By Declan Taylor

According to Thomas Vermaelen, the experience of William Gallas is partly to thank for the promising start to his Arsenal career.

The Belgian, who signed for the Gunners in June, marked an impressive debut alongside the Frenchman with a goal in Arsenal’s opening-day victory over Everton.

The burgeoning partnership continued at Parkhead on Tuesday with a clean sheet in Arsenal’s 2-0 Play-off Round first-leg victory over Celtic.

Speaking after the win, Vermaelen praised Gallas but did warn that there is still work to be done against the Scottish giants.

“He is very experienced,” the 23-year-old said. “For me it’s much easier to play in a side with him because of that.

“I have already learned a lot from him.

“For us as defenders it is very important [to keep clean sheets]. It was also a good result to win 2-0. It’s better than 1-0 of course and for us it’s important.

“But Celtic are still a good team and against Moscow [in the Third Qualifying Round] they lost at home 1-0 but then won 2-0 away. They are still in the race so we have to keep concentrating and play the same game we did today.”

With two wins from two and eight goals scored, confidence is sky-high in the Arsenal camp. But you won’t find Vermaelen getting carried away.

The Belgian, who is in line for his home debut on Saturday, believes it is now a case of maintaining standards.

“For me it’s a new game again and we have to concentrate again on that,” the defender said. “We have to start over again to win the three points at home.

“I have enjoyed the last two games a lot. I like the English way of football, the atmosphere and desire of it. For me I like it a lot and I like to play.

“I feel very pleased and we have a good team with good quality and I like the players. I’m settling in very well I think.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
19 Aug 2009