Former Arsenal favourite Bob Wilson believes the players are more to blame for their hammering at Bayern Munich than under-fire boss Arsene Wenger.
There have been fresh calls for the 67-year-old to end his long-term tenure with the Gunners in the wake of a 5-1 Champions League humiliation at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.
The result all-but confirms Wenger's side will fall at the round-of-16 hurdle for the seventh successive year, while two defeats in their last three Premier League games has seen them fall behind in the race for a first domestic crown since 2004.
With Wenger's contract up in the summer, the number of supporters wanting change at the helm continues to grow, but Wilson told Press Association Sport the players have to shoulder a lot of the responsibility for the poor showing in Bavaria.
"Today, sadly, there are lots of new voices who would still be pro-Arsene who will be for his going, and they will be added to those who are already screaming for his departure," he said.
"It is very sad and unfair in many ways, but the bottom line is that the blame is not with Arsene, it is with his players.
"The irony is, individually they are a good squad when they are all fit, it is one of the better squads. The real blame comes back on them.
"The old club crest that I used to wear, the famous old saying that was ground into us was 'Victoria Concordia Crescit' which means 'Victory grows through harmony' - they did not have that harmony.
"The players need to take a long, hard look at themselves; they should be thinking about not just themselves but also the club but also particularly about the fans, the fans are losing faith and their blame is directed at the manager. At the same time they should be pointing the finger at the players.
"I hope the players realise they are playing for one of the great football clubs, I'm hoping they realise how much they are letting themselves, their families, the club and the fans down."
While insisting the players must share in the criticism, Wilson did concede that the result could spell the beginning of the end of Wenger's 20 years in charge and warned any potential replacement will be walking into a tough job.
"I'm scared that this could tip him over the edge," Wilson, speaking ahead of the London Football Awards, said.
"He is a hugely intelligent man and it hurts to see him at present, it hurts when ex-professionals question his ability and his understanding of the game.
"His longevity is now becoming more and more of an issue when things go badly, it is used against him and he might just think that enough is enough now.
"It is a very crucial period for the club at this time. You have to accept as a football club when you have greatness there, there is a massive danger of results being worse and the pressure on anyone coming in and following Arsene Wenger is massive."
Bayern scored three goals within 15 minutes of Arsenal skipper Laurent Koscielny being forced off through injury and Wilson believes the squad may be struggling to address their alarming drop in form due to a lack of leaders on the pitch.
"I don't think there is a Tony Adams, Frank McLintock or Patrick Vieira-type player in the current squad," he said.
"You are almost talking about three individuals who would happily man-handle you to shake you up.
"They lost Koscielny but he doesn't lead in that way even though he is a very good player.
"Alexis Sanchez plays in a way and has a clear visual way of how much he cares, and the players say he is amazing and they should look at that and think 'am I doing enough?'
"He wears his heart on his sleeve. Thierry Henry played in that way, leading by example, Dennis Bergkamp was a silent assassin but if he had to stick his foot in he would stick his foot in."
Wilson did point out that Bayern were very impressive in dismantling Arsenal, whose next challenge is a tricky FA Cup fifth-round trip to face non-league Sutton
And Wilson feels Wenger will have to rethink his team selection following recent results in the Premier League and in Europe.
"Whatever happens he has to put out a really strong side," he added.
"There are some really good young players at the club but it is important to win this game, and win well.
"Whether they will make the top four remains to be seen but the team that plays at Sutton on an artificial pitch, in strange surroundings, has to be a strong team, it is the only trophy Arsene has a chance to win this season now."
:: Bob Wilson speaking ahead of the London Football Awards, March 2 - londonfootballawards.org
:: The awards will be raising funds for Willow, the only national charity providing special days for seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds, and founded by Bob and his wife, Megs, in memory of their daughter.