Keiran Gibbs encouraged by Arsenal's finish to the Premier League season

The Gunners secured fourth place on the final day of the season

England defender Keiran Gibbs has warned Arsenal can only get stronger next season after winning eight of their final 10 Barclays Premier League matches to secure a top-four finish - and with it another shot at the Champions League.

The Gunners overhauled a seven-point deficit on north London rivals Tottenham following their superb run-in, which was kick-started by a memorable victory at Bayern Munich as they bowed out of Europe.

While Arsenal still have to negotiate a potentially tricky two-legged qualifier in August before they can focus on a remarkable 16th campaign of Champions League football, yesterday's 1-0 win at Newcastle gave the club a completely different outlook from the one they faced after defeat at White Hart Lane on March 3.

Gibbs feels the confidence Arsene Wenger's squad will gain from the last two months can enable them to go the distance in 2013/2014.

"We would have liked to have had a better season, but I think overall you have to be happy with the way the team got back together after December and showed real character, yet again, to come back and finish where we want to be," Gibbs said in the London Evening Standard.

"We were a new-look side for another season, again, with new signings that have had to come in and step up.

"It is never easy to just come straight into the Premier League and perform like some of our good players have.

"In the end, there was a combination of us needing to realise what we wanted from the season and the players starting to get to know each other more. As time went on, we started to gel.

"That was important and it puts us in good stead for next season because I believe the team have gelled because of this.

"The dramatic finale makes us even stronger and we are going into next season head on."

Gibbs insists no-one at the Emirates Stadium will be resting on their laurels of a fourth-place finish.

"We haven't shown it consistently enough in the cups and the league, but you have seen many glimpses of what the team are capable of," the 23-year-old added.

"We have to focus on every detail to give ourselves the best chance to produce something because we are desperate to win a trophy."

Wenger feels his side have gone some way to answering their critics following their end to what had been a frustrating campaign, which included the lows of cup defeats by Bradford and Blackburn, before a Champions League masterclass from Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium only to then outplay the Germans when winning the second leg of the last-16 tie.

"I believe that the last three months the team has shown we are ready [to challenge for honours] because we are consistent," Wenger said on Arsenal Player.

"The strengths we have built and the way the team has grown can be transferred into next season.

"That is very positive so let's keep the group together, rest well and come back in a strong way."

Arsenal will be proactive in the summer transfer market, with the free transfer of France Under-21 forward Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre expected to be the first of several new arrivals.

Wenger is understood to have targeted offensive additions this summer, with the likes of Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetic, Real Madrid frontman Gonzalo Higuain and even England forward Wayne Rooney all said to be on the Arsenal manager's radar, as is Borussia Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek and even Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who is set to leave relegated QPR.

Wenger, tough, warned finding the right man at the right price is set to be another test.

"There are many clubs out there with a lot of money, so the competition is very hard - there is not as much talent as money today in football," he said.

England midfielder Jack Wilshere is now set for surgery on his troublesome ankle.

While that will rule him out of the friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil, it should see the 21-year-old return fully fit for the start of the new season and the Autumn World Cup qualifiers.

PA

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

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss