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Arsene Wenger on the win and what it means to lose Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says second place is not enough for the Gunners.

An easy 4-0 win against Aston Villa at the Emirates saw the Frenchman's side move up to second in the table after Tottenham Hotspur's surprise defeat at Newcastle United.

But the Frenchman says first place is what he wanted at the start of the season.

"We are second in the league and we want to be first," Wenger explained.

"But if you are not first, you might as well be 10th or 12th. You might as well say that first is good and the rest is rubbish. In sport, when you work in a football club you know that every win you have to fight and prepare more.

"We want to win more. We want to be first. But as well, we have made over 70 points in the Premier League and it is not easy.

"You have to say Leicester have had a sensational championship because they only lost three games. It's not only us who are behind Leicester. We have beaten them twice so you should ask that question to all the other teams.

"We are not happy by being second, but 18 other teams who finished below us would be happy to be in our position. Of course our target was to be first. For a while we believed we could do it.

"I always knew the second part of the season would be tough because we had to go to so many difficult places, like United, City, Tottenham, Liverpool.

"We had many difficult away games and I knew that our position in the end would depend on us getting through these difficult games without damage and Leicester dropping points.

"It's not only on us. Tottenham were in a better position than us for a long, long period and City as well. We kept going until the end and at a period where it was very difficult for us, we kept our togetherness and we have now not lost in nine games. That mental strength we have in the dressing room got us through that period."

Asked about Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky who will leave the club this summer, the 66-year-old said: "Tomas Rosicky was first an exceptional football player and highly respected in our dressing room.

"It was a very sad day for me yesterday not being able to pick him to be in the squad today because there was something at stake.

"We lose him. We lose [Mikel] Arteta – two exceptional football players but also two leaders in the dressing room. I am convinced that in the bad periods they were a positive influence on the squad and we will miss them next season.

"So I would like to thank them for what they have done and wish them the best of luck."

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Arsene Wenger, Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky