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Is La Masia losing its power?

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Van Persie: Arsenal's season not over

Robin van Persie has called for Arsenal to stick together, maintaining that they can still make a success of the current campaign.

Much has been made of the fall-out from the Gunners' 2-1 home defeat by Manchester United last Sunday, which left them five points behind Chelsea after a third successive Premier League loss.

Manager Arsene Wenger was jeered by some fans for his substitution of livewire Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the ineffectual Andrey Arshavin.

Captain van Persie was quick to play down suggestions he had questioned the manager's judgement in an apparent negative reaction to the switch, which was made because Oxlade-Chamberlain - who set up the Dutchman's equaliser - had been hampered by a calf problem.

Van Persie went as far as to post a statement on Facebook, in which he issued a rallying call.

''There are plenty of games still left, we have recovered from reverses like this before and we will win again, so anybody writing us off is making a mistake,'' he said. ''This could still be a good season for us. We have the FA Cup to look forward to and the Champions League.

''We will all be giving 100% to make sure we bring one of those trophies home, hopefully both of them. Let's all stick together and fight.''

Meanwhile, Barcelona-born Ignasi Miquel is ready to answer the call again and slot in at left-back against Aston Villa.

Miquel, 19, has come up through the youth ranks at Arsenal, captaining the reserves before being handed his first-team debut in last season's FA Cup fifth-round tie at Leyton Orient.

The young Spaniard, who has been asked to operate as a make-shift left-back, is hoping an extended cup run can fulfil a life-long ambition.

''It is a dream to play at Wembley in a big final. First, we have to go step by step, but obviously if we can get to Wembley it would be a big, big thing for us,'' Miquel said.

''We have not won a title for quite long, so it would be great for us - but our next game is on Sunday against Aston Villa and we must focus on that. If we keep working and stay mentally strong we can get through it.''

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