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Gunners Exec: Trophies Now A Must

The pressure Arsenal were under to end the Premier League season in a Champions League qualifying spot may have led them to celebrate finishing fourth as if they had won a trophy.

And while the value of Champions League football cannot be under-estimated, Gunners chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, insists next season has to be about genuine silverware.

Arsenal have come under fire from some of their fans, after dressing room pictures were posted on the internet, showing the players in jubilant mood after beating Newcastle to guarantee fourth spot on the last day of the season.

The fact that they pipped arch rivals Spurs on the log may have delighted Arsenal’s players and supporters, but the general feeling should have been one of relief rather than jubilation.

Gazidis is obviously happy that Arsenal have made it into Europe, but the fact remains that the illustrious club has not won a jot since 2005, and he insists that fourth-place is not where Arsenal's ambitions live and die.

"Arsene [Wenger] and the team put together a remarkably strong and consistent run in the final stages of the season, a run of form of which we should all be proud," Gazidis said.

"It puts us into the Champions League fight for the 16th consecutive year.

"But it is important to reiterate that, for everyone at the club, qualification for the Champions League is not our ultimate ambition. Our majority owner, Mr Kroenke, has made it clear that, while it's an achievement to make the Champions League, our ultimate objective is to win the major trophies.

"We all share that clear ambition and will be driving the club forward to achieve it. Arsene and I have already been planning what we need to do to strengthen so we are better placed next season. One thing is certain: the club is in a very strong position to move forward and our form of losing just one of our last 16 Premier League matches shows that we have a solid foundation on which to build for success."

Arsenal’s late season run of good form was impressive, but there is still a sense that they are a few top quality players short of a genuine title challenge.

And so ahead of what could be manager Wenger’s last season at the Emirates helm, it will be interesting to see if the dapper Frenchman swallows his pride, to break the bank on some match-winning players.

Alex Ferguson did exactly that by signing Robin van Persie from Arsenal, and we all know how that worked out.


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