By Joe Brewin
Arsène Wenger admits he can finally rest easy after seeing Arsenal secure automatic qualification to next season’s Champions League.
The Gunners ensured a third-placed finish above Tottenham with a hard-fought 3-2 win over West Brom on Sunday despite falling behind inside 15 minutes.
No team in the Premier League came close to Arsenal’s record of winning 24 points from losing positions this season - and Wenger welcomed his side’s ability to finally get the job done.
“It is good to sleep better at night,” the Frenchman told Arsenal Player. “It is a tricky position in fourth because you don't want Chelsea to win the Champions League.
"And to be fourth is playing a qualifier, which every year is more difficult. Therefore just to be in the group stage straight away is fantastic.
“It is true that we had problems getting over the line but we were not the only ones. The players have given a lot, I must say.
“I looked at the players who were out and you see we had no Arteta, no Sagna and all the others who were out but we still managed to win away from home. That is down to remarkable character and I am very proud of the achievement of the team.
“I maybe take the biggest ever [satisfaction from this season] because at some stage of the season everybody would have said you were absolutely mad. We still kept our focus and worked hard together and in the end it is a good present to give Pat Rice.”
Watch the full interview with the boss on Arsenal Player now.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 14 May 2012