WOJCIECH SZCZESNY maintains it is “ridiculous” to suggest Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has run out of ideas and should be replaced — hailing him as “the best manager in the world”.
The Gunners may have beaten Premier League leaders Manchester United 1-0 at Emirates Stadium on Sunday, but their hopes of a first trophy since 2005 have long gone.
Some critics and supporters alike have questioned whether Wenger, who transformed the Gunners since taking charge in 1996, remains the right man for the job as Arsenal look to keep up with their big-spending rivals.
However, 21-year-old goalkeeper Szczesny insists Arsenal’s future is very much in the right hands.
“It is ridiculous. If you ask any of the players, they will stand by the manager,” the young Pole declared.
“He built this thing from nothing and I believe he is the best manager in the world. He puts his reputation on the line with young players.”
Wenger’s continued faith in youth failed to deliver once again in 2011 as his side suffered a shock Carling Cup final defeat to Birmingham at Wembley, which was followed by swift exits from the Champions League and the FA Cup before a costly run of draws then defeat at Bolton put pay to any title hopes.
It was a mix-up between Szczesny and defender Laurent Koscielny which gifted Birmingham striker Obafemi Martins a late winner at Wembley — a moment from which Wenger believes his squad never really recovered.
Szczesny believes such deep frustrations can only make the squad stronger. “We all take individual responsibility for our mistakes, and everyone has played their part in this season’s disappointments,” he said.
“We just have to take it as a team. You can’t blame the boss.”
Szczesny added: “There is a lot of frustration, to see other teams fighting for the title. It is frustrating not to be in the side that wins the championship, but we have shown we have the quality. It is just a matter of whether we can step up next season.’’
Gunners midfielder Aaron Ramsey, meanwhile, has dedicated his winning goal against United to all the people who helped him get back onto the pitch after an horrific broken leg — and vowed to make up for lost time next season.
The 20-year-old Wales captain spent nine months in rehabilitation after suffering a double leg fracture following a tackle by Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross, and had loan spells with former club Cardiff and Nottingham Forest to help build up his match fitness.
The United game was only his second Barclays Premier League start of the season for Arsenal after captain Cesc Fabregas had been ruled out with a thigh injury, but the youngster produced a composed display which was capped when he slotted home the winner 11 minutes into the second half. Ramsey now hopes, with his nightmare firmly behind him, that next season will prove a breakthrough campaign. “Scoring the goal was a special moment for me. This was worth the wait and so many people have helped me through the tough time I had,” Ramsey said.
“Hopefully this will give them the same satisfaction as it does me. After these remaining games, hopefully I can come back and have a good pre-season, and then go again next year.”
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