Theo Walcott has expressed his delight at pipping fierce North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to the fourth and final Champions League qualifying spot.
Arsenal battled to a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United knowing all three points is exactly what they needed to secure their sixteenth consecutive season in Europe’s elite competition. Spurs won their respective tie against Sunderland with the same scoreline minutes before the end at St James’ and while the news of Tottenham’s win circulated the stadium, the Magpies attacked and attempted to ruin Gooner’s season, however Koscielny and co held strong.
Theo Walcott came extremely close to killing off the tie when his shot came off the post late in the match, and after the devoted display that resulted in another clean sheet the Englishman couldn’t contain his joy at once again finishing above Spurs – St Totteringham’s day has come once again – that’s 18 seasons on the trot.
He told reporters:
I’d like to say it’s a shame [for Tottenham], but it’s not really. A lot of people didn’t think we would make the Champions League today, but we have shut a lot of people up and I’m very proud of everyone in that dressing room.
We have worked very hard, shown a lot of belief in each other and we deserve that. It was so tense out there. Newcastle showed that they shouldn’t be in the position they are in the league, but our defence stayed solid and clean sheets win you games. We did our job today.
We can beat anyone and we went into every game believing it. We just need to add consistency and then these kind of celebrations for qualifying for the Champions League will be for challenging for the title. That has to be our next step.
One word – ecstatic. Well done to Theo and the rest of the lads!