Tommy Gunner jumping through Hoops

How long can we bask in the reflective glory of hammering Everton? If Thomas Vermaelen is to be listened to, no time at all. For our very own (second) Tommy Gunner is demonstrably ‘taking one match at a time’ and before the strains of ‘Come to see the Arsenal’ had drifted into the Goodison night, the Belgian (quoted as being Dutch in the hapless People yesterday) held court ahead of the trip to Celtic in the Champions League play-off.
He told the assembled hacks (this one from the Daily Mail): ‘There will be a big atmosphere in Glasgow and we will need to play like we did against Everton. We will have to play physically, as well as trying to impose our own game.
‘Celtic have good players in attack and there are some big, physical players. Already, our minds have gone straight to the game in Glasgow because we are going to have to be focused for Tuesday’s game if we want to win. The most positive thing about the Everton match is that we showed we are a united team.’
Presumably chuffed at a steady display alongside Bill Gallas and a goal for each of the central defenders in the 6-1 win, TG continued: ‘The game against Everton was not easy at all. It was a physical match and there was a new kind of style for me. In Holland, teams tend to play more football, just like we do at Arsenal. The Everton game was more physical but every player in the team coped with it well.
‘We don’t just expect to get through. There is no way it is going to be that easy. Celtic are a good team and we will have to be at our best to win the matches. But I joined Arsenal to play in the Champions League. Every player wants to be involved in that competition and it is important for the club, too.’
I rather like the cut of his jib!
Arsene Wenger, too, is looking forward to tomorrow night in the East End of Glasgow and he told the Times: “I watched some of their match with Aberdeen but for my taste, the game was too easy for them,” Wenger said of Celtic’s 3-1 victory on Saturday. “Games in Scotland are always special. There is a special atmosphere in the stands but we have played in many stadiums in Europe and we can deal with that, I believe.
“Our confidence will have been lifted by our own result but we will still have to be alert because we know that every game is different and it is up to us to show how much we have matured as a team.”
Of course, the fact that the majority of space in today’s papers has been handed to match reports and the like, the column inches freed up for transfer speculation is minimal. Practically non-existent in our case (cue great cheers through Goonerland).
A mention for Martin Kelner’s column in the Guardian,  which is worth a read as he dismantles ESPN’s coverage of the Everton game and reminds us that Jon Champion provided the weekend’s most useless bit of information when he told viewers: ‘Fabregas, the man who was born on the last day Everton won the league title, the 4th of May, 1987.’

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