Hull v Arsenal: Arsene Wenger warns against complacency as Arsenal look to take advantage of Everton's slip-up in race for fourth

Wenger's side travel to Hull on Easter Sunday in a dress rehearsal for next month's FA Cup final with their focus still on securing a top-four finish

Manager Arsene Wenger insists there can be no complacency from Arsenal if they are to secure a top-four finish despite Everton's unexpected home defeat by Crystal Palace.

The Gunners, who beat West Ham on Tuesday night, saw their hopes of Champions League qualification receive a boost after Roberto Martinez's side saw their seven-match winning streak brought to an abrupt end by the Eagles, now safe in the Barclays Premier League for another season.

Wenger, though, insists there is still plenty of work ahead for his side, who travel to FA Cup final opponents Hull on Easter Sunday where they could have record signing Mesut Ozil available again following a hamstring injury.

"It is of course a big encouragement but there is a lot of work to do for us, and that's what we want to continue to do," said Wenger, whose side are a point ahead of the Toffees.

"We have a big game at Hull, we just want to prepare as well as we can for it.

"I think mentally we are in a better shape than a week ago, because we had two important wins, and that of course puts us in a better condition on the confidence front."

 

Arsenal's trip to Hull was rescheduled following the decision by the Premier League to move Chelsea's home game against Sunderland forward ahead of the Champions League semi-final first leg against Atletico Madrid.

The switch was berated by Gunners' fans, many of whom had already made travel plans for the original date of Saturday.

Wenger believes either Pulis or Bruce should be manager of the season

Wenger feels while the alteration "is not too disturbing" in terms of preparations, it leaves questions over just which fixtures can be changed, having seen Arsenal have to play at Manchester City on a Saturday lunchtime kick-off earlier this season soon after returning from a crunch Champions League game away to Napoli.

He said: "We never got any help on that front. Never.

"There is no written rule. When you speak to the Premier League, it is not the Premier League. It is the television companies who help, they decide who plays when and some clubs have maybe better introductions with television companies.

"We never had and we never tried to influence the decision of Sky or any other company.

"If you want to know more, you look at the teams who have been protected since the start of the season and the teams who had the biggest rest between games.

Wenger: Ozil will overcome jaded period to be next year's player of the season

"You will see and you come to your own conclusions. I don't question the objectivity of the television companies, but sometimes their choices don't look very rational."

Wenger added: "If you want an objective view, I haven't made it - just make your analysis between Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man City, Man United and all the other teams who play in the Champions League and you will come to your own conclusions."

Both Arsenal and Hull are set to receive 25,000 tickets for the FA Cup final, with the rest passed on by the Football Association to their 'football family' and Club Wembley members.

Wenger feels the lack of a fair split between the two sides at the 80,000-seater national stadium could have an impact on the atmosphere.

"One of the charms of the FA Cup final was always that the stadium was reality divided in two. It's a shame that it doesn't happen any more because that was always an absolutely fantastic atmosphere," said the Arsenal manager, whose side were cheered on by some 50,000-plus Gunners fans in the semi-final penalty shoot-out win over Wigan last weekend.

Giroud dedicates goal to memory of Hillsborough victims

"I remember I have been at European Championship finals of the nations and World Cup finals and always there's a little bit of a lack of atmosphere because it is so divided. I think the atmosphere will lose a little bit."

Arsenal will have midfielder Mathieu Flamini back from a two-match suspension at the KC Stadium, while Ozil may also travel up to east Yorkshire if he is deemed fit enough.

The German playmaker has not featured since limping off at half-time in the Champions League second leg against Bayern Munich on March 11.

Wenger is in no doubt the best is yet to come from the 25-year-old, who has struggled for consistent form after a positive start when joining from Real Madrid on deadline day for £42.5million.

"He had a period where he was tired, because he was not used to playing through the season and he was a bit jaded," said Wenger.

"Mesut Ozil is a fantastic football player, and I would put him on the list to be player of the season next season."

Read More: Four remaining fixtures that could see Arsenal finish fourth
Double for Arsenal won't see Podolski earn a new deal

PA

Suggested Topics
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'