Thomas Vermaelen challenges Arsenal to continue top-four momentum against Everton

The Gunners needed late goals to beat Norwich at the weekend

Captain Thomas Vermaelen has challenged Arsenal to maintain their momentum towards securing a top-four finish with victory over Everton at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow night.

The Gunners produced a late rally to come from behind and beat Norwich 3-1 on Saturday, which lifted them into third place as neither Chelsea nor Tottenham were in Barclays Premier League action.

It was a fifth straight win on the back of their Champions League victory away to Bayern Munich - an heroic performance which looks to have restored the belief within Arsene Wenger's squad.

Vermaelen, recalled to the side against Norwich as Per Mertesacker was suspended, called on Arsenal to make the most of their new-found spirit when David Moyes' well-drilled side come to the Emirates Stadium.

"We are on a run now. We have got a good momentum at the moment. We are winning a lot of games," Vermaelen said on Arsenal Player.

"Tuesday is an important game again at home so we have to keep fighting and try to get three points."

Arsenal could have Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky available again tomorrow after he missed the Norwich game with a hamstring problem, which could see Jack Wilshere rested.

Wenger must also decide whether to recall Mertesacker or stick with his captain alongside Laurent Koscielny.

Full-back Nacho Monreal was on the bench at the weekend, and could return in place of Kieran Gibbs, while Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski - who scored the third goal in stoppage-time - are all pressing for a place in the starting XI after impressive substitute displays when they came on to help change the Norwich game around.

German forward Podolski, 27, has seen his recent impact limited by injury as well as being utilised more from the bench by Wenger.

Despite stories linking the £11million summer signing from Cologne with a swift move away from the club, Podolski, who has 14 goals this season, maintains he is enjoying life at Arsenal.

Speaking to the official Arsenal matchday programme, he said: "I did well earlier in the season, then had an injury which put me out for a few weeks, however now I am back and hope to play a big part in the final run of matches - but it is the coach's decision, of course.

"Overall I am happy. You must remember I came from a team [Cologne] that was going down, and it wasn't so easy to come straight to a big club and be strong.

"But I believe I have the quality to play in every game here and think I have done well until now.

"I have scored some goals and made assists, so I am content, but I will be happiest if we can make the Champions League, because every player - and every team - wants to play at that level."

If Arsenal win tomorrow and then pick up another three points at Fulham, Wenger's side could be up into second place by the time Tottenham play again against FA Cup finalists Manchester City at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

There were long spells of the Norwich game where the frustrations of the home support spilled over.

Wenger, though, has called for focus - both on and off the field.

"It is important that our players and fans are united, because that always gives you a better chance of success," he said.

"In the final run-in, it will be vital that we are all together and focused on what we want to achieve."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent