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Walcott wants title tilt next term
May 20, 2013 8:17 AM EST
Theo Walcott called on Arsenal to push for the Premier League title next season after securing a UEFA Champions League berth.
For the second year running, a Laurent Koscielny winner secured passage into Europe's premier competition, as he scored the only goal in Sunday's 1-0 victory at Newcastle.
The win made it 10 games unbeaten in the Premier League for the London club and Walcott believes the 2-0 success against Bayern Munich in March was the catalyst for their resurgence, after trailing Tottenham by seven points at the beginning of the same month.
"Challenging for the title is our next goal. A lot of people thought we wouldn't do it today so it's nice to show them that we could do it," Walcott said.
"We weren't aware of the Spurs result and we knew what we had to do - it was in our hands and we did the job.
"We had to prove people wrong. We had a disappointing result against Tottenham (losing 2-1 in March) and it's never nice to lose to them.
"We bounced back well and we knew if we could beat Bayern we could beat anyone."
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny conceded that finishing fourth was not the target the club had set at the start of the season, but felt qualification for the Champions League was like a title win given their early season struggles.
"We celebrated a bit like we had won the Championship which was a bit weird considering the ambition at the start of the season," the Pole said.
"We have not conceded a lot of goals and when we got the goal we were confident of getting the result."