Arsenal have been a much more solid unit this season and as long as they continue that tomorrow, they have the quality to outplay West Ham, take all three points and give Big Sam something to think about. Sam Allardyce produces teams that get stuck in and try to rattle their opponents.
Arsenal captain Vermaelen is a man who relishes a challenge and he is looking forward to pitting himself against the big England front man tomorrow. Vermaelen has the confidence boost of successfully curbing the threat of Carroll when Arsenal faced Liverpool last year but he is also aware that West Ham play in a style more suited to Carroll’s game. “At West Ham they play some long balls and with Carroll up front, he’s a tall guy. He’s good with his head so it will be a big challenge.”
Because of his height and form, Per Mertesacker is likely to reclaim his starting position from Laurent Koscielny and, hopefully, will help Arsenal to cut out the defensive errors that have crept in. Mertesacker has not been to Upton Park before and Vermaelen will have prepared him for the hostile derby atmosphere which Vermaelen actually enjoys. “I must say I like the stadium and the atmosphere there, so it’s quite nice to go there and play again'', said belgian defender.
Vermaelen continue: “First we have to match them in the fight. If there’s a long ball, we want to fight for that ball and bring it down as quickly as possible and play our own game.” His key attributes include aerial ability, leadership skills and he is quick with the ball at his feet. He is also known for his goalscoring ability as a defender. He speaks Dutch and English.
credits to: http://justarsenal.com/arsenal-captain-vermaelen-expects-a-fight-against-west-ham/17033