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Arsene Wenger's reaction ahead of today's "Time for change. Arsenal is stale, fresh approach needed" protest


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says everyone has to "stick together" as the Gunners prepare to end yet another trophyless campaign.

Fans are being asked to display banners reading: "Time for change. Arsenal is stale - fresh approach needed" during today's home game against Norwich City in their attempt to have the Frenchman sacked and replaced before the start of the new season.

But the 66-year-old has urged the fans to support the team as he refused to blame the players for missing out on the title.

"It is very frustrating because we were in a position for a long, long time where we could compete for the title," Wenger explained.

"In the last three years we have won the FA Cup and the Community Shield [in 2014 and 2015] and finished third in the league. We wanted to go a step higher up and win the league, which was possible. That's why we are frustrated.

"I can understand the frustration, because nobody is more frustrated than we are. But [we need] to fight no matter what happens, master all kinds of situations and protect and go for what we can achieve. Our disappointment has not to go too far.

"Some people questioned the team's character. I tell you something: this team has character and attitude. People… should not question the character of these players, because they are exceptional characters.

"We are disappointed but we have to fight. We have not to forget that in football you go down very quickly and you come up very slowly. We have to stick together.

"We lost the championship at home against the lower teams. We have to realise that away from home we are championship winners. At home, against the smaller teams, we dropped the points. We are top of the league in [matches between] the top teams.

"We want to add what is needed. But as well this club has special values and one of the values I've experienced over the years is to stick together and support the team. There's no success otherwise.

"I can understand the frustration of our fans but despite that we want to support our team and the best chance you can give to a team is to be behind them."

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