Former Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri offered a staunch defence of Arsene Wenger and believes the club's players should shoulder the blame for their recent slump.
Arsenal once again appear too far behind to make an impression in the Premier League title race and suffered a chastening 5-1 defeat at Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League.
They are through to face non-league Lincoln City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, but there remains palpable discontent among the Emirates Stadium fanbase with their long-serving manager.
Wenger is out of contract at the end of this season and yet to make a decision on his future, but Nasri feels he has unfairly become a scapegoat after more than 20 years at the helm.
"You cannot criticise a guy like that, it's impossible," he told Sky Sports.
"Arsenal was a big club but he made it even bigger. I just think people need to be fair.
"It is not his fault if Arsenal do not have success in the league. It is the players who do not get the results."
Nasri joined Arsenal for Marseille in 2008 before departing in a protracted 2011 transfer to Manchester City.
The 29-year-old is on a season-long loan at Sevilla and feels the careers enjoyed by himself and others to have played under Wenger are evidence of his enduring coaching qualities.
"It is hard for me to say something about him. I owe him a lot of things," he added.
"He brought me to the Premier League and I became a better player.
"All the players who have played with him, when they left Arsenal they became better players.
"So I don't think it is him. There is the board, the players - there are a lot of things at Arsenal."