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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas