• Premier League

Henry: Finishing above Spurs only reason to celebrate

ESPN staff
May 29, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, now at New York Red Bulls, says his former club should not settle for fourth © Getty Images
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Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has admitted that he hopes his former side's exuberant celebrations after finishing fourth in the Premier League were not because they qualified for the Champions League - but because they denied Tottenham Hotspur a place.

Arsene Wenger's men beat Newcastle United on the final day to clinch the final Champions League spot and send their North London rivals into the Europa League - in doing so keeping up Wenger's 100% record of qualifying for Europe's premier club competition.

But Henry, Arsenal's all-time leading goalscorer now plying his trade in the US with the New York Red Bulls, insists that is not how he will remember the season.

"Yes, they finished in the top four. But there is only one champion: Manchester United," Henry told Sky Sports News. "I'm a competitor, so there is only one thing I can remember from 2013 - and that is that United won the league.

"For me, as a fan and as a player at Arsenal, we should be in the top four as normal - but [instead] it saved our season."

The Arsenal players came under fire for their boisterous celebrations after the Newcastle game - with many suggesting they had reacted as if they had won the league title. But Henry hopes it was a celebration borne of relief.

He added: "I know we can have a go about the pictures of them celebrating finishing fourth, but you have to understand that, for any Arsenal player, when you really feel the shirt and really play for the club, putting Tottenham out of the top four [means everything] - and I really do hope that's what they were celebrating.

"But, and I said it when we did it to [Tottenham] in 2006, for me that's the only thing we could celebrate."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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