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Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Thursday, 23 October 2008 18:06 UK

Impatient fans disappoint Wenger

By David Ornstein

Arsene Wenger
Wenger has urged supporters to share his belief in the young Gunners

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has told the club's supporters they have failed to show his side sufficient support.

Trailing at half-time to Everton on Saturday, Arsenal were booed off at the break at the Emirates Stadium before they eventually won the game 3-1.

"I don't feel that from the media or the supporters this team gets the support that it deserves," Wenger told the club's annual general meeting.

"This team will deliver but the younger you are the more you need support."

Last season Emmanuel Eboue and Philippe Senderos, now on loan at AC Milan, were given a hard time by Arsenal's fans, while this season Kolo Toure and William Gallas, who are both out injured, have been heavily criticised for perceived aerial weakness.

The Arsenal Supporters Trust agreed with the manager's sentiments on the atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium.

606: DEBATE
A statement said: "The Arsenal Supporters' Trust shares Arsene Wenger's view that the matchday atmosphere at the Emirates sometimes needs galvanising.

"Sometimes Arsenal's fans forget just how young our players are given their quality and that they need encouragement on the pitch."

At the club's shareholders meeting in May, Wenger said he was concerned over the way the team had defended high balls last season and made a promise to address that weakness in the summer transfer window.

Arsenal's French manager did sign Mikael Silvestre from Manchester United in the summer, but the winning goals for Fulham and Hull in Arsenal's two Premier League defeats this season came from set-pieces.

Even in Tuesday's impressive 5-2 away win over Fenerbahce on Tuesday, Arsenal again looked vulnerable at the back with Alex Song and Silvestre - deputising for Gallas and Toure - struggling when the Turkish side hit long passes behind the back of the defence.

Arsenal also failed to deal with a first-half free-kick that ended with ended with Silvestre putting through his own net for Fenerbahce's first.

Even so, Arsenal's side had an average age of 22 in Istanbul as they recorded their biggest away win in Europe in five years.

"Last year we were very close to delivering the Championship and I can understand that in the end the supporters were disappointed because we did not win it after leading for so long," added Wenger.

"It was very disappointing. But this is such a young team and we have to be intelligent. Instead of showing a team of such strength and such quality resentment, we have to get behind the team, more than ever.

I want to get this team to deliver this year, not next year, this year

Arsene Wenger
"I'm a great believer in the quality of these young players and in the quality of this team. But I ask you as well to be proud of them and to show them the support at a moment when it is vital.

"I think this team needs a stronger guide than ever and I want to be this guide. I want to get this team to deliver this year, not next year, this year."

Wenger, who was sat alongside new board member Stan Kroenke, also predicted that Arsenal's side in the future could be predominantly of English players produced by the club's youth academy.

"The structure of the team we have built is fantastic but very young. That means tomorrow we will be better than yesterday and also that nothing dramatic can happen to this club.

"I agree we had for years a large foreign influx but behind we now have young English talents who we have worked hard with and they will be ready in one or two years to produce results for the club."

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see also
Arsenal 3-1 Everton
18 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Fenerbahce 2-5 Arsenal
21 Oct 08 |  Europe
Pearce impressed by Ramsey talent
15 Oct 08 |  Internationals


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