Monday, 14 May 2012

Glasses raised on St Totteringham's Day -Benayoun and Rice's perfect send off

Morning Gooners.

I slept better last night than I have done in weeks. It's amazing what a third place finish can achieve. While we have again nothing to celebrate in terms of trophies, I really don't care about that too much. We're in good company this season when it comes to finishing potless.

The result yesterday was the most important thing. I said pre-match I was confident we could do it. And so my prediction came through. Although I think like every Gooner I was relieved when the final whistle went. People in the pub around me celebrated and after the season we've had there was rightly cause to be happy. Four defeats in our first seven games leaving us in 17th position really wasn't the start we'd wanted.

But taking third position out of the clutches of our north London neighbours - "Harry for England" anyone? - meant that St Totteringham's Day could be celebrated once again.

As for the game - well it was just like our season - topsy turvy. I'm not sure it warrants too much analysis. We got the three points and that was all that mattered, mainly down to the ineptitude of West Brom keeper Marton Fulop.

Special mention must be made regarding the performance of Yossi Benayoun. When he signed back in August no one would have thought he would have had an impact on our season in the way he did. He gave us his all and showed more hunger and commitment than some of the players on long term more lucrative contracts.

I don't think he'll be with us next season because he's indicated he wants more opportunities to play regular football. But if I were Arsene I would do everything to persuade him to stay. Yossi has earned a place in our hearts and is everything we would want of an Arsenal player. Thanks for all you've done this season and good luck for the future.

Finishing third means we're now into the group stages of the Champions League. We've got a chance to conclude our transfer business in an orderly manner. And we've got the chance to sit down with Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott and sort out their futures sooner rather than later.

And yesterday was the end of Pat Rice's 44 year association with Arsenal Football Club as a full time employee. Thanks Pat for all you've done. It was great to see the players give him the bumps at the end of the game in front of the away end.

It's been quite a season. I''m certainly looking forward to a holiday!

Until tomorrow.

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