Thursday, September 18, 2014
Vermaelen plays down United rumours, stays coy on future

Vermaelen plays down United rumours, stays coy on future

Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has claimed rumours about him agreeing a deal with Manchester United are ‘untrue’, but refused to be drawn when pressed on whether his future would be with the Gunners.

The Belgian international has seen his stock fall over the last 18 months, and he spent the majority of last season sitting on the bench as the Mertiscienly Axis of Awesome established themselves as the club’s first choice centre-halves.

Recent reports emanating from his home country suggested he could link up with former boss Loius van Gaal at Old Trafford, but Vermaelen told Sky Sports news, “I know there has been a lot of talk and a lot of rumours but the only thing I can say is that it’s not true.

“Everybody understands my situation at Arsenal and that I have one year left.  I understand that people are going to talk but I am here in Brazil and I am enjoying my time and I’m focused on what I am doing.”

With just 12 months left on his current deal, Arsene Wenger could see this summer as a chance to cash in on the former Ajax man, but Vermaelen was less than forthcoming about any conversations he’s had with Arsene Wenger about what might happen.

“We talk a lot when I am at Arsenal but it’s not what I am going to discuss here, it is something you are going to have to ask him.”

As we’ve said for some time now, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if he wanted to leave, but with a right back needed, the manager may feel that too many changes to his defensive group would be counter-productive.

One to watch though.

11,770 views

75 comments

  1. Remember when people wanted him converted to a defensive midfielder. Could that be the answer to keeping him?

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    • Nope. I think he is a wee bit too adventurous.

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    • no, but the again no defensive midfielder in the world would be able to make that epic down the line pass! (vs norwich?)

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    • I think of it like, if Chelsea can move David Luiz into midfield, with relative success, then perhaps the same could work for us.

      As has been said Vermaelen is a good player rather than a great defender. There are very few out and out defensive midfielders these days. Most have the ability to get forward and contribute and often do.

      I think he has the attributes to be a success at it.

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      • Finsbury Park Gooner

        I agree. I’d love to see it given a shot but I can’t see it happening.

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      • If he can’t keep still as a CB, imagine what he will do as a mid. It will be all on Song once more.
        Look at Lego Hair. He is not as strong, his tackling is meek in comparison, but he is always there when you need him.

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        • Given that he has been playing in that role for like the last five years of his career, its understandable he would read the game better. But if Vermaelen was given that same time, who knows?

          I just think we have a talented footballer in Vermaelen, who has a great engine, great tackle, good pass and can score goals, going to waste.

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        • Except that he has the same problem you’re saying Verm would have, he is way too impetuous. He will blindly chase the ball around so often leaving our defense exposed.Verm would probably be better.

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      • ramsey's spirit

        Its been said before, the consensus has been that the differences in CB and DM are too different r.e a dm having half the positional side of the game behind him whereas he is used to having it all infront of him, in short he would likely be a song type of player in midfield, can make tackles yes but wander off alot too.

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    • This isn’t Playstation that you can play anyone anywhere. Being a defensive midfielder is the position that requires a very high on the ball technical expertise. The first touch and distribution has to be immaculate. Look at Sergio Busquets. He might be a diver, but his confidence when controlling the ball is examplary.

      The only criteria where Vermalelen qualifies is his ability to tackle, but that’s not enough by any means. He’s definitely not going to stay at Arsenal as he’s too good to be a back up as a CB. Let’s just hope he avoids United, though that’s the club that need him the most after Vidic has gone so I can see it happening.

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    • He can shoot, he can tackle, he’s our captain, he has a death stare, would love to see him play DM in pre-season at least.

      The only thing is I don’t think AW believes he has is the skill, close ball control and distribution that a midfielder needs.

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    • These people need their head examined.

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    • We could convert him into DM and striker to kill two birds with one stone! I’ve done it loads of times on FM so if Wenger wants to know how I could give him some tips. I’ve won the CL loads of times, fyi.

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    • I’m tired of our players current & ex joining our rivals. 2 is more than enough for this window. Any more departures hopefully it’s to other leagues, unless it’s Park!

      I’m particularly tired of this because we would have won the league title in 2008 but for the thuggery on Eduardo. At a time we were scrapping the bottom money wise!

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    • No. If at his natural position, he can be positionally suspect, then why take the time to train him for a new position, where positional discipline is perhaps the first thing on the traits of a good DM?

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    • Who is people?

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  2. If football is anything to go by we should definitely keep him. Injury (which apparently does happen) or even loss of form could mean a recall for Verminator. And let’s face it, he’s an excellent defender and loves a goal.

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  3. I’m having mixed feelings about this.

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  4. The boss just needs to tell him hard luck you’re staying. Well worth the £10m or whatever we would sacrifice in transfer fees to have quality backup for Mertescielny.

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  5. Please stay, please stay, please stay

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    • Too right. Could you ask for better competition than Vermaelen? It keeps Kos and Mert on their toes and we have been lucky with injuries in this position thus far, so surely that will change soon. This will get me thumbs down but what about Lescott if he goes? On a free and isn’t so much a City reject, he wad first choice before this last season, but was totally frozen out by Pellypellygayface. That would make sense to me.

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      • I’m thumbing you down. Not for suggesting Lescott, but for the unnecessary homophobic slur.

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        • I’m not allowed to call our rivals manager a gay face? What did my grandparents fight for in the war then?

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  6. Vermaelan’s position in both club and country is the equivlent of being in the friendzone, too nice, to dependable , always there when there are problems (injuries), just doesnt possess the oompphhh anymore to get into the coaches panties :(

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  7. Does no one else think that Vermaelan could fix their defensive midfielder problem? He’s a very good baller and a very good tackler

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  8. Stop with the ‘former boss’ Van Gaal thing. It’s just not true.

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  9. Give him a new contract! United? Fuck off!
    In other newz Vanpayslips said he will always remain a gunner no matter what, em not sure who asked him though!

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  10. No poo rating?

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  11. Has wenger ever tried TV as a defensive mf? I think he should do that in our pre season I cant help but think he would be a beast there, he has everything that position needs. I also think its time to prepare gnabry for a proper first team role by sending him on loan to a premiership side preferably everton or southampton

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    • “he has everything that position needs” – Except perhaps the most important trait, positional discipline…

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  12. Quite impressed with that Serge Aurier yesterday.

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  13. My biscuit bring all the boys to yard and they like is better than Vermaelen but sometimes we need him biscuit

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  14. I know he cops a lot of shit, but I rate the Verminator. He’s had some inconsistent form, but at his best is a good defender who can get forward and score plus a good leader.

    His attitude while parking his arse on the bench has been superb. I hope we keep him.

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  15. Djangoon Unchained

    Since when was van Gaal a former boss of TV5? Unless the Verminator is privy to the secrets of time travel (based on his nickname, don’t rule it out), I’m pretty sure the answer is never.

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      • Anonymous Physicist

        Erm, no.
        Van Gaal was manager of Ajax from 1991 to 1997. He returned briefly from late 2003 to late 2004, but that was as a technical director, rather than as a manager.
        Vermaelen joined Ajax in 2003, had one appearance in the 03-04 season, and spent the 04-05 season out on loan (at RKC Waalwijk).

        My definition of ‘former boss’ does not extend to ‘someone who was part of the decision to send him out on loan for a season’.

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        • Have biscuit and clam down man

          No need to be horatio pidantick

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        • When I first read this I thought ” … who the holy hell cares this much about fact-setting and (subjective) phrase-defining?”

          And then I saw the moniker ‘Physicist’ and immediately thought of Sheldon Cooper.

          After that it all made sense.

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        • Anonymous Physicist

          @Springbank. You made me laugh. Thumbs up. :)
          I just thought I’d insert some facts into the “Van Gaal is Vermaelen’s old boss”; “no he isn’t”; “yes he is, he was at Ajax!” discussion.

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        • Anonymous Physicist is just using fact to back up his point. You know, evidence instead of just making up shit up and posting it, like every article being posted by 99% of the media.
          FACT: TV5 was NOT coached by Van Gaal. Evidence: the information Physicist posted. (easily accessible to everyone by googling “Louis Van Gaal”)
          FACT: Cheyu can’t spell worth a shit. Evidence: Whatever that stuff Cheyu posted says. (easily corrected by googling the words you don’t know how to spell like “pidantick”…man, not even close)

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  16. Why not have three cb in defense, five in mf and two strikers?

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    • I hate 4-2-3-1. I thought Italy’s formation against England was a joy to behold. Marchisio and Candreva were finding tons of space between the defense and midfield. England couldn’t track them at all.

      The players we have are built for a quick, direct style. Walcott, Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla all breaking forward at pace, hence why we opted against Fabregas. Now we need a striker now who fits into that mould.

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  17. Can’t see a great incentive to cash in: I doubt we’d get much more than about £5m at this stage and it would cost more to bring in an equal standard replacement. Unless Vermaelen pushes for a transfer or Wenger really sees no place for him anymore I think he’ll see out his contract and move next season.

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  18. I think it’d be worth a try in DM, assuming of course he wants to make that switch.
    He’s got a thunderous shot and he’s also a bit of a cruncher!!
    Top man is Tommy V. I really hope he stays.

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  19. Parisian Weetabix

    I get the impression that the people who are calling for Vermaelen to be a defensive midfielder are the ones who get fed up when Arteta plays sideways passes. The problem is that “Defensive Midfielder” is a very misleading moniker. Defending is only one part of what is a very complex job, and Vermaelen simply doesn’t have the on-the-ball talent to be effective.

    The main argument being strung out seems to be “He’s good at tackling and he scored some long-shot goals against Wigan that one time”. Which is true. But tackling is being phased out of the game. And long-shots aren’t exactly Arsenal’s style. His decision making is questionable, as is his positional awareness.

    But most crucial is his lack of technical ability. Dribbling? Vermaelen is in no way a dribbler – he has a very awkward running style that in no way accommodates a football. Passing? When he has time and space, something only afforded to defenders, and he has a right foot reminiscent of an early Robin van Persie. Ball control? It’s no more than average at best. His ability in these areas is adequate for a defender, but not for a midfielder.

    Technical ability is the key requirement of the modern “Defensive Midfielder”. Arteta has it, Flamini has it, Vermaelen doesn’t. I’m not trying to slate him as a player; he’d undoubtedly add defensive steel to our midfield, winning headers and tackles. But he’d be a liability in possession, offering little or nothing going forward. Meaning we might as well be playing 5 at the back.

    And remember; we’re Arsenal. We play pure, high-quality, possession-based football. Not only is Vermaelen unsuited to CDM, Vermaelen at CDM is unsuited to our philosophy. I think Vermaelen is a fantastic player and I think he deserves a place in the first XI, but we can’t go pushing blatantly square pegs into unsuitably round holes just because we feel sorry for them. Arsene knows.

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    • “Simply doesn’t have the on-the-ball talent to be effective” – In your opinion.

      “Tackling is being phased out of the game” – No it isn’t.

      “Lack of technical ability…no way a dribbler…awkward running style…[rubbish] right foot…ball control average…liability in possession…” – Rubbish.

      “Flamini has it” – No he does not.

      “offering little or nothing going forward” – In comparison to Arteta with his 0.8 average key passes, his zero goals from open play, his zero assists. Not to mention his constant fouling. Its a fallacy that Arteta is some game reading wizard. He isn’t. His lack of pace often gets him caught out.

      “We play pure, high-quality, possession football” – not anymore we don’t. As @LittleDutchVA wrote in his article on Vital Football – “The arrival of Özil and the progression of Ramsey have entirely changed the dynamic of the team. We are now more direct again; able to soak up pressure before hitting teams with quick attacking spells”. We do not dominate possession stats like we once used too. Getting the ball and moving it on quickly is now our style again and when it wasn’t happening for us, as it did in some games last season, you could see that we didn’t look comfortable just knocking the ball around.

      David Luiz has proven that tough tackling defenders can play in midfield. But do I really think Vermaelen in midfield will happen? No. Arsene will want an experienced player able to slot right in with no learning curve. But to suggest that Vermaelen has no ability to do it, is just plain rubbish.

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      • Arteta plays both as DM and deep lying playmaker.

        I can accept that he isn’t perfect defensively but he gets cards because of his weak tackling rather than him not being there in the first place.

        Verms can defend. The problem is what happens when he gets the ball. Does he take the safe option and pass it sideways? Or does he gets the itch to go gallop up with the ball. Maybe he makes a better box-to-box, like a Pogba or Viera since he can score and head, run, tackle etc.

        BTW, if Flamini is perfectly ok as full back while Verms is merely ok and suspect going forward as LB, then Flamini probably has better technical skills.

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  20. Then play BFG as DM and Vemaleen as CB.

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  21. Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

    If you had to pick one of these 4 strikers, which one quill it be?

    Cavani
    Balotelli
    Benzema
    Mandukic

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    • Ballotelli anyday.

      Apart from his bad days that is. Which, all things considered, can be quite a few ;)

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    • Firefly in the sky

      Cavani without a doubt. Less drama, less Ego and a just a better more hardworking player. Balotelli will likely go all Bendtner on our ass. He needs dicipline and a hard ass manager to keep him on the straight and narrow. Wenger is the last manager in the world he needs to be playing for imo. Bendtner’s career would probably have been quite decent if he had a strict manager with authority that would not let him piss his career away.

      The just let them play and they will win philosophy of Wenger is better suited for responsible players. Responsibility for your own development requires a strong work ethic. Balotelli dont fit the bill.

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  22. Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

    Will*

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  23. Fair shout! Although I don’t get fed up at Arteta playing sideways passes. I get fed up with whole teams playing sideways passes – especially when they need not be so cautious and there’s gaping holes to pass through.

    I doubt this will be quite so much of a trait next season what with all of the glorious signings we’re going to make! :-D but I’d rather Vermaelen played DM at some point rather than leaving.

    Flamini doesn’t strike me as the best distributor in midfield, but he does strike me! Or at least he would if I was a) running at him with a ball and / or b) taking the piss. Which is what I like to see in a DM.

    Not forgetting you’ve got Per and Kos behind him.
    If it was Cygan and Stepanovs I’d tend to agree.

    As you say, Arsene knows.

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  24. Yeah Balotelli. As long as he wasn’t a cock about it.

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  25. Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

    I’ll go with Baloteli as well for one main reason. He is still 23 and not even close to reaching his potential yet. If anyone can get the best out of him, it’s Arsene

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  26. well at least he’s been classy about it – tbh, I wan’t him to stay – but if he wants a move, we should strongly consider letting him ride out his contract – we would have to replace more players than we are looking to acquire. as it is, AFC transfer windows are frustrating enough – that would seriously de-rail our plans for this coming year.

    side note – new fitness coach – lot’s of talk this is done, any confirmation from a proper source? daily star/metro/goal.com/daily fail don’t count for me – EVER

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  27. Gum Chewing Psycho

    If another one of our recent captain’s succumbs to the Emirates armband curse and leaves then so be it. We will name Mertesacker (Until He Dies) Captain, armband Emirates curse ends and we can hopefully transition a 3 X World Footballer of the year Aaron Ramsey into the captaincy! Vermaelen is not a Premiership Champion level club DM, maybe if he were playing with his pal Vertonghen @ Shite Hart Lane he could pass as a DM but the defensive midfield in our recent history has been graced with savants like Petit, Vieira, Gilberto, Macho Man Elbow To Your Spine Song, and Mr. Lego Hair himself. Our recent DM’s have passed the ball during our more pass happy handbrake off (midfield engine room purring nicely) an average of 50 times a match, the Verminator can’t be trusted to have an 85% pass rate, passing forward! If we want a crab pass machine I am sure Denilson would love to come earn a nice fat check again. Let us put the Verminator (official Captain or not) out of his misery and send him to have a fap with Van Persietraitor @ UTD Corporation! Straight swap for Welbeck or Chicarito please! Just say no to Phil Jones… He has always seemed like a Rich Man’s Shawcross and that ain’t saying much!

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  28. I would keep him as a back up CB. Too much change in the back four is too risky. It’s not worth the few bucks to sell him.

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  29. FFS just seen chelsea fan with cesc on the back of his top. Maureen gloating on how clever he was and the thought of chelsea scum singing the we got cesc fabgregas song. Its like watching the criminal adopted parents of your child display him dancing on the street corner as the adopted father drinks special brew collecting piles of coins from passers by

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  30. Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

    France is ripping that dream Senderous and Djourou central defensive pairing. We dodge a huge bullet on that calamitous experience

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  31. Atletico Islington

    The Arsenal players are looking great at this world cup, Giroud looks fast for goodness sake. I honestly think that if he didn’t have to play fifty odd games a season for us he’d look a much better player than he already does.

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  32. Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

    Better player? Yes. Faster player? No way in hell.

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  33. Welbeck? Really?

    Are you joking?

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  34. I didt know that Giroud can make such runs. Impressive performance.

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  35. Gum Chewing Psycho

    Welbeck is class he needs to join us to have a chance to flourish! His combination play, honest defensive skills, and technique would fit in seamlessly on the wing or as the main striker. Welbeck can be a star just needs to play the Arsenal way to shine! Think players always move to the right clubs? No! Remember the absolute jewel that was Shaun Wright-Phillips @ Man City before his Chelsea move! Or Hleb before he left us and went to Barca! Even Julio the Beast Baptista @ Sevilla! Welbeck would be class @ Arsenal but I can only dream or spend hours playing FM! Wenger knows Best! COYG!

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  36. Anyone else think he should be our lb?!?!

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  37. Parisian Weetabix

    @AndrewM4

    It’s not rubbish. Vermaelen is a central defender. He has the technical ability of a central defender, while his strength lies in his power – aggression, aerial duels, tackling, strength. If we play Vermaelen in midfield instead of Arteta (for the sake of their juxtaposition) the midfield loses Arteta’s key strengths (metronomic passing, positioning) and gains Vermaelen’s.

    Arteta’s game is about ball retention. He plays the safe pass often, recycles possession. As a result we keep the ball, and because we keep the ball there is less onus on him to be good at winning it back. With Vermaelen in the team, he would lose it far more often, but also be more effective in winning it back. So with Arteta in the team we are (theoretically) controlling games. With Vermaelen the game becomes much more scrappy.

    Now to your pointing out that David Luiz played in midfield. I don’t remember him being an overwhelming success, but regardless, the point is he was playing under Mourinho. Jose “Win at all costs” Mourinho. A man who loves a game to turn into a horrible, dogged, defensive scrap, where there is so little attacking play on offer that a defender would be perfectly at home in midfield, as the midfield is basically just another line of defenders anyway. In such a scenario yes, of course a defender could play in midfield. This is what tends to happen when you play defenders in midfield. You’ve sacrificed the ingenuity and attacking potential (or in Arteta’s case a player who controls games and gives others a platform from which to be ingenious and attacking) of a true midfielder for the grit, tenacity and doggedness of a defender.

    Back to my point on philosophy. The style of play described in that last paragraph is effective, as Mourinho has unfortunately and hideously demonstrated down the years. But I don’t want to see Arsenal playing like that. A midfield needs grit, but you don’t seem to understand that that HAS to be balanced with technical ability, positional awareness and general understanding of the game – case in point, Mathieu Flamini.

    It’s a sign of how Flamini is perceived that you completely dismiss his technical ability and imply that it’s on par with Vermaelen’s. Yes, Flamini charges around, flies into tackles and does all those things that the “defensive midfielder” moniker suggests. But if he didn’t blend that with technical ability he would have no place in the Arsenal midfield. Watch some highlights. He’s a perfectly good footballer on the ball too, and he’s far, far better than Vermaelen would be.

    What I’m really trying to make clear is that that “base of the midfield” position is incredibly specialist. It’s not a position that you can just stick a centre-back into. And if you put Vermaelen alongside such a player you’re effectively playing a Chelsea-style 4-2-3-1, at which point you’re scrapping for the game. Our style of play has changed, but it will never change to such a dramatic extent. Which is why I don’t think Arsene Wenger would ever play Vermaelen – or any CB – in midfield. He’s too much of a purist.

    ALSO

    – Can I please point out that I’m not trying to glorify Arteta here, I’m just using him for comparison. He has many a weakness, but he’s far more suited to being the base of the Arsenal midfield than Vermaelen.

    – If you would be comfortable with Arsenal playing a similar style to Mourinho’s Chelsea, then you are completely correct in what you say.

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    • Class comment and completely on point with all arguments made. Vermaelen at DM is wishful thinking, his distribution is way too poor for what is required of this position at Arsenal.

      I do want TV5 to stay as much as possible, but not at the cost of the team or of results for Arsenal. Let’s not force things shall we.

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  38. Lethbridge Gooner

    We play in:-

    * English Premier League
    * Capital One Cup
    * FA Cup
    * Champions League

    We need a big squad to cope with the fixtures. The World Cup is over when new season starts so players don’t need to do things to get picked at international level.

    Give TV5 a new contract, reassure him about getting picked through rotation. We need the continuity and also to avoid selling our captain year after year.

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  39. It’s essential to keep Vermaelen for the upcoming season. Already need a new 4th choice cb (despite all the Aurier to Arsenal articles suggesting he can cover – bullshit he is a 5 foot 9 rb who looks to prefer the attacking side of football). Delusional to think that Arsene will bring in two cb’s in a window, losing vermaelen would fuck us over big time.

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  40. Maybe he might stay on. He certainly won’t be improving his contention for the Belgian National set up for the next world cup (maybe the Euros) if he moves.

    The trouble is if he can get his level to a point where he is good enough to rotate through Meterscielny. that’s what the club needs at the moment.

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