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The Gunners skipper sees his side's 5-1 win over the Hammers as perfect preparation due to the sides' similar styles, while also addressing Arsenal's insipid first-half displays

Thomas Vermaelen believes Arsenal’s recent victory over West Ham provided the perfect preparation for their upcoming clash with Stoke on Saturday.

The Gunners thumped the Hammers 5-1 at the Emirates Stadium thanks to four goals in 10 minutes during a sublime spell of dominance in the second half.

And the Arsenal skipper believes the victory provided his side with the ideal preparation for Saturday’s game as Tony Pulis’ side use a very similar style to West Ham.

"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,” the Frenchman told the club’s official match-day programme.
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"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 also urged his teammates to address the imbalance between Arsenal’s performances in the first and second half of matches.

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

"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."

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