On blame skipping two levels
How do you blame the players if you’re a GM? They’re your players, each of them the product of a long series of decisions that resulted in them being on the roster over a hundred other possibilities. No matter what the cause, either you’re responsible or the manager’s responsible.
I gave the manager the wrong players: my fault
I gave the manager the right players and they’re not doing well: manager’s fault
I gave the manager the wrong players and created a losing atmosphere where they underachieve: my fault
I gave the manager the right players to put together a winning, yay-chemsitry team, but they act like losers and lose: manager’s fault
If the players suck and the manager’s doing a great job, then the players sucking is the GM’s fault. If the players all looked like they’d do great but it turns out they’re all head cases who can’t work together, the GM didn’t do a good evaluating them (and the manager didn’t do a good job coping). There’s no way that an entire roster of 25 players came together spontaneously without intervention of the front office and decided to play horribly without management noticing or having some chance to influence the outcome.
And even if the GM put together a perfect team and the manager screwed it all up, the GM hired the manager.