Is Thomas Vermaelen still needed?

Before it starts slipping from memory I want to show my respect to Thomas Vermaelen for the vital role that he played for our wonderful club last season and the inspired decision it was, to not only keep him captain, while injured, but to allow him to collect the FA Cup at Wembley; even though, he didn’t play a single minute.

Vermaelen FA Cup

We all know the football saying that you are only as good as your back up well this is where I am coming from on this one. In my opinion it was vital that TV was kept on side and happy, ready to go if called upon.

It would have been so easy to have passed the club captaincy to either Arteta or Mertasacker during the long unfortunate periods of injury that TV suffered last season; but no, Wenger persevered with him and rightly so in my opinion.

Vermaerlen is still a very good CB and could still become a vital part of a first choice paring. This may be hard to imagine with the CB partnership of Mertasacker and Koscielny looking stronger than ever.

But, let’s not forget that there was a time, not so long ago, when this site out of respect and admiration had a picture of Vermaelen leaping like a salmon placed permanently in the top right hand corner.

vermaelen leaps

The question now is what to do next? Personally, I think it is essential that we keep him others might think an upgrade is the way forward.

Over to you.

Written by LB

69 Responses to Is Thomas Vermaelen still needed?

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Top work LB, thank you.

    Keep, keep, keep.

    And we should have upped Sagna’s wages and kept him too, although maybe that was simply not possible.

    Arsene rightly says three new faces is tops, and I’d be happy with two if they were of the quality of Sanchez ie definite improvements on any 1s tX1.

    We are now at the stage that Fergie liked in that the core is there, and you simply freshen every season with one top addition.

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    Here’s a Vermesque thought.

    Might Arsene think about a threesome at the back for odd occasions, if so, welcome Verm.

    …..Sanchez Theo
    . Santi Ozil Ox
    …..Keidera Aaron
    ..Verm Mert Kos

    Mind you, the options are mouthwatering.

  3. TV is crucial when either cb pick injury maybe long term.and squad rotation hindering fatique.hope he stays.sanchez welcome.hope poldi is gona be preferd coz of the his pace long shots vision and pic through balls a from ozil theo alexis ramsey santi jack list too long

  4. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all, I personally want him replaced as Captain…if he is happy to be rotated in when needed then keep him, but there is something about his personality and that armband that seems to make him think he doesn’t have to listen to those around him.

    Maybe I am being harsh, maybe he just looks out of sorts because he doesn’t get enough game time, but then I remember why his last long run in the side as first choice came to an end, that game at the swamp, where he allowed countless players to run off him and past him and seemed to be totally out if step with the rest of the back line, he was replaced after that game and BFG and Koz have blossomed mainly because they work together, TV5 seems to play his own way (if I’m being honest Sagna was similar), when Per is orchestrating the defence and everyone is listening we do well, when they don’t, well we’ve seen what can happen.

    He is not as quick as Koz and doesn’t have the authority or passing ability of the BFG, so should we keep him as Captain….no way.

    Should we keep him as reserve, if he is happy to do so, but personally if there is money on the table for him, I think I’d prefer we took it and invested in a younger alternative.

  5. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Well done LB, this should spark a bit of serious debate, thank you.

    Looking at our present squad, we have a surfeit of strikers and midfielders but our defence is looking decidedly threadbare.

    With the departure of Sagna we lost a fine fullback and a competent stand-in centreback.

    Monreal has lost his squad number, to Sanchez, and Djourou has not been given one, this could indicate that both players are heading for the exit door.

    To lose Vermaelen now would be a disaster as he is our only other centre back and possible left back.

    OK we know Wenger is looking for a new rightback, Debuchy? and there is talk of a centreback as well but until top class replacements are in place Vermaelen must stay.

  6. kelsey says:

    “Might Arsene think about a threesome at the back for odd occasions, if so, welcome” said Micky 😉

    I can’t disagree with a word LB.Good players don’t suddenly become bad players.If feasable Vermaelen should be kept.I wonder what was going through his head when he had the honour of lifting the trophy after 8 short years.AW did the honourable thing though it may have seemed strange to some so, I am sure AW would like to keep him.

  7. Norfolk Gooner says:

    GiE, I think you are right about Vermaelen as captain, the trouble is that demoting him will inevitably cause resentment and could result in a dressing room split.

    The role of Captain needs sorting out, is it a largely ceremonial position? tossing the coin, handing over a little penant and posing for a snapshot with the officials. Or is it a leader on and off the pitch, a la Adams and Viera.

  8. Norfolk Gooner says:

    As the door of his cell slams shut behind him … and the lights go out, Rolf Harris sits with his head in his hands.

    He ponders for a while in the darkness … contemplating what he has done … and begins to cry.

    Suddenly behind him a voice sings …. ♪… ♫… “Did you think I would leave you crying … ♫ … when there’s room in my bunk for two”

  9. RA says:

    A nice Post, LB.

    TV has been really badly affected by his injuries, but before that he was a spring-heeled totally committed defender who played with heart.

    Now that he is apparently recovered from these longterm problems I would expect him to return to the form he previously showed, and it would bug me if Manure benefitted from this.

    Another consideration is that Per has shown in the WC that he is slowing down at a rate of knots, and like Germany, we should look to rest him more during the season, and to do so, a pairing of Koz and TV would be excellent.

    Verdict? Keep him.


    You should never keep a player who does not want to stay – and as this is his final year in his current contract, any suggestion that he is not happy we should sell and make a few bob while we have the chance, and re-invest in someone who does want to play for us!

  10. RA says:

    Erm, what is it with Micky and his scurrilous suggestions?

    — “Arsene might think about a threesome at the back for odd occasions”

    Dirty devil!! 😀

  11. kelsey says:

    Don’t you read any of my comments RA you parrot 🙂

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    Kelsey I’ve never thought of RA as a squawker, but you may be right.

  13. arnie says:

    Great work, LB. 🙂 🙂 well done.

    Part of me says keep keep keep. Several reasons. Back up to BFG/Kos, BFG slowing down, has always played with a big heart.

    The counter is the captaincy issue. This needs to be sorted out, and perhaps the best way is for Verms to leave. While successive captains leaving is not a great signal, there are the arrivals of Ozil-Sanchez as a counter. 🙂

  14. arnie says:

    There are situations when it is better to wait and see what happens rather than act proactively. This, IMO, is one of those situation. It will sort itself out, one way or another, sooner rather than later.

  15. arnie says:

    I like Micky’s threesome. I would put Kos in the centre, though. 🙂

  16. arnie says:

    Actually, on second thoughts, the problem with captaincy is a problem for the club. 😦

    We have let ourselves in to situations where we have given the armband to crooks like Cutch Dunt and Cead Desc’ without extracting a binding commitment that they will spend their entire playing career in Arsenal, and afterwards their entire working life in coaching at Arsenal. Why should we not do that?

    I have no problem with Verms staying club captain if he spends the rest of his playing career at the club and afterwards in the academy.

    But not if he brings in offers from here and there every year and raises tantrums. Not saying he does that, but just making the point.

  17. arnie says:

    fiver!!! 😛

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    On the Captaincy, I’d keep him as Club Skip. As RA points out Mert is getting even slower, and I see no reason why Verm can’t find his true form given playing time.

    He doubles up as a LB, quite apart from being the ideal choice to make up my beautiful three at the back.

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    Right, my final big up for keeping Verm.

    I reckon he’s probably a better Centre Forward than Ollie 🙂

  20. arnie says:

    Actually, Micky I think Verms is a better GK than Ollie as well! 😛

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    Ollie OUT it is then, Arnie. I knew you of all people would agree wot with being clever and shit 🙂

  22. arnie says:

    Shit, yes. I support Ollie OUT for the Arsenal team starting the game on 28 May 2016. 😛

  23. stevepalmer1 says:

    Nice one LB
    Should he stay or should he go
    At present Kos and FFG are working well together and i can understand how the Manager picks those two first,
    I am one that believes we need more rotations in the squad. Vermaelen is a very good defender, and although not first choice for his country he is still a very good player. Maybe had he played regulary for our first team he may have been an automatic but when a player see’s best part a season on the bench, he loses his match fitness.

    Mertsacker has come in and taken Vermins position but Merts is a cart horse once beaten he stays beat where Thomas will not give up. Yes Merts has good positioning and he has the height all good things but coming out of defence he puts shivers up my back. Pace may not be very high on someone like him but it is to me. I would like to see rotational players in all the positions from strikers to goal keepers.

  24. RA says:


    The answer to your question lies in the wording of the question itself;

    — “Don’t you read any of my comments RA you parrot?”

    Parrots don’t read, darling, so ……..

    Pieces of eight — sqwack — Kelsey OUT — kiss me ass, matey — parrots rule, OK

    That’ll teach yer!!! 🙂

  25. mickydidit89 says:

    RA ha ha 🙂

    That’s it, you learn Crystals

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    I meant to be having my kip


    Great post LB

    Of course we should keep the Verm, the guys one step away from donning a cape and cleaning up tottenham high street.

    He provides cover at centre back, can play left back, and at a push can do a stint in midfield

    Hes also a guy thats been around long enough to be classed an Arsenal man and ofcourse has the honour of club captain.

    These thimgs shouldnt be underestimated. The best way to pass down the Arsenal ethos to newcomers and youngsters comes from pros like Verm.

    This is important. We dont want sanchez turning up the first day demanding “Were are the hookers, cocaine, and chiliean folk dancers” like a Tottenham player would.

    We want to win.

  28. GunnerN5 says:


    Are you wearing your eye patch?

  29. arnie says:

    top comment, Terry. 🙂

    “The best way to pass down the Arsenal ethos to newcomers and youngsters comes from pros like Verm”

  30. arnie says:

    I maintain. We need a change of culture, where we see seniour players as partners in the project, as Gooners, rather than as ringers hired to do the short term job for us.

  31. arnie says:

    WordPress behaving funny. again.

  32. Just got back from the bar, time for a siesta and feeling lazy…… so agree with everything that’s been said. As long it was, keep TV!

  33. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Peaches/Rasp, Topical post e-mailed to arsenalnuts.

  34. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arnie, as far as I can tell WordPress never do anything else. 😀 I’ve been trying to add a gravatar, needless to say with no luck whatsoever.

  35. arnie says:

    Norfolk. 🙂

    Last couple of days, I am being able to post only intermittently. “If it does not work now, try again in 1 hour” principle. 🙂

  36. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arnie, despite my e mail and user name being recognised as far as commenting goes, I’m told that WordPress doesn’t recognise one or the other when it comes to adding a gravatar, or that I should enter a password, which I don’t have. When I try to get a reminder of my non-existant password I’m told that my username is already in use or that my e mail address is not recognised.

    I think WordPress must have been set up by Franz Kafka. 😀

  37. arnie says:

    Norfolk. Classic. “I think WordPress must have been set up by Franz Kafka” 🙂

  38. arnie says:

    OK. 3rd place trophy for the minnows coming up later tonight.

    For me, front bottom is OUT OUT OUT, hairy or shaved. Come on Brazil. Show some nationalism, some self respect. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  39. LB says:

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I think it would be almost impossible to find a CB better than Vermaelen who would be prepared to spend the best part of next season on the bench. And as rare as that may be it could happen.

    TV seems to be prepared to do that, the clever thing that Wenger did last season, in an attempt to enable Vermaelen to keep his dignity, was to allow him to keep the club captaincy.

    If he stays it could happen again but I doubt it.

  40. neamman says:

    Good squad player but sadly has never been the same since his injury

  41. arnie says:

    Celebrating or discussing or even thinking about our foot soldiers is not something we pay enough attention to. Particularly someone who does not even find a regular place in the first team.

    LB, your post gave me, and I suppose all of us, the opportunity to think about Verms. The more I thought, I came to realise what a fantastic contribution this person is continuing to make to the team, not only on the field of play, but as a team leader.

    It would have been so easy to let one’s frustrations flow out into the public domain. But no, Verms has been a model leader, conducting himself impeccably everywhere, and still happy to pitch in on the field when the need arose.

    Top man, top Gooner. 🙂 If he decided to leave, I would understand that, but will be very sad to see him leave. Now even more so after a day of reflection.

  42. arnie says:

    Where would Brazil go from here I wonder.

  43. Gööner In Exile says:

    On possible replacements should TV5 leave……what about the Costa Rican centre back Gonzalez? He was superb.

  44. mickydidit89 says:


    We know Mesut’s best mate is Keidera

    Is Hummels best mate Keidera? 🙂

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    Didn’t watch the game last night, but I think the 3rd/4th play-off is not only pointless but really harsh on the players.

    Four days ago, you lost out on the biggest prize in football (WC Final) then have to lace up and find energy and enthusiasm for what?

  46. LB says:

    I suppose it is possible that we make Mertasacker club captain, we then buy someone like Gonzalez, the Costa Rican turns out to be a better partner for Koscielny and as a consequence I write exactly the same post this time next year about how professional the BFG has been while spending most of the time sitting on the bench.

    Why stop at wanting Gonzalez, why not up the anti and demand we sign Hummels.

    All upgrades improve the squad and therefore the team, I would be happy as a sand boy if we signed Kadira; although, this would almost certainly guarantee that Wilshire would spend so much time on the bench next season; that, in search of first team football, he would want to leave.

    And, while I am waffling, this is the main reason why I think the signing of Kadira is extremely unlikely.

  47. LB says:


    Both Holland and Brazil played with more commitment than would have been expected before the start. It wasn’t a bad game.

    I love the image of: a group of PSG executives were seen rummaging through the dustbins outside the ground in Paris last night, when the police turned up and asked what they were doing they said, with a very embarrassed look on their faces, that they were looking for the receipt for David Luis.

  48. Gööner In Exile says:

    Gonzalez struck me as being similar to Koz….a foot soldier rather than the organiser.

    The best centre back partnerships are one calm and steady leader with one who is prepared to put his body on the line and chase down lost causes.

    Etc etc

    That’s why BFG and Koz works.

    The calm leader is probably the hardest to find.

  49. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    Judging by the comments i see i am on my own about rotational players, Now i used to feel the same, and had we had a run of winning games, i used to want Wenger to keep with a wining team, but what that does is wear players down and when midweek cup games come along, and we try out cup players, many’s the time players coming in, are ring rusty.

    Now my idea would be to rotate just 2 players per game, every game, in this way players get a weeks rest every 4 or 5 weeks, the squad get regular game time, and feel part of the team. We would have no bench warmers so feelings of being Alien would not fester. The team would be as fresh as is possible and there would be a squad that have all played the same amount of time.

    Injuries in the Arsenal team have ultimately lost us games and that equates to possible loss of trophies. If players are not good enough to get a regular place then they should be replaced with players who are. Players like Vermaelen who have been an example of professionalism, would feel that they have a purpose, and have been a big part in the clubs success.

    Vermaelen himself, must have felt a right Burk walking up the Wembley steps and hoisting the FA cup when he had taken no part in the final, that cannot be right.

  50. mickydidit89 says:


    “this would almost certainly guarantee that Wilshire would spend so much time on the bench next season”

    So you’re up for signing Kadeira then 🙂

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    Hang on Exile

    You’re calling Tone “calm” 🙂

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Here’s a quiz for you LB

    Pod Sanchez Theo
    …Kadeira Aaron

    Which one of those positions is Jack in contention for (you know, injuries, rotation etc)

    I don’t think it’s Kedeira, and I bet Arsene doesn’t either.

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Sorry. Spelt Khedira

  54. Morning AAers…. I’ve just posted my Sunday supplement over at my place, do pop in and have a read.

    By the way, my last two posts this morning here are being held in moderation for some reason. 😦

  55. LB says:


    You surely don’t think it is Ozil’s place.

    Wilshere is to attacking midfield what David Luis is to central defending.

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha LB 🙂

    Methinks Aaron. Yes

  57. LB says:


    Yep, you are right about the reason for being in moderation. The person who started this site is a woman and from time to time her mother reads it.

    I doubt I need to say more.

    The rest of us find ways round this. For instance, those from N17 are a bunch of banned words.

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    It’s Peaches Mother who needs banning. Poor Chas is so limited in the types of vids he would really like to post 🙂

  59. Mums…. where would we be without them 🙂

  60. Perhaps I’m in moderation for posting Liverpools 5-0 win against us last season. But it’s the new BT Sport advert… I’ll try to post the u tube link again, but this time I won’t use the C word. In respect for Peaches mum. 🙂

  61. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all, I watched the game last night, I quite enjoyed it but there were some dodgy refereeing decisions. That Robben bloke is amazing, how he managed to levitate from a yard outside the box to six feet inside it should get him life membership of The Magic Circle.

    I like it that certain standards are maintained on AA, my young grandson often checks in, Peaches’ mum in! in! in!

  62. mickydidit89 says:


    C word is banned, so that could be the reason. So is anything about Jewish people, but insulting Catholics, Muslims, Atheists and especially Buddhists is broadly encouraged 🙂

  63. mickydidit89 says:


    On the whole I’m a fan of Peache’s Mum, but I do feel sorry for Chas 🙂

    Motning sessions lacks humour without him. Ban him from holidays.

  64. Here is the link again:

    I was suggesting that all gooners boycott BT Sport. It’s a typical english media biase towards Liverpool and against the Gunners. The F’g C’s

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Can we boycott it only when Arsenal aren’t being screened?

  66. Morning all

    Thank you NG for the post ……….. just sorting it now. Back in a bit.

  67. For my two bob’s worth, I think BT sport are disgusting 😦

  68. Steve – your comment is out of moderation, I have no idea why it was in there.

    Steve’s comment was at 8.28am

  69. Ok, when I got to the cupboard there was a light-hearted post from steve palmer so I’m going to use that one first.

    New Post everyone …………………….

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