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Arsenal director Kroenke hails Arteta and senior players - including Lacazette

Arsenal director Josh Kroenke has paid tribute to manager Mikel Arteta and his senior players for transforming the club's culture.

Kroenke says the atmosphere has noticeably changed over the past 18 months.

He told arsenal.com: "From a coaching standpoint, Mikel studies and works as hard as anyone in the game so I think that was always going to be there, but we have also worked on how we build on and respect Arsenal traditions, while carving out the future. It's been a very exciting and fulfilling thing for me to see this season.

"That foundation of culture is really being laid, from a young players' standpoint but also from other players around the dressing room, like Granit Xhaka and Alex Lacazette for example, who have seen different things during their careers and have provided huge support to such a young group, which speaks volumes about them.

"These senior players understand there will be bumps in the road and be patient as team-mates learn on the job. I think the senior players and the coaching staff have struck a fine balance this season and that's how we made strong progress on the pitch.

"As a club we need to make sure we are buying well, players who can elevate us in terms of quality but also players who are right from the perspective of culture and mentality and I think that showed on a number of occasions this season.

"When our backs were against the wall with results and injuries we responded well. Yes, we're in a tough position right now after the last few matches in terms of qualifying for the Champions League, but I think the lessons learned along the way will serve us very well going into the future. Sometimes feeling a level of frustration is the best motivation you can have.

"In those tough moments, when we've had opportunities as a squad, as a staff, as a club, to fracture slightly, I think with this group and the mental fortitude that we have now, we all came closer together. Like the three defeats to start the season. I think those moments brought us closer together across the whole club and I think that's what's served us well.

"We have a group of people that are very tightly knit and are passionate about Arsenal Football Club getting to the top of the European game and I think they have the work ethic to go ahead and get it."


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