Arsenal full-back Andre Santos is adamant the Gunners must appease the club’s supporters by winning a trophy this season ‘no matter what’.
The north Londoners have failed to claim any silverware since their FA Cup triumph in 2005 with manager Arsene Wenger revealing at the club’s Annual General Meeting last month that Champions League qualification remains the club’s priority.
Former Fenerbahce star Santos, however, believes winning a trophy during the 2012-13 campaign is paramount as the club’s fans are expecting an end to the seven-year hoodoo.
He said: “We need to win a trophy this season, no matter what. This is what our fans are expecting from us.
“We need to improve every day, keep working hard every day to have a chance to play well. The team has had a few problems as we have had many new players and we are trying to find our identity.”
The 29-year-old left-back was embroiled in controversy after swapping shirts with Robin van Persie during the Gunners’ 2-1 defeat to Manchester United earlier this month and, after having apologised, Santos insists he never envisaged the incident would receive such heightened attention.
He added: “Of course, every player exchanges jerseys, I would have never imagined that this would have created such a big roar. I have apologised to the Arsenal fans.”
Asked whether he felt he had a future at the Emirates Stadium, Santos revealed he is desperate to see out the remainder of his contract at Arsenal, despite suggestions of a move abroad.
“I hope so. My family is adapted here and I hope I can fulfil my contract until the end,” he added.
“My position is left-back, however if the coach decides to put me in a different position, I will help the team in any way necessary. Arsene Wenger is a great coach, a teacher, and it is a pleasure to have him as manager.”
Wenger’s side face Montpellier in the Champions League on Wednesday knowing anything but a win could dent their chances of reaching the last 16 of Europe’s premier club competition, with the Gunners just a point above third-placed Olympiakos in Group B.
Olivier Giroud is set to line up against his former club off the back of a run of five goals in as many games and Santos hailed the France international, insisting his side can get the right result in their penultimate group game.
“He (Giroud) is a great striker and will bring a lot of happiness to the fans in Arsenal,” Santos said.
“The Champions League is very competitive and our first game was tough. There are no easy games but I hope we can win this one as well.
“There is no single player at Montpellier that we need to worry about, we need to worry about Montpellier as a team. If we do our homework, play well defensively and take care of business up front, we will be okay.”