• Premier League

Wenger praises Arsenal consistency

ESPN staff
December 31, 2013
ESPN FC: Gunners on top

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has picked out his side's qualification for this season's Champions League as his highlight of 2013 and insisted his players did not over-celebrate qualifying for Europe's elite competition once again.

Wenger and his squad came under fire after they took part in joyous scenes following their victory at Newcastle last May that secured their Champions League status for another season, with cynics suggesting it was evidence that the targets for success at the club had slipped from trying to win trophies to merely securing top four finishes.

Yet Wenger has defended the emotions that flowed among his squad at St James' Park, as he believes their success in qualifying for this season's Champions League was the catalyst for their impressive start to the Premier League season.

"A high point [of the year], even though I understand people can say we over-celebrated, was when we won our last game at Newcastle because it was at some stage an impossible achievement," Wenger said at a news conference. "The club in the Champions League and to have such a consistency at that level meant it was one of the highlights of 2013. This is why we celebrated.

"As you know it's not a trophy, but it shows the consistency and the trend for the team. If you can manage from January 1 to December 31 to have that trend it means we are going upwards. We want to transfer that trend into 2014 and to have a great race for the Premier League title.

"In 2013, we have been relatively consistent, and that makes the belief stronger. Personally I must say, this team has a remarkable attitude and as a manager for me it is a privilege for me to manage them as a group of players on the pitch, but also off the pitch because they have a classy attitude.

"After having struggled last season to fight for the championship we are back in the race and that is what we can keep from 2013."

Download ESPN's new UK sport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close