Sec­ond place means Arsene will be stay­ing

But Arse­nal team need ma­jor re­build if they are to keep up with their lo­cal ri­vals next sea­son

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - HARRY RED­KNAPP

Arsène Wenger de­serves enor­mous credit for man­ag­ing to fin­ish above Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur in the league, but I know which squad I would rather have. Be­ing bru­tally hon­est, Arse­nal are very lucky to have ended the sea­son sec­ond and Arsène needs to buy some play­ers over the sum­mer to get any­where near Spurs.

He has been crit­i­cised by sup­port­ers and pun­dits for much of the sea­son, but to fin­ish sec­ond should end the de­bate over his fu­ture.

He has got a year left on his con­tract and I can­not see him go­ing now. This has been the per­fect re­sponse to those crit­ics, even if Le­ices­ter City did end up run­ning away with the Premier League ti­tle by 10 points.

Ev­ery­one has said how poor Arse­nal have been this sea­son, in­clud­ing my­self on more than a few oc­ca­sions, but the sim­ple truth is they have fin­ished above Chelsea, the two Manchester clubs and, most im­por­tantly for them, Tot­ten­ham.

Arse­nal fans will have been so happy last night; fin­ish­ing above Spurs is all that mat­ters to them. It will have felt like win­ning the league, hav­ing done it so late in the sea­son. Those fans will not have been both­er­ing with the phone-ins last night, that is for sure.

It is a record that Arsène will savour, too, no mat­ter what he says in pub­lic, and make no mis­take that this was a big deal for both the north Lon­don clubs.

Ev­ery­one inside the club at Spurs would have wanted to fin­ish sec­ond. I would have been the same if I had still been there as man­ager.

I do not think any­one could have pre­dicted Spurs’s re­sult at New­cas­tle United and it is un­be­liev­able to ca­pit­u­late like that against a team that has al­ready been rel­e­gated.

To con­cede four goals in the sec­ond half will have been a night­mare for Mauricio Po­chet­tino and a re­minder of the un­pre­dictable days that Spurs have fre­quently thrown up now and again.

I am not mak­ing ex­cuses for Po­chet­tino, but he has lost two ab­so­lutely cru­cial play­ers, in Dele Alli and Mousa Dem­bélé, to sus­pen­sion.

Alli has been one of the best young play­ers in Europe this sea­son, while Dem­bélé is sorely missed in mid­field be­cause he makes them tick. You need your best play­ers and they were two mas­sive losses. All you need to do is look at the re­sults since they were out of the team.

There will be a feel­ing of real dis­ap­point­ment around the place, but when the dust set­tles it has still been an out­stand­ing sea­son for Spurs.

They have qual­i­fied for the Cham­pi­ons League, which is a huge thing for their chair­man, Daniel Levy, and done it with­out hav­ing to go through the knock­out stages.

They have got good young play­ers, at least five of who are in the Eng­land squad, and will be back chal­leng­ing at the top again next sea­son.

In fact, they could go all the way and win the league. And if you were to ask me which team I would rather have, be­tween Arse­nal and Spurs, there is re­ally no com­pe­ti­tion.

Arse­nal need to buy, there is a lot of work to do. They des­per­ately need a new cen­tre-half and an­other striker to take them for­ward. Too many times this sea­son they have been sus­pect in cer­tain ar­eas, whereas I can­not see any real weak­nesses in the Spurs team.

It will be an in­ter­est­ing sum­mer at all the big clubs. Chelsea will have a new man­ager in An­to­nio Conte and des­per­ately need to im­prove, while I can see Manchester City spend­ing big money to get the new era un­der Pep Guardi­ola off to the best pos­si­ble start.

I am also ex­pect­ing Liver­pool to come strong next year un­der Jür­gen Klopp, so Arsène will know there is so much strength­en­ing needed for that squad.

Spurs will be hurt­ing to­day as they re­flect on fin­ish­ing third but, at the mo­ment, their fu­ture cer­tainly ap­pears brighter.

There will be real dis­ap­point­ment at Tot­ten­ham but they will be chal­leng­ing again next sea­son

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