All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from the Emirates Stadium...
Arsenal kept up their top four bid with a comfortable 3-0 win over Hull City at the KC Stadium on Sunday. Aaron Ramsey got the Gunners going with the opening goal before German international Lukas Podolski hit a brace to secure a valuable three points in their Champions League bid. Defender Nacho Monreal understands that whilst fans may be disappointed with the end to the season, finishing in the top four is a great achievement - if they get there.
"The team started the season playing with great confidence and everyone performed at a great level," Monreal said. "The fact that we topped the table for a while proved that we were doing a great job. I understand that the fans can be discouraged due to the fact that we had chances to win the title at some point this season, but finishing in the top four is a great objective and if we can add up some silverware by winning the FA Cup this season’s outcome will be positive."
"Unfortunately some factors such as injuries or not having been in the best possible form undermined us. The rest of the teams improved as the season went by and soon started to collect many points. It is true that we had a hard time. We didn’t play well against the best teams and we conceded many goals," he added.
Meanwhile, midfielder Abou Diaby has often flashed talent in North London, but has had his career plagued by injuries, and is currently on the road to recovery having been sidelined for a year with a knee ligament problem. But there is good news on the horizon, as manager Arsene Wenger admitted that the former Auxerre star is set to return to action before the end of the season.
"He is back in full training now and available to play," Wenger said. "He might play a part of the game for the under-21s. Yes of course [he could play for the first team this season], it depends how well he comes out of the game. He hasn't played for a year but physically he is ready to play, completely. It is now just decision-making, getting used to challenges again. He needs a game," added the Frenchman.
If Diaby's injury problems continue, the Gunners may have to look at bringing in another athletic midfielder, and it's no shock to see them linked with one, with Parma's Afriyie Acquah suggested as a summer target for Wenger. The Ghanaian, 22, is currently on loan with Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim, but after some impressive displays, it's believed that Wenger has added the midfielder to his summer shopping list.