Thomas Vermaelen has revealed his frustration at not being picked regularly for Arsenal, but insists that has not dampened his morale, and will continue to be available to Arsene Wenger whenever the manager calls on his services.
The Belgian has had a tough season this year, struggling with injuries and inconsistent form when in the side. With the presence of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, Vermaelen often had to settle for playing out of position due to injuries in the side. Ever since Gael Clichy departed for Manchester City, and Andre Santos was forced out on loan, Wenger only had Kieran Gibbs as the senior left wing-back. Then came in Nacho Monreal in the January transfer window, and gave Wenger another option.
Before Monreal’s arrival, Vermaelen was playing out of position, and after the Spaniard’s arrival, the former Ajax man had to settle for a place on the bench. Media had heavily reported about Vermaelen’s growing unrest at not getting a starting role at the club, but he was overshadowed by the hype of the Gunners’ latest race to the last qualification spot for the UEFA Champions League.
Vermaelen was bought by Wenger in 2009 in a £10 million deal from Dutch outfit Ajax. He was one of the most senior members left in the Arsenal squad when Robin van Persie departed for Manchester United last year. The 27-year old was made the official club captain, and this fact added more frustration when he was frequently on the bench this campaign.
However, looking at the situation from a footballing perspective, having a good central defensive partnership is key for any club, and when the stakes are as high as qualification for Europe, the manager has to do what is best for the club. Koscielny and Mertesacker formed a formidable partnership throughout the second half of the season, and due to the availability of Gibbs and Monreal, Vermaelen had to wait for his chance.
According to Metro, Vermaelen has taken the situation well, and declared that he will be patient in his approach.
He said, “The situation is completely new to me, but the situation is what it is.”
“It frustrates me and that is not pleasant, but I have stayed positive. I wasn’t negative at any point, because that wouldn’t have never helped me.”
“All you can do is make sure your ready when the manager needs you – I know my qualities.”
Vermaelen is a classy player and he will come back to his best form and clearly it is better that he does that with Arsenal so we just need to be patient with him.