season so far, insisting the players are to blame.
The 21-year-old starred in his side's 4-1 win against Newcastle last Saturday, easing the pressure on Wenger after the Frenchman was abused by some of his own supporters after the 3-2 defeat at Stoke the week previous.
While Oxlade-Chamberlain understands the fans' frustrations over Arsenal's indifferent form, he feels the criticism aimed at Wenger is unwarranted.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (left) has backed under-fire Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
He told the Evening Standard: 'It's a hard one for me to say what I would say to the fans.
'I understand their frustration. I would definitely say that and they are completely entitled to their own opinion. They pay good money to follow us around and support their club.
'I am sure they have supported us for a number of years so they are definitely entitled to their opinion and I can understand their frustration. But I wouldn't put that on the manager. We have to stand up ourselves as players.
'On that day [at Stoke], it wasn't the manager's fault we went 3-0 down like we did in the first half. It was us as a group of players — we were not at the required level.
'On that day, it would have been harsh for a fan to completely blame our manager. As players, we are adults and we need to stand up and take some of that blame ourselves.'