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Wenger calls for strong, united Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes it is important that he stays true to the club’s philosophy despite a poor week of results.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes it is important that he stays true to the club’s philosophy despite a poor week of results.

Wenger’s position at Arsenal came under question again this week after his side bowed out of the FA Cup to Blackburn and suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Bayern Munich in the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League.

With Arsenal now rank underdogs to progress in their tie against the Bundesliga giants, the only competition they can still win is the English Premier League.

And they are 21 points behind table-toppers Manchester United in fifth position, meaning the club’s trophy drought – which stretches back to 2005 – is likely to continue.

But a defiant Wenger said his players need to stay strong and focused despite their recent failures.

“What we need is to be united and strong and to not be destabilised by people who have strong opinions after one game,” Wenger said ahead of Saturday’s home clash against Aston Villa.

“I believe that what is important is that the club keeps to within the guidelines we have and do not change direction every time we lose a big game, because that would be a disaster.

“A bad period within a club is always a good opportunity to show how united and strong you are, and we have a good history of that at Arsenal.

“We are in a position where we cannot afford to drop points and we’ll go into the game with a huge desire to overcome the disappointments that we have recently experienced.”

Wenger said it was not his job to judge the level of scrutiny placed on him and that his contract – which expires next year – would not be decided until 2014.

He did speak of the financial constraints placed on the club in recent years, with the design and build of Emirates Stadium impacting his ability to sign as many players as he would have liked.

Wenger has also watched Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri leave, but despite that, has seen his side qualify for the Champions League every season.

“I prepared myself for some suffering when we moved into the Emirates because I knew we were under restricted resources for a while and the main target was to always be in the UEFA Champions League because we had to pay back our stadium,” he said.

“But did I expect us to go out against Blackburn Rovers (in the FA Cup) and lose to Bayern? Honestly, no.”

Arsenal are unbeaten in their past four Premier League matches.

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Fri 22 February, 2013
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