Thomas Vermaelen: Arsenal’s guard of honour for Man United no big deal

Thomas Vermaelen insists Arsenal are only focused on securing three points against Manchester United on Sunday

thomas vermaelen
Thomas Vermaelen was named Arsenal's new captain after Robin van Persie's exit Photo: Nike

Thomas Vermaelen insists Arsenal are only focused on securing three points against Manchester United, playing down the significance of a guard of honour for the newly-crowned champions.

United travel to The Emirates after having wrapped up their 20th top-flight crown with a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Monday night.

Much has been made of Robin van Persie’s return to north London, with the Dutch striker set to line up against his former employers for the first time at the Gunners’ home ground.

But Vermaelen is adamant that United’s title triumph will not have any effect on Arsenal’s attitude heading into the game after Arsene Wenger confirmed that his players will form a guard of honour for the visitors before kick-off.

“While we congratulate them, we cannot worry too much about that,” Vermaelen wrote in Arsenal’s official matchday programme.

“The first thing is always to look at yourself and how you are going to perform, so I don’t see it as a big deal that they have already won the title.

“Both teams are hugely competitive and will want to win the game, so we’ll need to be at our best.

“Everybody here wants to do what United have done – we are all ambitious and have a big desire to win titles. We want to be doing it every year, and the drive is within all of us.”

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