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By ESPN Staff

Van Persie calls on team-mates to stick together

Robin van Persie maintains Arsenal must stick to their guns no matter what criticism may be thrown at the club - and declared Arsene Wenger's young side will deliver.

When the Dutchman arrived from Feyenoord in the summer of 2004, the Gunners had just completed their unbeaten top-flight campaign and looked set for a period of domination.

However, since then, only an FA Cup triumph has followed as Arsenal - who did reach the 2006 Champions League final - found themselves overtaken by Chelsea and Manchester United.

This season, both current Premier League leaders Liverpool and Aston Villa have also moved ahead of the Emirates Stadium club in the race for the title.

However, Van Persie, 25, insists under the guidance of Wenger, who has now been at the helm for more than a decade, this side can go on to achieve greatness.

"I feel the same as the fans, I want it as badly as them and it can be frustrating when it doesn't happen,'' said Van Persie, who has hit five goals in his last seven games.

"I am a positive person though, and I think positively, and I think the fans should do that as well.

"We did not win everything in the past couple of years, but we are doing absolutely everything we can to change it.''

Van Persie added in the Arsenal matchday programme: "The main thing [in 2009] is to finally get silverware, but there is a clear picture here of how to achieve that.

"We need to stick to it - because this is how Arsenal is. The Arsenal way is in our system now, it grows into you, and I don't think it's clever to change your philosophy.

"Things take time, and you often see clubs sacking managers for fun, and they don't get anywhere. You need a long-term strategy.

"At Arsenal, the players have time to grow into the system, and if we stick to our principles we will get silverware.''

Wenger feels the team is showing signs of renewed confidence following an inconsistent opening to the campaign which saw them beaten five times in the Premier League before Christmas.

Victory over Bolton extended the Gunners' undefeated league run to seven games, although they remain outside the top four, with the gap on Liverpool now down to eight points.

With captain Cesc Fabregas and England winger Theo Walcott both sidelined by injury, Wenger admits he would like to bring in at least one fresh face before the transfer window closes.

The most likely candidate continues to be Russian playmaker Andrei Arshavin, with an improved bid of £12million said to be on offer to Zenit St Petersburg for the wantaway 27-year-old.


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