Vermaelen was appointed captain when Robin van Persie left for Manchester United in 2012, however he has since fallen down the pecking order, with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny establishing themselves as the club’s first-choice central defensive pair.
Vermaelen admitted that whilst being out of the side is frustrating, he is happy with the team’s excellent form this season.
Speaking to the Arsenal official website, he said:
Of course it’s a frustrating time for me, but I’m really happy for the team.
A winning atmosphere is so much better when you are around the training ground, it makes it more happy. For me I just have to be patient. I feel good in training, I have come back from my injury, I feel really good and I’m ready whenever the boss needs me.
The Gunners are looking good on all fronts this season, and with the number of games the club may potentially face, Vermaelen is confident he will get adequate game time. He added:
Of course you want to play every game, but it’s tough competition in there, especially when everyone is fit just look at the bench on Saturday.
There are going to be about 60 games this season, so you will always get a chance to play. I have spoken to the boss about it – it can happen in a split second. I had it last year when Per got the red card against West Brom, I needed to be ready to come on and then play the next game too. It can change so quickly.
Arsenal don’t have substantial back up in the defensive department but it’s becoming difficult to keep everyone happy. It is not that Vermaelen is trying to pressure Wenger, he is worried about his international career as Kompany, Vertonghen and Van Buyten all are fighting for a place in the national team, so the Belgian knows that he needs to be playing to stand a chance.
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Vermaelen’s chance will come and he’s got to be ready to take it when it does. He’s got to prove to the manager, and probably himself at this point, that he can operate at the required level again. If he does then it can only be a good thing for the team going forward and genuine competition for places ensures that nobody becomes complacent.
Although his comments suggest it, it will be difficult for Vermaelen to consider leaving because he too knows that all it takes is one chance to show his worth and there will be many opportunities in the next few months considering the fixture list is set to become extremely congested.
Can Arsenal risk losing Vermaelen? Share your thoughts in the comments below.