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Klopp proud as Liverpool return to Champions League


Indeed, their youth is perhaps a positive: Spurs side finished the season with the youngest average age in the Premier League.

"It's the policy of the club rather than the ability of the coach that's the problem".

The numbers don't lie.

Importantly, these aren't wasted, wayward efforts - more shots found their way to the target than any other team managed this year, and has meant that Spurs finish the season with more goals than any other Premier League side.

The Reds have been heavily linked with a host of top talent including Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk and Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Sure, the squad has plenty of players who won the league for Jose Mourinho in 2015, but to go from tenth to first in the space of a year is a striking improvement.

Giroud has scored 16 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions this season, but Wenger has often played Alexis Sanchez up front while the return to fitness of Danny Welbeck has further limited his chances of starts.

The result of that game might well prove critical.

Nobody can argue the success Wenger has had at Arsenal. Since his arrival from Japanese outfit Nagoya in 1996, Wenger has claimed 15 major trophies, three Manager of the Season Awards and was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

"We have proved we can beat big teams in big games, definitely, but it's about keeping the consistency against those teams that come here and sit back".

"It is not easy to be in the Champions League - think of the teams who are not in it now", he said.

"Wenger Out" banners have been everywhere this season, a reflection of how unsettled things are at the club.

Wenger appreciated the kind words from the Scot and confirmed he was unlikely to match the length of his reign at Old Trafford, an achievement that would require him to stay at the Emirates Stadium for another five seasons.

Koeman said his decision to leave Barkley out had nothing to do with his contract situation, but said he expected to be able to make an announcement about the England midfielder's future imminently.

"I was out there, to show respect, but I wanted the players to have the quiet lap of honour they deserved".

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