Thomas Vermaelen claims he’s not afraid to anger his former fans by celebrating if he scores against us this Tuesday, and believes not celebrating against your former club is “fake”, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The Belgian defender made the switch to Barcelona in 2014, having been pushed out of the Arsenal team somewhat following a number of injuries poor performances. He’s barely featured for the La Liga side since though, with serious injuries totally destroying his career in Spain.
He insists that he’s happy there and wishes to show respect to his current club though, which he believes would mean celebrating were he to score against his old side.
“That’s a bit strange [not celebrating], I think it’s a bit fake,” he said.
“You have to show respect for who you’re playing for as well. I feel like that’s not always real.
“I play for Barcelona now, so I hope we win. I will never deny I have warm feelings towards Arsenal, it’s a club that’s been very good to me.
“Now I’m at Barcelona and I want to go through.”
Celebrating against your old club is a tricky one, and for the most part it’s hard to disagree with Vermaelen. You shouldn’t not celebrate just because you spent some time at that club, as plenty of players move around all the time, and playing for a club years ago doesn’t automatically mean you have to tiptoe around the fans.
If an Arsenal legend like Thierry Henry were to celebrate emphatically when he scored against Arsenal it would obviously be a little disappointing, but if Sebastien Squillaci or Junichi Inamoto were to jump around and hug their teammates after scoring against us would anybody really care? That they’d scored against us perhaps, but that they were celebrating? No chance.
Arsenal transfer news
Vermaelen was a superb player when he first arrived and looked like an excellent acquisition. He quickly faded though, and by the time he joined Barcelona for £16m (via the Express) the general consensus was that we’d absolutely fleeced the Spaniards and secured a massive fee for an out of form injury prone centre-back.