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By ESPN Staff

Mixed feelings for Wenger after third place finish

Arsene Wenger admitted he will look back on the season with both disappointment and hope after seeing his side finish four points shy of the title.

The Gunners ended the campaign with a final day win at Sunderland to cement third place behind champions Manchester United and runners-up Chelsea.

The Frenchman was disappointed not to have run United even closer, but excited at the prospect of doing just that next time around.

He said: 'It is disappointment because we didn't fight and work as hard as we have done the whole season to finish third, but hope for the future as well because we had such a young side and to get 83 points, it gives you a lot of hope.

'We have made a big improvement considering last season, and we were very, very close. We had a conjunction of bad luck and as well, it was the first time this young team had to deal with big pressure.

'A combination of the two maybe cost us the title.'

However, the promise shown by the side which triumphed at the Stadium of Light, courtesy of Theo Walcott's 24th-minute strike, gave Wenger cause for optimism.

He added: 'Yes, of course it was an anti-climax, but part of football is to do the job when it is less prestigious and less glamorous, and we did that well.

'We didn't concede a goal, we scored - we should have scored more - but we had a very young side today.

'Our average age was 22.3 without the bench, and with the bench, it would have gone down to 20.

'That shows you we had a very young side who still can play in a mature way.'