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Exclusive: Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham calls for unity in message to club staff

Exclusive: Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham calls for unity in message to club staff

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rsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham has called on the club to stick together ahead of a crucial run of matches this month.

In a message sent to all Arsenal staff last night after the transfer window shut, and seen by Standard Sport, Venkatesham told employees to “stay positive” and said he was “confident we can and will come out fighting”.

Arsenal took their summer spending beyond the £140million mark with the £16m deadline-day signing of Japan defender Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna last night.

The club-record spend for a single transfer window is a show of faith in manager Mikel Arteta, but the pressure is now on the Spaniard to provide a return on that extravagant outlay.

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Arsenal are bottom of the Premier League after three defeats in their first three games and have made their worst start to a season in 67 years.

The Gunners host Norwich in a bottom-of-the table clash on Saturday week before a vital run of fixtures against Burnley, AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup, north London rivals Tottenham and Brighton.

In his message, Venkatesham said: “Of course, I write this update against the backdrop of a hugely disappointing start to the season. I know how tough this is for all of you, both as supporters and employees, with criticism coming from all angles.

“At times like this it is critical we stick together and stay positive. We have a very important run of games coming up after the international break and I’m confident we can and will come out fighting.”

Fans have questioned the “project” at Arsenal, but Venkatesham has explained the club’s transfer strategy of signing promising players in their early twenties with room for improvement.

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“Our approach for this window was framed by fully recognising that we are not where we want to be on the pitch — finishing eighth last season, with no European football for the first time in many years,” he added.

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