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Arsene Wenger asks his players to silence the critics on the pitch

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has asked his side to show their ability and silence the critics with their on-field performances ahead of the crucial week that the Frenchman believes could shape their season.

The Gunners entertain Blackburn at the Emirates on Saturday for the FA Cup 5th round game before German giants Bayern Munich land in London for the Champions League round of 16, first leg. The week ends with Aston Villa travelling to Arsenal in the Premier League.

Wenger and his team have been criticized all season for the club’s 7-year running trophy drought and the situation they find themselves in as they lie outside the Champions League spots. However, the Gunners boss has asked his squad to answer their critics on the pitch.

Talking to ESPN, Wenger said, “Of course these next games will define our season, that is always the case in late February and March when you have big games coming one after the next. I believe we are a better team today than we were in October and November, but I can talk and talk. What we need to do is show it on the football pitch.”

Bayern are being considered the favorites against Arsenal but Wenger was hopeful his team can produce the form similar to 2006 when the Gunners knocked out Real Madrid en route to the final. Wenger added, “I am convinced we have a real chance against Bayern and we have to try and take it, but we will need to be at our best. When we went to Real Madrid a few years ago they had Zidane, Beckham, Raul, Guti. We were fourth or fifth in the league and no one said we had a chance, but we beat them over there in Madrid. So it’s just down to us to believe we can do it.”