Manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that Arsenal had set their sights on winning the Premier League title this season.
The Gunners took second place in the table on the final day of the season, finishing a point ahead of North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, but ending ten points adrift of champions Leicester City.
We are second and we want to be first.Arsene Wenger
And Wenger told reporters after a 4-0 win over relegated Aston Villa that first place was really where the Gunners wanted to finish, although he praised the way his squad had finished the campaign after it became clear that they could not claim the title.
The Frenchman said: “You have to say Leicester have had an exceptional year. It is not only us who is behind Leicester.
“We have beaten them twice. We are not happy about being second, but then there are 18 other teams behind us. Our aim was to be first and for a while we believed we could do it.
“We kept togetherness and we have now not lost for nine games and that mental strength we have in the dressing room got us through that period.
“We are second and we want to be first. We don’t start the season and think we want to finish above Tottenham, but today we played with the only target we had. Today the aim before the game was to finish second.
“We achieved it, for a while our supporters were not going home very happy and today at least they had some satisfaction.”
Wenger also hailed the efforts of midfield duo Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta during their times with the club, with the pair leaving the Emirates stadium this summer.
Meanwhile, the Gunners are priced at 11/2 to be crowned champions of England next season, with Manchester United 7/1 and Liverpool available at 9/1.