Nacho Monreal believes Arsenal have made a significant improvement this season despite falling short in the title race.
The Gunners topped the Premier League for a large stretch of the season before suffering a dip in form in March and April.
But Arsenal are on course to beat last term's tally of 73 points and Monreal thinks a top-four finish, combined with victory in the FA Cup final, would constitute a successful season.
If we can add up some silverware by winning the FA Cup this season’s outcome will be positive
"The team started the season playing with great confidence and everyone performed at a great level," Monreal told Arsenal.com. "The fact that we topped the table for a while proved that we were doing a great job.
"I understand that the fans can be discouraged due to the fact that we had chances to win the title at some point this season, but finishing in the top four is a great objective and if we can add up some silverware by winning the FA Cup this season’s outcome will be positive.
"Unfortunately some factors such as injuries or not having been in the best possible form undermined us. The rest of the teams improved as the season went by and soon started to collect many points. It is true that we had a hard time. We didn’t play well against the best teams and we conceded many goals."
The Gunners are currently in the middle of a battle with Everton for the final Champions League spot and, with teams like Tottenham and Manchester United set to miss out on Europe's elite competition, Monreal feels a top four-finish should not be underestimated.
"People shouldn’t forget that a Premier League top-four finish is really complicated since many teams in the league have a great level," he said. "Clinching a Champions League spot for 17 years in a row is not easy at all.
"We managed to get back to winning ways whereas Everton had a setback against Crystal Palace, which made us climb to the fourth spot again. We can win the games we have ahead of us and if we do so we will qualify for the Champions League."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source