By Joe Brewin

Arsène Wenger says Arsenal will not be satisfied with a third-place finish in the Premier League next season.

But the Frenchman would take that this year with the Manchester clubs practically out of reach and Tottenham, Newcastle and Chelsea all challenging for a top-three finish.

“We want more,” he said ahead of Saturday’s London derby with Chelsea. “But where we are at the moment we will be happy with third place because there are great teams who would be very happy if they got there.

“You always want more but you see that the competition in England is difficult. Chelsea are now in the Champions League [semi-final] against Barcelona but they are sixth at the moment. That means it is not easy.”

Arsenal have hit top form in the league since the 7-1 humbling of Blackburn Rovers in February and Wenger believes his side have made healthy progress after their difficult start.

“Diaby has played two games, Wilshere zero and we bought players late in August to gel a team together,” said the Frenchman.

“We feel that as a team we have improved during the season and it is important now to finish in a strong way. That gives us confidence to do well at the start of next season.

“We played the first seven games and lost four. It is difficult after that to win the championship.”

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20 Apr 2012