Wojciech Szczesny believes Arsenal are a stronger team this season - but he admits that fourth place is not enough.
The Poland international kept a clean sheet against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday to leave himself in pole position to win the Golden Glove, the prize awarded for the goalkeeper with the most Premier League shut-outs.
That honour - and an FA Cup winner's medal - are within Szczesny's reach. But he will head into the summer with regrets that Arsène Wenger's side could not sustain their title challenge after topping the table for much of the season.
"I think it's good to sign off with a win and sign off in front of our fans but with two games to go we had nothing to play for at home and I think we shouldn't really be in that position," said Szczesny. "We should be fighting for the title.
I think it's good to sign off with a win and sign off in front of our fans but with two games to go we had nothing to play for at home and I think we shouldn't really be in that position
"Of course [there's a sense of what might have been]. I believe that we should be in a position to challenge to win the Premier League and maybe Sunday would have been a completely different atmosphere if we had kept going the way we were at some point.
"I never considered fourth place before the start of the season as a successful season and a good position. I play for Arsenal Football Club because I want to win the title every year.
"Obviously at some point, when you lose games and you lose the chance to fight for the title, then the new challenge is to secure the Champions League spot and that was the aim this season, but I wouldn't have taken it before the season.
"We dropped some important points and lost games and had to finish fourth when we weren't probably the favourites to finish fourth. At least we managed to do that for our fans and hopefully we'll manage to get the FA Cup for them."
A win at Norwich City next weekend will leave Arsenal six points better off than they were at the end of the 2012/13 season, and Szczesny is in no doubt that the Gunners have improved.
"I think the squad is stronger and I think everyone can say the squad was strong enough to challenge for the title," he said.
"It didn't happen for us this year but one thing we have learned is that that we are good enough to challenge next year, and hopefully add a little bit more strength as well with a couple of new players coming in.
"Hopefully we will be stronger and, if we manage to keep the consistency for the whole season, we'll be up there."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