Interview

‘Now we need to do a job just for him’

Laurent Koscielny says the players are determined to send Arsene Wenger off on a high with victory in the Europe.

The boss will be stepping down at the end of the season - his 22nd in charge - and will finish his reign with a cup final if we see off Atletico Madrid in the Europa League.
 
Koscielny was signed by Wenger in the summer of 2010 and, like so many of the squad, was given his chance at the top level by our manager.

“I think the boss has done a great job for this club and he’s still not finished,” Koscielny told Arsenal.com. “The book is nearly finished but we have seven finals to play and we want to give him a happy end.
 
“He gave the chance for other players to play for this club and believes in us so now we need to do a job just for him. What he did for many years for the club is unbelievable so all the fans, all the people who work in this club and all the players, they have a lot of respect for him. He’s a great coach and a great man.
 
“We didn't hit the target we wanted at the beginning of the season and we understand the fans and that they are not happy, but today we need to show our respect for one person who did not create, but helped to build the club into what it is now - one of the biggest clubs in the world.
 
“So now we just need to stay together and respect it.”

Wenger’s penultimate Premier League home game as our manager ended in a 4-1 win over West Ham United, with Alex Lacazette grabbing two late goals.

“When you are a new player [like Alex] you need time,” said Koscielny. “Sometimes it’s a few weeks and sometimes it’s a few months but I think he’s more confident with the squad and in our dressing room.
 
“He’s speaking better English and I think he has more confidence during training sessions. He scores so many goals and as a striker they just need to score! Today he played well, he scored, but his movement and passing was very good. He needs to keep the joy of what he did today for the next few games.”