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Saturday 18 August 2018

Van Persie: We can't shy away from crisis

Arsenal captain Robin van Persie insists looking for scapegoats will serve no purpose as the Gunners aim to resurrect their Premier League campaign against Bolton.

Beleaguered manager Arsene Wenger is set to recall his senior players tomorrow having selected a youthful squad for the midweek League Cup third-round win over Shrewsbury.

Wenger has found himself the subject of intense scrutiny following the worst start under his tenure, which culminated in last weekend's 4-3 loss at Blackburn -- where Arsenal had led 2-1 at half-time, only to press the self-destruct button when scoring two own goals as they collapsed to a third defeat in five league games.

Van Persie accepts there has to be an improved collective effort if the Gunners are to move forward.

"The facts are we went in front twice and didn't defend well enough thereafter," the Dutch forward said.

"It is strange because in earlier games, Udinese being a classic example, we had managed to do it -- fighting for a good result and keeping it.

"Now we have to show people we can do it week in, week out.

"Yes, we were a bit unlucky at Ewood Park, but I am someone who believes you bring luck to yourselves -- and scoring two own goals is not down to bad luck.

"We don't blame individuals, but we have to look a bit more closely at things."



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Van Persie, though, was also quick to maintain all was not yet lost at Emirates Stadium.

He added: "It is important that we stay positive.

"That can be hard because everyone is frustrated.

"We realise that this is our worst start in the league for a while, but we have to stay together, be strong and make sure not to hide or become introverted.

"Games like Saturday's happen, but we must not go into our shell.

"We should be proud of who we are and aware that we are only five games in with so much still to play for."

Arsenal look set to be without Yossi Benayoun tomorrow, and potentially next week's Champions League clash with Olympiakos, after the Israeli revealed on Twitter he had picked up an injury against the Shrews.

The on-loan Chelsea midfielder said: "I am very disappointed as I have a strain and will be out for a week or so."

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