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Theo Walcott happy to have finished third, and for rivals Spurs to have a nervous wait

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Arsenal star Theo Walcott admits he will be cheering on Chelsea in the Champions League final on Saturday in the hope that they deny Spurs a place in next season’s competition by winning the trophy.

Walcott came off the bench in Sunday’s 3-2 win at West Bromwich Albion which secured third place in the Premier League for Arsenal and condemned Spurs to fourth and an agonising wait to see if that is enough to enter next season’s Champions League.

If Chelsea win Saturday’s final against Bayern Munich they will qualify as holders and relegate Spurs into the Europa League and Walcott admitted: “I am sure there will be a lot of people supporting Chelsea come Champions League night, and I will probably be one of them!

“It was tight but I think we have deserved it [coming third], for the past few weeks anyway. All the boys are so happy,” added Walcott who revealed that nerves were certainly a factor for the Gunners at The Hawthorns on Sunday.

“When I was on the bench and I could see that Tottenham scored very early and then we scored, even the boss was asking what the results were.

“It was on our minds because it was so important. But I think, especially in the last 20 minutes, we forgot about that and we just tried to grind out the result. It was Roy Hodgson’s last game so it was always going to be difficult. The conditions came into play, it got quite hot out there and the pitch got quite dry.

“But it has been a very hard season, not just for me but for the whole team, and I just want to say thank you to all of them. It is a fantastic feeling. We have been hot and cold all season and it doesn’t matter how you play, as long as we got that result.”

Walcott is now keen to look ahead to next season, and is positive about the Gunners’ chances of ending their seven-year wait for a trophy next year.

“A couple of new additions may come but we have to push on as it’s been so long without a trophy now. We just need to start believing a bit more.

“The belief came in in September that we really wanted it. If we can do that right from the start, keep people fit then you never know where it will take us next year.”

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Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners.

Ground: Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,361).

Founded: 1886.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004.

FA Cup: 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005.

League Cup: 1987, 1993.

Fairs Cup: 1970.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1994.

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry, 228.

Leading appearances: David O’Leary, 722.