Thursday, December 1, 2022

Vermaelen left back quotes skewed by media

Thomas Vermaelen recently gave an interview in the Belgian press in which he talked about his deployment at left back. Some of those quotes were picked up by the UK media, The People newspaper and Sky Sports in particular, and made to look as if Vermaelen was complaining about having to play at left back.

It will come as no surprise to learn that the quotes were taken out of context. Untold Arsenal have posted a full transcript of the interview, some of the more relevant parts below.

You have been injured for a while last season and also this season. Are you back at your old level?

I feel great and play like that. But because our left backs (Santos and Gibbs) are out injured I had to play as left back in the last weeks.  I think that is unfortunate but there is nothing that I can change about that.

Did you talk about it with Wenger?

Yes, but what is said between us stays between us. Everybody knows playing left back is not my preferred position.

Why do you think that despite all this  you after all are a good left back?

I don’t think I am a bad left back. I do my job over there. But I am never really completely satisfied with myself after playing there. I want to get to my highest level in each game and I don’t have this as a left back. When the team wins I’m happy, but still it is a bit frustrating.

Why are you so much better as a central defender than as a left back?

Tell me why does a striker performs better in attack than in midfield? I’m just trained as a central defender.

So, essentially he’s saying that he’ll do the job for the team but doesn’t feel like he can play at his best in that position. And would any Arsenal fan argue with that?

It’s another example of how the media like to sensationalise things, and another reason why fans shouldn’t take everything at face value, especially comments made to foreign media. We know how they can be twisted to make a story seem more ‘interesting’.

And with Per Mertesacker’s injury, and the return of Kieran Gibbs to full fitness, it looks as if Vermaelen will be moving back into the centre of the defence where he feels most comfortable.

Let’s hope he’s completely satisfied after each game.

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His reasons for not liking playing left back sound like unselfish ones. He want to be playing in his best position to help the team out as best he can. The media just spin these things to sell papers. I personally believe Twitter more than I do the press these days.

Also I cannot wait to get Kos and Verm back together in the middle. They could form a world class partnership for years to come.


Thank you, Walter.


Don’t forget that even if Gibbs is not fully fit, we can play the excellent Coquelin there as well. As I remember, we did ok with a midfielder at leftback last time in Europe too!


Gibbs has been out a long time. I’ld like to see the coq start against milan and maybe gibbs in the fa cup


Hopefully Gibbs can stay fit more than one game this time! We’ll have a right decent back four.

Malaysian Gooner

If only the other fans read arseblog as well and not those media cunts.


Insight is peach…when not twisted.


You expect anything else from our press. They never let anything silly, such as the truth, get in the way of a shit stirring story. Their problem is, is that we look to have sorted out all our problems and are heading in the right direction. They have little else to write so the lazy journalists will just forget to type things from an interview that they was too lazy to do themselves!


I can’t see where the media have taken anything out of context – Vermaelen obviously by his own cryptic remarks about what he says to Wenger about playing at left back stays indoors leaves the door open for speculation – plus his other comments regarding this situation suggest that he is not happy about it.
The problem with the pairing him with Koscieiny at CB is that neither are good in the air on defending set-pieces and this leaves us with a weakness that opponents can exploit.


Frankly i disagree. I’ve always felt that defending set pieces was Vermaelen’s only weakness. He’s not the tallest and in that static situation it’s very difficult for him to gain momentum and leap to get in front of his opponent as he does when defending in open play.
And Kos is even worse. He loses a ton of headers even in open play. That’s why Mertesacker is vital imo.


If I remember correctly, the stats I’ve seen shows that Kosc actually has alot higher win percentage in the air than Mert. Would be intresting to see a complete view of the stats from this season.


Often stats trotted out to “prove” some point or another are just numbers dressed up to look more important than they are. I suspect Mertesacker wins a lot of his arial “challenges” before the other guys jump. Seeing lost cause against a player his size, I think some players don’t go for it, which then doesn’t show up as a challenge “won.” Watching games, one doesn’t get the impression that Mertesacker isn’t good in the air. Often he appears to dominate that space, when teams even bother challenging him in that way. (“Benty, go against the last man and we’ll… Read more »

Arsene McLovin

“Neither are good in the air”???

Do you even know our players? The Verminator was the best header at Ajax! Upon his arrival, our set pieces issues has dropped and it no longer is. It’s not all about height. Timing, experience and pure balls of steel. Who do you think has them all?


kos and verm are good and the stats show that.but our BFG is a boss.just having him stand there in the set piece is a HUGE just makes opposition target men uncomfortable and also while attacking he could be used as a distraction.also BFG is our last case of kos verm partnership there is no such specific thing.this is not to say kos and verm are not as good as the other combinations.kos and verm are deadly.both are fast and can contribute to our attacking style and if wenger puts in gibbs in the defence against milan we… Read more »


I am pretty sure Le Grove is run by To”enham fans.


I had said it before he is too good a centre back to play at left back. media twisting the stories (goal you piece of shit laliga suckingsite)doesnt frustrates me what did was i was going through Arsenal news and found many Arsenal blogs hyping it in the same manner(yes they are shit as well). I just see the headlines dont bother visiting their site but for once i question why do they register themselves as Arsenal blogs.
But thank god we have some fucking excellent bloggers, dont need to mention the name we all know who they are.


not only the media, the fcking cunts down at le-grove too..


he actually really wants to play as a striker alongside rvp but the paper miss-quoted him


Typical, I remember a few years back, towards the end of his career, a Headline screamed “Berkamp slates Wenger” What Berkamp has said was that he was disappointed not to be starting as many games as before.

Ace McGoldrick

Don’t recall a Berkamp ever playing for us…


Yeah well, that’s media misreporting for you……..


They do this on purpose, it’s nothing new.

Don’t believe what you read in the papers.


dont understand why thats so hard to understand. lets remember that vermaelen is pretty close to be vice-vice captain and he takes one for the team by playing out of position when we are in trouble. because he is such a class player, that wenger knows that he can do it. as soon as santos and gibbs are back we will be rotating between kos, vermaelen and the mert. thats not weird to have a bit of rotation, koscielny has played almost all the games this season, he must be pretty knackered soon. So good if we can spare on… Read more »


Koscielny is a thoroughbred. And central defender has to be one of the least taxing positions on the pitch–less running involved than any other position apart from keeper.

Red Cannon

Fully agree with the Kos is a thoroughbred comment. Also agree with the thought that central defender is generally less taxing than other positions. However, the way Kos plays the position is pretty damn taxing. The guy goes after everything. He’s basically an attack-minded defender because he’s so aggressive going after the ball and transitioning to moving things forward again. Much as I love watching him play, he could probably use some rest against some lesser opposition so that he can last through the remainder of the season.


As they’re full of shit I gave up reading the sports pages years ago.

If it ain’t on Arseblog, fuck it, as my old nan used to say.


“I feel great and play like that. But because our left backs (Santos and Gibbs) are out injured I had to play as left back in the last weeks. I think that is unfortunate but there is nothing that I can change about that. Did you talk about it with Wenger? Yes, but what is said between us stays between us. Everybody knows playing left back is not my preferred position.” This seems to me to suggest that Tommy doesn’t like playing at LB and is doing so on sufferance! Anyway with Mertesacker out injured and Gibbs back in training… Read more »

The Truth

Really surprising that the press are distorting Vermaelen’s comments. All the reports I’ve seen from the Leveson Enquiry suggest our national media is an institution with standards of integrity and accuracy we can be truly proud of.


Wasn’t entirely sure I read this properly so ran it through google translate in case my English was off the mark. Was reassured mightily when it just came back with ‘MEDIA=CUNTS’


Vermaelen should probably not even be saying this, its still, even in direct translation, a little bit unnecessary. We all know he is a centre back and best there but needs must and just get on with it. Its a shame Gibbs return coincides with Mertesackers injury as I would be interested to see how Wenger would have approached that selection dilemma. Personally I think the 3 of them can be rotated dependant on opposition. If we play a City or Spurs we need Kon & Verm, Mert is too slow. But against a Bolton or similar Mertesacker is probably… Read more »


Honestly, I think the BFG is very important to this arsenal side. Ok he isn’t the best in his pace and maybe distribution of the ball, but his reading of the game is top top class. He brings experience and calmness I don’t think you will get in kos-verm combination. Verminator is an excellent player, but I think kos-BFG combo is better in terms of complimenting each other. But nevertheless I would love kos-verm to form the most intriguing defence for arsenal in the forseeable future, God willing.


I’d say Per’s distribution is pretty strong – I read/heard somewhere (quite possibly on here) that his passing success rate for this season is 2nd only to Arteta at the club.

Not bad for someone with poor distribution..

Romford Pele

I’m really happy someone highlighted that point about the Le Grove website. You’d think those guys down there didn’t support Arsenal the way they go on down there. I’m not saying the club and the team don’t have their flaws, but to highlight Wenger as the root of all the problems is scandalous.

Rant over, keep up the good work Arseblog – it’s definitely going to be one of my first ports of call next time.


I fear AW will select djorou to replace Per and stick with vermaelen for milan game . I hope I’m wrong.


Stick with vermaelen as LB .

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

He may go with Djourou starting in CB with Vermaelen at LB, and then bring on Gibbs for Djourou with 25 mins to go. With Vermaelen moving back to CB it would give Gibbs as much of a game as he can probably handle right now, but would also give us a bit more attacking drive up the left side at what could be a crucial part of the match, hopefully with the Milan defenders tiring from having to chase the Ox, Walcott, Rosicky and RVP around all evening.


Coquelin can play LB and we can slowly ease Gibbs in, while Vermealen can partner Koscielny in central defence and Djourou can get a few games at CB too to give Koz and TV a rest while PerMa is out injured.

Sorted! 🙂


And we also have Miquel too, who has impressed me.

SF Gooner

It was obvious that the English media were always going to take bits of this and run with it. My problem is why other fucktard ‘Arsenal’ blogs eat up the same shit. Are they not fans of this team? Are they trying to push an agenda? Also, how much longer can I go on being as sexy as I am?

[…] monster-trucks out of tricycles. Here’s a transcript of the interview, I have taken from Arseblog News, who in turn have taken it from Untold […]

[…] due to the absence of recognised left backs than due to the presence of Mertesacker in the side. He’s not happy about it but I’m not unhappy that he’s unhappy. He’s a centre back and any player […]

Yankee Doodle Cheeseburger Munching C**t

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The big German looks like a NutSack.

[…] with better playing surfaces. It means however that Thomas Vermaelen moves to a position he says he prefers playing in – along side Laurent Koscielny in the heart of Arsenal’s defense. Kieren Gibbs, back from […]

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