Vermaelen - West Ham can be blueprint

Thomas Vermaelen

Thomas Vermaelen believes that Arsenal can draw inspiration from last week's victory over West Ham as they prepare to face Stoke City at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal ran riot early in the second period against the Hammers, scoring four goals in 10 minutes to secure a 5-1 win, and the Arsenal captain says that Stoke are set up in a similar way to Sam Allardyce's men.

"The main thing for us will be to get the ball down, make a fast start, put them under pressure in their half and win the ball there"

He told the official matchday programme: "I think it will be like the test that West Ham gave us - their styles are similar and the main thing for us will be to get the ball down, make a fast start, put them under pressure in their half and win the ball there.

"We can take confidence in what happened against West Ham when we look ahead to Stoke - hopefully we'll play at a similar tempo and create plenty of chances."

Vermaelen stresses that Arsenal need to focus on their own strengths when the teams line up for kick-off - with the intention being to unsettle the Potters from the off.

"The difference between our first-half and second-half records this season is well documented, and I've spoken about it before," he said.

"At the moment it seems as if we're looking at how the opposition is set up and then reacting to it rather than being proactive and playing our own game.

"It should be our opponents having to adapt to what we're doing, and that's what we need to remember. If we play quickly and sharply from the start, we will give anybody problems."

You can read more from Thomas in the matchday programme for the Stoke City match. Click here to subscribe

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