Arsenal got a lot of stick last season, a lot of it from their own fans and former players, for the way they celebrated on the final day of the Premier League season up at Newcastle. Laurent Koscielny scored the vital goal that put the Gunners into the Champions League, and the French defender has been talking about just what a plce in Europe’s top club competition means to him and his team mates.
It may have seemed a bit embarrassing for some fans to see the players celebrating as if they had actually won something, but I think that is more to with expectations, with Gooners thinking that we should we winning something other than the `Wenger trophy`. We saw, in that hilarious moment when the spuds thought the Magpies had equalised, just what it would mean to the teams below us to get into the UCL. And the fact that Arsenal had made up so much ground in the last 11 games caused the players to celebrate like they did.
I’m sure that we won’t see similar scenes this season, as this top four will feel more disappointing after leading the way for so long. But, as Koscielny told Arsenal Player, the players will be just as happy, becasue they view the Champions League as the best competition, with all the glamour and glory those midweek matches bring.
He said, “The Champions League is a tournament which has the best teams in Europe so we want to play against the big teams because we can judge our level against Milan, Barcelona or Bayern. For the players it’s very exciting to play against them because we learn a lot and you progress [individually].
“If you win it’s a very exciting game so we want to come back to the Champions League because we love it.
“We are focused for the other games because the season is very long and we want to play Champions League again because it’s the most exciting competition for us. We did well this season apart from two months which were very difficult for us, but we came back.”
“The fans are amazing for us because during the season you have some games where it’s more difficult to win. When you have your fans behind you, you can do more runs if you are tired.
“If you feel our fans are behind us you can do more and it’s very important for the players on the pitch.”
Let’s hope that the lads can get fourth spot wrapped up by beating West Brom on Sunday, giving the fans a rare chance to relax and enjoy the final day. Then they have a real trophy to play for and that is what the fans want to see.