Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey says stability has been crucial to the club’s impressive UEFA Champions League qualification streak.
Ramsey and Arsenal forward Theo Walcott have both praised manager Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman led the north London club to a UEFA Champions League-qualification berth for the 16th-consecutive season.
Wenger has received plenty of criticism over the past few years as Arsenal’s trophy drought stretched into eight seasons without a trophy, but Ramsey believes the club’s faith in the 63-year-old has paid off.
“Every club needs that sort of stability, I think, and so many clubs are unsure of what’s going to happen to their managers and Arsenal have been very good to him, it looks very stable and it’s good for the players and good for the team in general,” Ramsey said.
Arsenal wrapped up fourth spot in the English Premier League on the final day of the season with a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United.
While that only puts Arsenal into the qualification stages of next season’s Champions League, Wenger’s side should be favourites to overcome that hurdle.
Walcott has claimed Wenger’s belief in his squad made the difference in a tight finish to the season, in which Arsenal overcame Tottenham to finish fourth.
“The manager always showed belief in us players,” Walcott said.
“We didn’t take too much interest in what was being said on the outside.
“We all knew it was in our hands, we didn’t want to let the fans down.”
Ramsey added that Arsenal’s current squad was desperate to avoid being the team that broke Wenger’s impressive run in regards to Champions League qualification.
“We didn’t want to be the first in Wenger’s reign not to qualify for the Champions League and we managed to do so again,” Ramsey said.
“We still have to play a qualifying game but we got fourth spot and we’re delighted with that.
“Hopefully now we can take our good form that we showed towards the end of this season into next season.”