Former Gunner Nigel Winterburn claims that while finishing in the top four will be an achievement, Arsenal really need to win a trophy to have a successful season.

Winterburn has explained that while finishing in the top four will get Arsenal back into the Champions League, which will be an achievement in itself, when he played for the club they had to win a trophy in order to consider the season successful.

“When I played in the teams that I played in there, the goal was to win as many trophies in that season as possible,” he said.

“Top four is an achievement but it’s not success like winning a trophy. The top four gets you back into the Champions League which Arsenal want to do.

“Being a player at a big club, you are judged on what you win.”

Nigel Winterburn of Arsenal2
28 Nov 1999: Nigel Winterburn of Arsenal on the ball against Derby County during the FA Carling Premiership match at Highbury in London. Arsenal won 2-1. (Gary Prior /Allsport)

The former left-back was with the Gunners from 1987 to 2000. 13 years. During that time, he made 440 appearances and won three league titles, two FA Cups and a League Cup. He was winning trophies for fun and challenging for the title practically every season, so it’s easy to understand why Winterburn measures success in silverware. He’s not the only one.

However, the Premier League is far more competitive now. Instead of just two of three teams fighting to finish top of the table, there’s five, six or even seven vying for a top-four position.

On the flip side, Arsenal won the FA Cup last season, beating Chelsea 2-1 in the final at Wembley. By Winterburn’s standards, that means the season was a success. However, I reckon you would be hard-pressed to find another person on the planet, apart from perhaps Arsene Wenger, who would describe the Gunners’ 2016/17 campaign as a ‘success’.