'We need to give boss the send off he deserves'

For as long as Jack Wilshere has known Arsenal, he’s associated the club with Arsène Wenger.

During his 21-year spell as our manager, the boss has won three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and seven Community Shields, and has given a number of academy graduates their first-team debuts. 

Wilshere was the 136th star to play under Wenger, and we caught up with him after Friday morning’s announcement. 

on his reaction to the news…
First of all, I was shocked. I didn’t see it coming. I know he had another year left on his contract and I thought that he would do it, but unfortunately he’s not. I’m sad. Ever since I’ve known about Arsenal, Arsène has been there. I’m sad, I’m a little bit disappointed that we couldn’t give him the season he wanted, but we’ve still got a chance to win something so he can leave on a high. He’s been great for me throughout my career, gave me my chance from a young age, stuck with me, showed his faith in me and helped me to develop as a player. I owe him a lot in his career and I want to give him the send-off he deserves. I’m sure the fans do. I know the rest of the players do and we want to win something for him now.
on it taking a while to sink in…
It is and that’s why… We’ve literally just found out an hour ago and I’m sure when the dust settles and we have a few days to think about it, we’ll start to reflect on it. At the moment it’s a bit raw, it’s a bit sensitive. We want to send him off the right way because he’s given so much to us, has shown faith in every single one of us as players and we need to send him off in the right way now.
on it being extra motivation to win the Europa League…
Exactly, and that’s what we have to do now as players. We have to put everything to one side and put all our focus into winning this competition to give him the send off he deserves. We spoke to him this morning and he was a bit like that. He wants us to win it for us, and that just shows you the type of man that he is. We need to win it for him really and get behind him in these last few games to give him the send off he deserves.
on the players’ reaction…
We haven’t really had much time to sit down and talk about it. I think everyone was just a little bit shocked. It’s the first we heard about it, we didn’t see it coming because as I said, he had another year left on his contract. It’s not really something that you talk about as players. You just focus on the next game, you don’t worry about who’s the manager and what’s going to happen with the manager. Of course, you read stuff online and in the media but you don’t really pay attention to that, so it was a bit of a shock. Now, all we can do is put our focus into winning something.

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