By Nick Ames
Thomas Vermaelen wants Arsenal to show the fighting spirit they demonstrated three weeks ago when they face Schalke this evening.
In their last Champions League outing, the Gunners responded from a defeat against Chelsea by defeating Olympiacos 3-1 – and the club captain says there is a motivation to do exactly the same after the disappointment of losing at Norwich on Saturday.
“The positive we can take is that tonight’s game comes hot on the heels of Saturday’s,” Vermaelen told the Official Matchday Programme.
“Our schedule is such that, if you make a mistake on the Saturday, you have the chance to make amends a few days later. We did it against Olympiacos after the Chelsea defeat, and intend to do exactly the same tonight. It’s a different competition, a fresh challenge, and we’re all looking forward to it with confidence that we can take the three points.”
Not that it will be an easy task. Schalke arrive at Emirates Stadium on the back of a fine win in their ‘derby’ against Borussia Dortmund, and Vermaelen is well acquainted with some of the weapons they possess.
“Schalke are a very good side, he said. “I know a few of their players – Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was a team-mate of mine at Ajax, while I played against Ibrahim Afellay and Jefferson Farfan during my time in Holland and also know their coach, Huub Stevens, from the Dutch league.
“Huntelaar is obviously their main goal threat and I know exactly what he is capable of. At Ajax he would score goals out of nothing, and he’s done that for every team he has played for since. I include Real Madrid and AC Milan in that, because his record at both was quite good given that he didn’t play much.
"He is a real goalgetter, a guy who is always in the right place, so will be a danger to us this evening.”
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