Vermaelen hails Gallas influence

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has attributed his impressive start to life with his new club to central defensive partner William Gallas.

The Belgian, who arrived at the Emirates Stadium from Ajax in June, has shone in his opening two games under Arsene Wenger, with both Vermaelen and Gallas netting in last weekend's 6-1 demolition of Everton.

While Gallas - albeit while ducking out of the way - was on target again on Tuesday against Celtic, with the pair helping the Gunners keep a clean sheet at Parkhead that all-but ensures their progression into the lucrative group phase of the Champions League.

And Vermaelen insists that playing alongside the Frenchman has been paramount to his flying start.

“He is very experienced. For me it’s much easier to play in a side with him because of that," he told the club's official website.

“I have already learned a lot from him. For us as defenders it is very important [to keep clean sheets]. It was also a good result to win 2-0.

“I have enjoyed the last two games a lot. I like the English way of football, the atmosphere and desire of it.

“I feel very pleased and we have a good team with good quality and I like the players. I’m settling in very well I think.”

And Wenger, speaking after the success at Celtic Park, admitted he has been surprised by how quickly Vermaelen has adapted to the hustle and bustle of English football.

"Yes, I am surprised but we saw that he had the physical strength and mentality to cope and when he was needed he came in," he said.

"I believe he has a good mix of the physical and technical for a centre-back and it is interesting to have a left-footed player because he gives you angles for the pass which are very important for the midfielder."

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