Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWenger delight with top three finish - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Wenger delight with top three finish - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Wenger delight with top three finish

Arsenal’s third place finish this season can be deemed a success, according to manager Arsene Wenger.

Goals from Yossi Benayoun, Andre Santos and Laurent Koscielny saw the Gunners secure a vital 3-2 over West Bromwich Albion, with Shane Long and Graham Dorrans netting for the home side.

The victory meant the North London side finished just one point ahead of rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who themselves picked up a win over Fulham on the final day of the season.

And Wenger concedes that following the stuttering start to their season, finishing in the top three can be considered a success for the campaign.

“In September certainly not,” Wenger said when asked if it was possible to get to third at the beginning of the season.

“We were 17th in the league in September and in the first seven games, we had lost four.

“When you have played seven games and lost four you think there are 31 games to go.

“It was difficult to imagine that you could finish third, but (it was secured) following an exceptional run after our exit of the Champions League.

“We knew they (Spurs) were 2-0 up. I didn’t want to finish fourth because if Chelsea win the Champions League and they aren’t in it, then you have to play another qualifier to reach the Champions League.

“I cannot say it is a failure,” he added when quizzed as to whether qualifying for the Champions League was a success in his opinion.

Wenger also lavished praise on assistant Pat Rice after the victory over the Baggies, with the 63-year-old set to leave the post he has held for the past 16-years.

Rice was paraded in front of the travelling support following the final whistle to a rapturous applause from the Gunners faithful.

“We are from the same generation. We are, what you call, the ‘old guard’,” he said.

“I’m very for him to give him that present (3-2 win to secure Champions League football) today.

“I would have been sad for him to leave the club today and not be in the Champions League because it’s very emotional for him and for me as well.

“I arrived here (in 1996) and he has always been my assistant and has many qualities of the ‘old guard’.

“He’s a fighter. He doesn’t talk too much but when he talks he talks and he’s mentally strong.”