So the 2011/12 season has come to its conclusion. In the end we finished with 70 points in the Premier League, which is respectable and means we qualify for the Champions League for the 15th consecutive year. We are very proud of that, especially this season, having started where we did.
We had problems getting over the line and you could see that again at West Brom on Sunday. When we were 1-0 up we were nervous. When we were 2-1 down we got back to our game again and in the end we just hung on. We defended crosses with resilience but as long as we could not manage a fourth goal I was nervous. And Kieran Gibbs deserves huge credit for that late challenge on Billy Jones.
Overall, I am very proud of this season because we were not only tested on the football front – which we are used to – but also on our mental solidity. However we did not show any weakness, we kept united and, in the end, came back. It is a good lesson for everybody at the Club.
In addition, reaching the Champions League was a great present for Pat Rice, who retired after the West Brom game following 44 years of loyal service as a player, coach and assistant manager.
It was very emotional for him and for me too, because he has always been my assistant throughout my time here. Pat has many qualities of the ‘Old Guard’. That means he is a fighter and, although he doesn’t talk too much, when he talks, he talks!
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I’d like to thank Pat for his service to Arsenal Football Club and all the supporters who have followed the Club with such passion over the course of the campaign.
I hope you have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you all at the start of next season.