Finishing above Tottenham is worthy of celebration, but partying over top-four finish is not, says former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry

The club's all-time top goalscorer says qualifying for Champions League is only normal for the Gunners

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Arsenal can only justify their final day celebrations at Newcastle if it was in recognition of keeping Tottenham out of the Champions League, not because they finished in the top four, claims Thierry Henry.

The Gunners were criticised in some quarters for pictures that emerged of the team in party mood after a 1-0 win secured their place in Europe’s premier club competition for a 16 consecutive season at the expense of Spurs.

And Henry, who is the club’s all-time top goalscorer with 228 goals to his name, said: “For me, as a fan or if I was a player at Arsenal, finishing in the top four would have been normal. We saved our season and that was it because you always want to win [titles].

“I know people have a go at them for the pictures of their celebrations but I can tell you I think it was more the fact that for any Arsenal player, when you really feel the shirt and really play for that club, putting Tottenham out of the top four – and I do hope that’s what they were celebrating because that’s the only thing you can celebrate if you are an Arsenal man through and through – that is like winning something.

“I said it when we did it to them in 2006. It wasn’t the fact that we qualified for the Champions League, it was just because we kicked them out of it. And we went in.

“[Arsenal] finished in the top four but there is only one champion: Man United. I am a competitor so that is the only thing I will remember from the 2013 season. Man United won the league.”