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Oct, 25, 2012

Wenger braced for hostile AGM

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and the club's board are set to face some tough questions from supporters during Thursday's annual general meeting.

• Brewin: Same old problems remain
• Blog: Arsenal fail to react

The timing of the AGM is not ideal for Arsenal, following back-to-back defeats in the Premier League against Norwich City and in the Champions League on Wednesday night at home to Schalke.

Last weekend's loss at Carrow Road leaves the Gunners trailing league leaders Chelsea by ten points, while a failure to create meaningful goalscoring chances for a second game running during midweek was further cause for concern.

Wenger has come in for criticism over recent years for what is a perceived failure to significantly bolster his squad with proven talent, and the sale of Robin van Persie to Manchester United in the summer has only intensified the scrutiny.

The Frenchman, owner Stan Kroenke and chief executive Ivan Gazidis must now brace themselves for what is likely to be some stringent questioning from supporters and shareholders over the club's direction on Thursday morning.

Arsenal have not lifted a trophy since they defeated Manchester United in the 2005 FA Cup final, while they have since seen the likes of the Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas and the aforementioned Van Persie seek pastures new.

Assistant manager Steve Bould oversaw proceedings at Emirates Stadium versus Schalke, as Wenger was serving his touchline ban, and the former defender said fatigue was in part to blame for their performance.

"It is frustrating, of course. We've not played anywhere like we can," he said. "We lack a bit of confidence for whatever reason. A lack of chances is not what we are accustomed to and we need to correct that.

"I don't know why that is. Coming off the international break we haven't performed. In the West Ham game [a 3-1 victory] we looked really sharp and confident and since the internationals we have looked jaded."

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