By Nick Ames
Thomas Vermaelen is well aware that Saturday's game against Tottenham means that little bit more than an average league fixture - and believes the Gunners can use it as a springboard for success.
Last season’s 5-2 victory at Emirates Stadium is etched into Arsenal folklore and it sparked a fine run of form as Vermaelen and his team-mates made a late surge for a Champions League spot. The Arsenal captain is convinced that strength can be drawn from what happened last time around.
He told the Official Matchday Programme: “This isn’t a normal game - it’s a special one.
“Practically, we need to get three points on the board, but I think it would give both the fans and the team a massive boost if we won.
"Last season we came back from 2-0 down, working really hard for a memorable turnaround. We want to create the same impetus this time and it’s a big opportunity to do so.
“If you look at the league table, we’re not too far behind third and fourth places. Nothing is lost yet - a win against Spurs would be a big step.”
Now in his fourth season at the Club, Vermaelen is no stranger to derby day. While he is a veteran of the famous rivalry between Ajax and Feyenoord, he believes that Spurs’ visits provoke excitement on another scale.
“Ajax always had a big rivalry with Feyenoord, which was quite similar, but I think it’s even more pronounced here,” he said.
“The level is higher, and it just feels like a step up. This is more intense and you can feel that in the atmosphere in the stadium whenever we play Spurs. Without fail, it’s unbelievable.”
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