Wenger - Trophies are a must

Arsene Wenger has admitted that his current crop of players will not be labelled as a 'great side' until they win trophies.

The Gunners last lifted a trophy in 2005 when they defeated Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

They have since shown flickers of their quality and potential, but failed to impose themselves in the Premier League, and fallen at the final hurdle in UEFA Champions League and League Cup finals.

However, Wenger's men have impressed so far this season, currently topping the league table while readying themselves for the second leg of their Champions League last 16 encounter with Milan.

And the French tactician has challenged his youngsters to take that extra step by claiming glory come the end of the season.

"This team will achieve great things and improve, no matter what happens tomorrow (Tuesday) night [against Milan]," Wenger explained

Asked what makes a great side, the Arsenal boss answered: "By winning major trophies and consistently competing at the top level.


"I can play a great shot in tennis, or in golf - but to beat a great player I need to be consistent.

"Consistency is the first mark of a great team. We have that.

"After that you have sides who make history, who win the European Cup three, four or five times on the trot.

"At the moment, this team is far from doing that, we have to go step by step.

"They have experienced different steps. The first one is to raise up the level I expected them to achieve.

"The second thing is to be under expected performances. Before January, we were the surprise of the season, since January people take us as candidates for the Premier League so we have matured quite quickly under a lot of pressure.

"It was not a surprise to me, but from the environment of the game. I felt that no-one else believed in us."

Van Persie

Meanwhile, Wenger has explained that he will not start Robin van Persie against Milan on Tuesday following to his lengthy spell on the sidelines.

"Robin is not in contention to start. He has not played properly for five months," he said.

"But he can come in and play a part in the game. Robin can produce, even on set-pieces if needed, or the pace drops in the game.

"I don't think now there is any risk, but maybe to start at a high pace and go above your limits, it could be a risk."