Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Wenger salutes players

15 May 2012, 07:31

Birmingham - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger paid tribute to his players after they qualified for the Champions League once again despite a disastrous start to the campaign.

The Gunners' 3-2 victory at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday secured third place as they finished a point and a place ahead of North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to guarantee entry to Europe's elite competition next season.

That was something of an achievement for Wenger's team, who lost four of their first seven Premier League matches, including an 8-2 humiliation at Manchester United, and the Frenchman insisted his players deserve credit for turning their fortunes around.

"If you look at the season as a whole, in the last 16 league games we have lost only twice," said Wenger, who said Robin van Persie's lingering applause towards the away fans afterwards was a "positive sign" he will still be at the Emirates Stadium next season.

"We have created a fantastic run. In the end we finished with 70 points. That is respectable.

"We were 17th in the league in September and after the first seven games we had lost four of them. It's very difficult to imagine you can finish third. But we have had an exceptional run after our Champions League exit.

"I'm proud of the season. The unity and solidarity inside the club has been tested and we didn't show any weakness. In the end, we came back. It's a good lesson for everyone.

"I cannot say the season has been a failure. We have qualified for the 15th time. Only three clubs have done that in Europe. That means it's not as easy as it looks."

Defeat was a disappointing end to a superb 16-month spell with the Baggies for outgoing head coach Roy Hodgson, in his final game before taking on the England job on a permanent basis.

He addressed the Hawthorns crowd after the match to express his gratitude.

"I am touched by the reception. It is a fantastic football club of great tradition and support," Hodgson said.

"You deserve another year in the Premier League. Everyone has been fantastic and I would not have been England manager if it was not for the contribution of everyone at this club."

Mistakes from Baggies understudy goalkeeper Marton Fulop, only in the side because of a groin injury to Ben Foster, gifted the Gunners their first and third goals from Yossi Benayoun and Laurent Koscielny.

The hosts had responded with strikes from Shane Long and Graham Dorrans, only for Andre Santos to level matters before Koscielny clinched the points early in the second half.

Baggies assistant manager Keith Downing said: "When you are playing a side of quality you cannot afford to give those types of goals away.

"It left us with a mountain to climb. Marton is devastated. He sets high standards and he knows one or two of the goals were down to him."

Meanwhile, Foster confirmed afterwards that he will not be ending his international exile to link up with Hodgson at Euro 2012.

"I've always said all along my best form has been since I retired from England and I feel my body gets a good rest, and I feel it needs that rest as well," Foster said.

"Not only that, the fact I've got a young family now, and the family is very big with me. I've got a three- and a four-year-old and they do take up a lot of my time.

"I make no secret, I miss them when I'm away with England. For me, I prefer to spend that time with the family than being away from them.

"Roy tried hard to persuade me. I get on with him so well and he is a fantastic manager. You learn so much off him.

"I know he will do a fantastic job for England but he totally understood my reasons why and was very respectful of that and understood my decision and my way of thinking."



Pep still 'needs time' to acclimatise

27 October 2016, 12:53

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
William Korir
Kikuyu 2022 vote will go to Peter...

The 2022 Kikuyu vote will go to Peter Kenneth, a Rift Valley Governor has warned DP William Ruto. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
CORD threatens to boycott 2017 po...

The CORD Coalition says that it will be forced to boycott the 2017 elections if there is no new voter register in place by the time. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Disgraced Jeptoo stripped of 2014...

Organizers of the Boston Marathon are stripping Kenyan runner Rita Jeptoo of her 2014 victory as part of the athlete's newly extended doping ban. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM beats Jubilee in 3 by-electio...

ODM dominates Jubilee Party in by elections.

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Kenyan ivory seized in Vietnam

Vietnamese authorities have seized 1 tonne of ivory smuggled from Kenya, the fifth such seizure in the past month. Read more...

Submitted by
Cyril Mike Odhiz
Kenyans furious on young lady aft...

A young Kenyan woman is the talk of town after she posted a photo with her elderly lover after a round of steamy sex, or so the photo suggested.  Read more...