Arsene Wenger admitted his Arsenal side lacked a championship mentality and were finishing the season looking "frail" after the last-minute 2-1 defeat by Bolton Wanderers that has effectively ended any hope of catching Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table.
Arsenal are nine points behind the leaders with only four games to go and Wenger is staring at the possibility of a sixth consecutive season without a trophy. The Frenchman said he would not change his philosophy but he also admitted Arsenal had shortcomings that he should have addressed before.
"I feel the players had an outstanding attitude all season and are not to blame," Wenger said. "If someone is to blame, it is me. I pick the team, I choose the players.”
Wenger's frustrations were exacerbated because of the number of scoring opportunities his team passed up in the game against Bolton.
"It's hard to lose a game like that," Wenger said.
"If you look at the way we conceded the goals, it's hard to swallow. We gave everything. Our attitude was fantastic and we had chances to win it. But we could have taken nine points [from the past three games] and we have taken two and that's a massive difference. We have to look at some of these things but we do not have to change the way we play.
"If you can convince me those principles are wrong, I'm ready. However, I feel we are right to try to play football the proper way. When you don't win, your principles are questioned but I have the distance to know what is right and wrong. If something is wrong, it is not the problem of playing football.”