Benayoun: It's great to be at Arsenal
Midfielder Yossi Benayoun will not decide on his future until the end of the season, but hopes Arsenal and Chelsea both qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League.
Benayoun is on a season-long loan at the Gunners from Chelsea and, at present, his temporary club seem the more likely to qualify for Europe's major domestic competition. He scored the third goal in last night's 3-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers, which put Arsene Wenger's side five points clear of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.
Benayoun said: "I think it is difficult to speak now about the future. It's better to concentrate on the five weeks that are left of the season and do my best for the club. I am fully committed to Arsenal and after that we will see. After 30 June, I am going back to Chelsea and then the club decides and I need to decide also.
"Each one has to think what is best for them, but the most important thing is to concentrate on these five weeks and whatever will be, will be. I will not lie. I love Chelsea because I have a good relationship there. I didn't play much because I had a big injury.
"I still have a lot of friends there I talk to every day. Of course, I want them to do well but it is difficult. I am committed to Arsenal 100 per cent and I don't think about Chelsea or another team. I want first Arsenal to finish in the top three and, if it depended on me, I want Chelsea to finish in the top four and Liverpool also to finish in the top four. But it can't happen."
Benayoun concedes he had to leave Stamford Bridge, at least in the short term, because he felt he would not get many opportunities under then manager Andre Villas-Boas. He said: "I have a good relationship with the owners at Chelsea and, when I decided to take this step, Roman Abramovich gave me the permission to do what I want and choose the team to go to.
"I was negotiating with three teams, but as soon as I heard Arsenal were in, I knew it was a big chance for me. I knew that with Villas-Boas, I felt I would not get enough credit, although I felt good in the pre-season and I did a few good games, so I took the decision (to go on loan).
"I have not played as much as I would want, but it is great to be at a club like Arsenal. The dressing room is so great and to be at a big club is always nice."
Patience remains key
Benayoun admits he has had to be patient for his opportunities to start games with the Gunners, but has now been in the first XI for the last two games against Manchester City and Wolves. "It has been up and down this season for me. I try to be focused and concentrated, but it's not easy. I was waiting all the time for my chance.
"A few times in the season I got my chance and then didn't get another for a long time. But in big clubs, you have to be patient. I have had the luck to be at three big clubs and I know you have to be patient, wait for your chance and when I get it, try to do my best.
"There are a lot of quality players and big competition. I'm ready to do what's needed. If I need to play ten minutes, I do my best and if I start, I do my best also."