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Roma fans dreaming of title

AS Roma
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Vermaelen supports beleaguered Wenger

Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has become the latest high profile member of the Gunners dressing room to offer his unequivocal backing to manager Arsene Wenger.

• Blog: Are you sitting comfortably?

Last Saturday's FA Cup defeat against Blackburn was followed up by an unusually angry performance from Wenger in his press conference on Monday. A Champions League humbling took place at the hands of Bayern Munich the next day, making this a week that Arsenal will be eager to put behind them.

Amid the mood of despair, Vermaelen has leaped to the defence of his manager, insisting calls for Wenger to bring down the curtain on his 16-year reign as Arsenal manager are misguided.

"Wenger is the right man for this club and we are all behind him," stated the Arsenal skipper. "He has done a lot for this club and still does a lot of hard work for us. In football everybody thinks really short term, they don't look at the long term.

"Just because it's not going well at the moment, it doesn't mean you don't stand behind him. We are disappointed but we have to look at ourselves and stick together in difficult times.

"We have to show it on the pitch. The results are not going for us, it's quite difficult but we will work hard with him to get the results back."

Vermaelen went on to urge the Arsenal supporters to rally behind the team in their hour of need, with Saturday's Premier League game against struggling Aston Villa now a game Wenger and his side dare not lose.

"Of course I can see why the fans are frustrated and sometimes you're frustrated as a player as well, but you have to stick together because need each other," added Vermaelen. "We need the fans because they belong to this club. We have to stand behind each other. That's the only thing we can do.

"We hurt as players as well. We don't want to lose. We try our best and work hard to get results. That's why we're playing at this level. It hurts us to lose games."

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