By Chris Harris
Gael Clichy admits that Arsenal are under increasing pressure to supplement their style with silverware but he believes that one trophy could lead to many more.
Arsène Wenger's side have earned plenty of plaudits for their technical ability but they have not won a major prize since beating Manchester United on penalties in the FA Cup Final in 2005.
There have been plenty of near-misses since then: Arsenal led in the Champions League Final in 2006 and the Carling Cup Final a year later before challenging strongly for the title in 2008 and reaching two Semi-Finals last term.
Clichy and company are well-placed again this season - just three points behind leaders Chelsea with 10 games of the Premier League campaign to go - and the French left back believes that Arsenal's failure to drag themselves over the line in recent times means they are under more pressure to deliver this year.
"I think everyone [is under pressure] to do that," said Clichy, speaking at Arsenal in the Community’s 25th birthday celebrations last Thursday.
"Everyone wants to be the champion and it’s always difficult to be the champion, but to be the team who hasn’t won anything for several years, it’s even harder because you feel the pressure of winning something.
"It’s a good pressure because you want to do well for the fans and for yourself and win a trophy. We’ve played good football for five years and we know that we are a real side, but we know as well that the fans, the people in football, like to see a team winning things. So that’s what we want to do.
"When you’re getting so close to winning something and you don’t win it – one year, two years – of course you’re getting a bit nervous and you want to win this first trophy and you can open the door and go on."
Clichy was the youngest player to win a Premier League medal when Arsenal's 'Invincibles' completed an unbeaten season in 2003/04. Since then the Frenchman has watched Manchester United and Chelsea enjoy title glory and he admits that their success drives him on.
"It’s not jealousy because if they win it, they deserve it because they’ve been better than you," he said. "You cannot be jealous but I had the chance to win the Premier League and I know the feeling of having this cup in your hand.
"I think it’s always better to have the cup in your hand but it’s always good to see a team that’s winning, because that’s telling you that maybe this season they’ve been better than you and you need to work harder to be there the next season."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