This group deserves something special – Wenger wants to exit on a high
Arsenal face Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final, and departing Arsene Wenger has told his players to claim what they deserve.
Arsene Wenger wants to leave Arsenal on the high of winning the Europa League as he feels his group of players "deserve something special".
Wenger announced on Friday that his 22-year association with the Gunners is due to end when the season concludes, and since that confirmation he has spoken of how he has become frustrated with tension among the fans.
As such, Arsenal are closing in on a new era for the first time since the mid-1990s, and Wenger is hoping he can bring his tenure to a successful conclusion.
That would mean Europa League victory and Arsenal go into Thursday's semi-final first leg clash against Atletico Madrid with Wenger urging his players to take the next step and ultimately claim what they deserve.
"Is there a perfect goodbye? I don't know," Wenger told reporters. "I just want to do as well as I can. This team has quality.
We love this from the boss...— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 25, 2018
"Is there a perfect goodbye? I don’t know. I just want to do as well as I can… I think this group of players deserve something special. I want to do it for them, to achieve something with them" pic.twitter.com/2GRc6ZaBi0
"I have seen these guys challenged mentally and always respond in a positive way. This group of players deserve something special.
"I want to do it [win the competition] for them. My biggest satisfaction would be to achieve something with the group of players I have.
"It's a Champions League night. First of all because the Champions League position is at stake [if Arsenal win the competition] - more for us than for them. And also because these are two teams used to playing in the Champions League night."
And Danny Welbeck echoed the sentiments of his manager, describing Europa League glory as being the "icing on the cake" for Wenger.
"Going into a semi-final, you don't need any extra incentive to win the game," the England international said.
"I wanted to win it before the manager announced he's leaving, I want to win it afterwards. The lads are focused. It would be a little bit of icing on the cake to see the manager lift the trophy."