By Giuseppe Muro

Thomas Vermaelen says Arsenal start the new season with a clean slate and insists Arsène Wenger’s side can win the Premier League title this year.

Last term proved to be frustrating for players and supporters alike but the Belgian central defender says that must be forgotten when the new campaign kicks off in August.

Before then, Arsenal host the Emirates Cup at the end of July and Vermaelen believes the annual pre-season tournament presents everyone with a fresh start.

“Everybody starts from zero and everybody has to start again,” he told

“You get a new chance and that’s always a good feeling when people give you another chance to win something. The past is behind us and it’s good to look into the future.

“That’s what we do now - we start all over again with a new chance and we will go for it this year.”

Arsenal face Boca Juniors on Saturday, July 30 before an eagerly-anticipated reunion with Thierry Henry and his New York Red Bulls the following day. For Vermaelen, the two games at Emirates Stadium represent the beginning of the final countdown to the new season.

“These are the first games we play at the Emirates in the season so it always feels like a new start,” he said. “It feels like that so I am looking forward to playing there.

“They are two very different kinds of teams and two very different kinds of challenges.”

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21 Jul 2011