Jack Wilshere has called on the Arsenal fans to “stick with us” after the opening-day defeat to Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Olivier Giroud put the home side ahead in the sixth minute but the visitors would respond with a brace from Christian Benteke and a breakaway strike from Antonio Luna.

It was a deeply disappointing start for everyone connected with the Club but Wilshere feels there is a need for unity ahead of a vital week for Arsène Wenger’s side.

Villa are a tough team but we are not happy with our performance. We have to look at ourselves and pick ourselves up for the qualifier in the week

Jack Wilshere

“It is understandable,” said the midfielder. “People pay their money and we have to put in a better performance in order to win games. We want to win trophies so the message is – stick with us, it is a long season.

“Villa are a tough team but we are not happy with our performance. We have to look at ourselves and pick ourselves up for the [Champions League] qualifier in the week.”

The crucial moment was Villa’s second penalty award on the hour. Replays suggested Laurent Koscielny got his foot to the ball before the sprinting Gabriel Agbonlahor. However the Frenchman got a yellow card after the penalty was awarded and picked up a second booking in the minutes that followed.

“From my perspective it was a good tackle,” said Wilshere. “He got the ball. But the referee is the one with the whistle and he has to make the big decision. I am sure they will even themselves out over the season.

“Of course the red card did not help. At 2-1 we were still in the game but then we gave away a cheap goal.

“We felt good going into today and we started well but we dropped the level when we should have maintained it.

“Still, it is a long season and we will have to go again now.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Richard Clarke 17 Aug 2013