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Page last updated at 19:59 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 20:59 UK

Wenger critics dismay Hill-Wood

Arsene Wenger
Wenger has been linked with a move to Real Madrid

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has hit out at shareholders who criticised Gunners boss Arsene Wenger during a question and answer session on 14 May.

Wenger, who has not won a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup, had his tactics, team selection and transfer policy attacked.

"Frankly, some of the questions were quite disgraceful," Hill-Wood told the Daily Mirror.

"We, and he, kindly agreed to have this meeting and whether we have another one is a moot point."

Wenger has been in charge of the Gunners since 1996 and is the most successful manager in the club's history.

The forum was held at the Emirates Stadium in the wake of the club's Champions League semi-final defeat by Manchester United, which confirmed a fourth trophyless season for the north Londoners, and Wenger was involved in some heated exchanges with disgruntled fans.


His young side were accused of lacking backbone, defender Mikael Silvestre, 31, was branded "geriatric" and a fan was applauded for saying striker Emmanuel Adebayor should be sold in the summer.

Hill-Wood added: "There you have the most successful manager in our history and two or three of the shareholders made the most negative and somewhat hostile and sarcastic comments, which I think were completely out of order.

"I was very upset by the questions, I have to say.

"Arsene was very diplomatic and honest in his answers and deserves great credit for that but I wouldn't have been anything like as polite if they had asked me."

Reports this week have suggested Wenger, whose contract runs until 2011, is becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of support given to him and his players by Arsenal fans.

The 59-year-old appeared to hint that he could be tempted by a move to Real Madrid after he refused to rule it out when quizzed on French television.

But Hill-Wood is confident Wenger will stay, explaining: "Arsene is here and under contract and I am sure that is how it is going to remain.

"I think he is a big enough man to accept that a few people are not prepared to be reasonable.

"I think we all have to accept criticism but you expect it to be reasonably constructive, rather than destructive."

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Adebayor frustrated by Arsenal fans
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Wenger pleads for fans' patience
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Wenger will have money to invest
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Wenger vows to strengthen squad
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Wenger rueful after 'worst night'
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Wenger transfer policy under fire
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Arsenal need to strengthen - Dein
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