Wenger backs beleaguered Vermaelen

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Arsene Wenger says Thomas Vermaelen must accept being rotated in and out of the squad despite his status as captain of the club.

Pressed on his centre-back’s erratic form and the decision to drop him for Wednesday’s game in Munich, the boss stressed his admiration for the former Ajax man’s commitment to the cause while admitting that at the moment he can’t be guaranteed a place in the side.

“He is a very important part of our squad,” the boss said ahead of Saturday’s game against Swansea. Before adding, “He has a fantastic attitude and motivation.”

Having kept a clean sheet in Munich, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Carl Jenkinson and Lukasz Fabianski all look likely to keep their places for the trip to Wales, while Nacho Monreal returns for Kieran Gibbs.

Speaking about the need for fresh legs, the boss also clarified that Vermaelen needs to ‘accept rotation’ at the moment before speaking about the cup final mentality Arsenal need to produce in their final ten games of the Premier League season.

“Every game a cup final now, we have to win at Swansea like we did at Bayern Munich. [It’s] win at all costs,” he is quoted as saying by the Mirror’s John Cross.

Arseblog News is hardly surprised by the decision to give Vermaelen a breather although we’d urge caution in believing mindless speculation linking him with a move away from the club.

Having put pen-to-paper on a new deal (when those around him were happy to jump ship) and having been a popular candidate for the captaincy it seems strange to wish him away from the club just because he’s not enjoying his best form. Solidarity with ALL the players could be key in the next couple of months.

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moreal's beard
moreal's beard

This is exactly what the club needs. If any player is below par, he must be rotated!. Basic secret to footballing success!

I’ve got my reserved thoughts about Arsene’s comments on Fab tho…

Parisian Weetabix
Parisian Weetabix

It’s just sensible management. I love Vermaelen, he’s great, but he’s off form. Koscielny, apparently, is on form. Verm just needs time to get back to his best, and hopefully the lack of pressure can help with that. Best of luck to him, but I’d like to see Koscielny playing for now.

fredflintstein
fredflintstein

He’s seriously off form and his mistakes have been costly. Even when vice-captain Arteta has a bad game you still come away thinking that he was tidy. Verm has had some absolute howlers this season. I hope he regains his form as constantly changing skippers cant be good for general moral.

Michu
Michu

My thought exactly!

Runcorn Gooner
Runcorn Gooner

TV5 seemed to have lost his timing when tackling this season .He has scythed down so many opposition players in dangerous parts of the pitch you would have thought he would have learnt his lesson.Apparently not.His wild slice against Liverpool was park football standard.
Have to hope that he will return a wiser player but he should be relieved of captaincy for his own sake.
Now Little Lord Theo needs to be read the riot act.

Midfield Corporal
Midfield Corporal

Agree with your comments on Theo Runcorn Gooner. He seems to think that now he’s a 100k a week footballer he doesn’t have to work as hard as he did when he was playing for that fat contract. He’s wandering into the middle too much, I think he thinks he’s Thierry Henry now. What was going through his mind with 5 mins of the Spuds game to go when he stepped up to take that free kick? He’s never scored one, and never looked like scoring one. When there are better free kick takers on the pitch you forget the Roy of the rovers dream going on in your head and do what’s best for the team.

rahulv
rahulv

Made to sit out just one game and these fucking papers are reporting that vermalen and szczesny will be sold. fucking hate these so called newspaper.
anyways koscielny and fabianski’s performance against bayern is good thing for the team, if it helps tv5 and szcz get their act together.

Stone
Stone

It’s exactly the same thing they said about Rooney. Apparently these days being left on the bench equals being transfer listed.

Pure
Pure

We defended alot better without him against Munich. I think he has been exposed this season because he has not been injured. He has played alot and we have seen the true vermealan. He should be a defensive midfielder. He reminds me of David Luiz.

Toure Motors
Toure Motors

David Luiz is an ‘orrible cunt

nickgooner
nickgooner

Totally agree, my dads been harping on for years and it’s only now I can see his way of thinking. Surely he would be better playing in a position where he is not left so exposed into making rash decisions? Plus he has a hammer of a left foot which is always welcome. I miss them runs forward he used to make, Arteta can’t exactly slot back as a CB if need be so it never happens.

mike
mike

tbh i always though djurou should be played a a dm

Chair
Chair

a) Luiz is even less suited to defensive midfielder position, because you need to have even more discipline and responsibility to play there than at centre-back.
b) We have never seen him play there (not that I recall), but doubt he has the necessary passing range and discipline (as we’ve seen).
Playing him in defensive midfield just because he likes to run forward quite a bit, and that position supposedly allows you to do that, is actually a really, really bad idea. Defensive midfielders should protect the back four and cover for them when one of the centre-backs bomb forward, so actually, they should in theory run forward even less. He’d go on a run, leave a gaping hole in the midfield for everyone to use to put our centre-backs under pressure and when our centre-backs are continually put under pressure, they crumble.
So in short, no.

ChrisGoona
ChrisGoona

Agreed completely Chair. TV in midfield is a big NO NO. He may make some great interceptions, but I think he would be cautioned a lot and he will leave us exposed.

We need a Vieira / Makelele type who can pass like Cesc or Alonso.

Pete
Pete

Could Coq become that person?

Santi's Class
Santi's Class

Well that’s not asking for much at all. Makelele’s tackling and defensive acumen, Viera’s athleticism, with Cesc’s vision and creativity, topped off by Alonso’s passing range.

Stone
Stone

What we really needed was to increase our bid for Alonso to the 16 millions that Pool wanted the year before he went to Real. Oh what a difference he would have made down the years.

Chair
Chair

@Pete:
Based on how his progress is coming along, doubtful. He’d need to get really good really fast. However, he hasn’t progressed in the last year at all (granted he didn’t get to play much but still), so I wouldn’t put my eggs in his basket.

Gunner
Gunner

I wud like AW to replace Arteta with Coquelin in this match.

R18
R18

Wenger: we rotate abit at the back at the moment.
DM: Vermaelen and Szczesney on way out as Wenger loses patience with duo.

Does wenger give secret interviews with the DM that we dont know of? or does the DM just choose to decode absolute bullshit after a wenger press con, interview etc run it and get quid from unsuspecting retarded readers. The 2nd one probably.

Jiggalo
Jiggalo

I’m just hoping with all the cup final practices we’re having from this and last season, that when we do actually get into a cup final we win!

petits handbag
petits handbag

I don’t think we should treat every game like a cup final,we’ve not the best recent record in them.
Maybe treat every game like we’re playing Reading or West Ham?

ChrisGoona
ChrisGoona

Or playing the second leg of a Champions League tie which we are completely written off in… Less pressure the better!

Abeer
Abeer

Thats what is called squad depth…so that you can rotate and select your 11 on the basis of form and fitness…just wish we had this kind of depth available in all areas of the pitch!!!

Pete
Pete

To be fair. I think we do in most areas.

GK – Szszcesny / Fabianski / Ramsey
LB – Gibbs / Monreal / Miquel / Ramsey
CB – Verm / Kos / Mert / Sagna / Coq / Miquel / Ramsey
RB – Sagna / Jenks / Ramsey
LM – Cazorla / Poldi / Arshavin / Gervinho / Ramsey
CM – Wilshere / Cazorla / Arteta / Ox / Coq / Ramsey
RM – Walcott / Ox / Cazorla / Ramsey
FW – Giroud / Walcott / Poldi / Ramsey

Maximus
Maximus

So much Ramsey

Pete
Pete

It may have been a joke…

Ramsey Mom
Ramsey Mom

Ramsey is the man

master floda
master floda

nice to see him getting the appreciation he deserves after all that stick he got last season when he came back from that long injury and people expected him to equally replace fabregas. and i’m glad he finally found his position and a style of playing that suits him and helps the team.

Steve of Chiang Mai
Steve of Chiang Mai

I believe Coq could be brilliant at right back with some effort by the coaching staff. Should Arsenal buy a genuine DM in the summer he may struggle for game time. Should Sagna leave to chase a final big paying position (good luck to him) I think Coq could solve the need to spend on a right back.

DoubleDoubleDouble
DoubleDoubleDouble

That is ridiculous, Ramsey is our back up manager as well.

JB
JB

@Pete you just had me howling at 4.52 AM West Coast LA time…. Fuckin Ramsey – do the job anywhere see !! He’s a tidy boy like….. (in thickest Welsh accent)

ChrisGoona
ChrisGoona

Ramsey is Mr Versatility.

Gearoid Kelly
Gearoid Kelly

FW – Giroud / Walcott / Poldi / Gervinho

If only we had one more proper striker…

Pete
Pete

Or two more. In all honesty I think Giroud will be shipped off if/when the right offer comes in.

Julia
Julia

@Pete, interesting, why do you say that about Giroud? I don’t know if I agree or disagree, just that I’ve never heard anyone say that of Giroud before. Its an interesting point.

Pete
Pete

I just don’t see him as a long-term solution upfront. We were forced to buy a striker and I doubt that he was that high on Wengers list.

I can see us buying two strikers in the summer. We certainly don’t need more midfielders and I think the defence is in pretty good shape too.

mike
mike

@pete

id actually have to disagree, with his ability in the air and his work rate i think hes some1 we need to keep, because in part alot of our players seem to get complacent and not work, a determined striker might be what we need, i do think we need to sign a better striker aswell, but hang onto giroud poldi and walcott. gervinho can go by all means

Jamie
Jamie

Didn’t you read the list? we do have another striker, Ramsey!

Julia
Julia

Maybe Ramsey should just throw caution to the wind and buy Kroenke out too? Screw those Arab investors.

Maximus
Maximus

I know it’s a joke. He is bloody awesome though, his versatility is a real asset.

Jeghinho
Jeghinho

I think a utility player is crucial for any good side

Just ask my sunday side, for whom I have been asked to play in goal, CB, LB, RB, LW and CM this season

rahulv
rahulv

Or we should just make them think they have no chance. Remember all our memorable wins in the recent years are barca 2-1, sp*rs 5-2(cracks me up everytime), milan, city, bayern.. see the pattern.

up4grabs
up4grabs

There is a serious point here and it has to be laid at the door of the coaching/management staff. How many times recently have we as fans pyched ourselves up for a game with big implications hanging on the result, only to be deflated by our players not being able to handle the pressure. When there is no pressure they seem to play world class football. Half witted analysts then start thinking about tactics and player ability. Wenger keeps going on about playing with the handbrake on, but it keeps happening. We don’t need different formations, we don’t need a load of new players. We need to teach our current players to play as they can under pressure.

Steve of Chiang Mai
Steve of Chiang Mai

If you are saying stuff written by John Cross is “mindless speculation”then lately I would have to agree with you. Holding up Chelsea’s fluke win last year as a counter to all 4 English teams not making the quarter finals and then accusing Wenger of “deflecting” is rubbish. Defensively you would have to say, based on the evidence of all the top teams the standard of the EPL is down a little – its just that it is more exciting than the other leagues because it is less predictable.

R18
R18

Yep, arteta is an organised guy alright but when high tempo game is the way to go he simply isn’t the go-to-guy. Get me coq, he’ll help with the forward thrust when absolutely needed.

Pete
Pete

I think there is still space for Arteta in a high tempo game, but totally agree about Coq. I’d love to see him given more game time.

ChrisGoona
ChrisGoona

When Wilshire gets back I would like to see a midfield trio of:

– – – – – – – – Cazorla – – – – – – – –
Wilshire – – – – – – – – – – Rosicky

These players are ideal for pressing the opposition and we have our best games when we pressure high up the pitch. There may be a lack of height I guess, but I would fancy this midfield dominating and cutting any team open. Stick Podolski on the Left to provide a natural left footed outlet and Theo on the right.

Please fax this to le boss Arseblog! It’s our recipe for success!

Gearoid Kelly
Gearoid Kelly

Interesting.

Many people will scoff at this, but Santi played as a deep-lying midfielder for Malaga. I’d still rather Arteta in the team, but this could certainly be an option worth exploring on the training ground.

Pete
Pete

Sounds exciting, but there’s probably a lack of defensive cover there?

Jim
Jim

Um where’s our defensive cover in that trio? One of the reasons our defensive looked so solid was the cover that Ramsey and Arteta were giving them. Think we absolutely need that right now…Ramsey’s track and tackle of Lahm was pretty awesome to watch.

Dave Gooner
Dave Gooner

I don’t think TV5 has become a bad player, but I don’t think being captain suits him. He needs to be let get back to his old form. Which we know is superb.

Mikel Arteta speaks and acts like a captain, and I don’t think being rotated would trouble Arteta too much either. He is spiky and combative and he gets really really pissed off when its not going our way, and says so. For me Mikel is the obvious choice for the armband. And I really thnik TV5 would welcome the space.

Our best current central defence is Per and Kos, and I would stick with that on Sat. I would also stick with Fab – he has no recent history of Michu like Ches has, and he had a really good game on Weds that frankly deserves recognition. I have every faith in him for Sat.

These are shaping up to be the most important 10 games in the clubs recent history. We need to make them count. And plonk Sp*rs back into that Thursday night competition (what’s it even called???) where they can play against clubs of a similar, lesser, grade.

Come on you Gunners.

Pete
Pete

Agree with most of that. However, I also think Verminator has always been a bit “excitable”. He often runs out of defence trying to get the ball of someone, leaving holes in the defensive line. i definately agree he is a great player but he needs to work on this and bould/wenger need to fix him

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

I am sixteen years in this job, but I have been wondering about which position would suit Vermaelin based on his hunger to win the ball, his runs and his powerful left foot.

serv
serv

Verm could do with coming on against Swansea in the last 5 minutes and picking up the type of ‘injury’ Man Utd players get before internationals.

An extended rest would do him good..

Lasagna
Lasagna

Even if his form has not been great this season, I would never won’t Vermaelen to leave. He is a great CB and this is the first seaosn that he has not been up to scratch. If he can find back to the old form of his then we know he is a class defender.

ChrisGoona
ChrisGoona

I agree. Everyone is making out that all our defensive problems stem from TV. I remember when Kos and Mert played a game together early in the season and looked awful, can’t remember the game, but everyone after the game stopped recommending that partnership!

Thee same problems have occurred when any of the 3 have played. We need more work on the defensive shape and more importantly, decision making when we are exposed. Against Buyern we didn’t put a foot wrong, yet against Spurs we made 2 easily preventable errors. It could be just a consistency problem, but how can you make a team more consistent!?? Something is causing that inconsistency, I believe our problems lie in attack and ball retention. We get better at those and we are less exposed, confidence grows, consistency improves. The players we have in defense are all of a very high quality.

Pete
Pete

Bayern Munich 3 – 1 Arsenal : Kos + Per at Center
Bayern Munich 0 – 2 Arsenal : kos + Per at Center

Jim
Jim

I really like Vermaelen and don’t want him to leave. But I also have to acknowledge his form has really been rock bottom lately, and this was seen at WHL. I wonder if giving him the Captain’s arm band was his undoing this season? I still want to stick with him, but maybe shift the armband to Arteta or someone else (not Jack, YET) next season? Might relieve him of some burden and just focus on getting back consistent good form. One things for sure though, I’ll never doubt his commitment to the club. That guy will bleed for Arsenal.

GiveMeWhatWengersSmoking
GiveMeWhatWengersSmoking

He should’ve been dropped from the Man United game, half a season too late Wenger…

Zorro in the box
Zorro in the box

The last paragraph nailed it Blogs. Some fans are so fickle it’s a wonder how they manage to stick to anything. Just look at the vitriol thrown at Ramsey. From having his leg-broken victim to hard-working whipping boy.

Football’s a funny game.

Javis
Javis

I believe TV5 has the heart and determination to fight for his place, overall he has been a very impressive signing for us. I would like to see him get back to basics which made his first season and most of last successful ones. He’s a great tackler, excellent in the air and accomplished footballer on the ball. He’s at his best when he’s defending as we did against Bayern, no high line, just defend what is in front of you.

I really hope Wenger sticks to that tactic, I believe you will see the best from all our defenders if that is the case…

Aero
Aero

TV5 has had it bad this season for whatever the reason(s). It would be to our benefit he can get back to his best, I like him and we all loved it when he was scoring and made them charging runs, which definitely showed his heart and desire. Although that probably gave us more problems than it was worth defensively by him cutting all that out has kind of killed his confidence. Hopefully this reality check will help him find a good balance for that and also sort him out and make him better and stronger than before.

He gets it quite rough but a lot of ‘quality’ defenders have some glaring weaknesses but their defensive partners are able counter that with solid partnerships. Carvalho and others made Terry look good, Ferdinand is a lot like TV5 but he has players around him that look good. Puyol is probably a worse defender than TV5 but he plays at Barca, Cannavaro was another one who was solid but was never the fastest… The list could go on.

If we continue that solid display consistently from now on in it will make it easier for TV5 to focus on his strengths because he is a solid defender, one we missed badly when he was out for a year.

Story of our season really, how often have we REALLY played to our strengths this season? Not many by my account and have let our weaknesses poison us. I could be wrong but the best teams and Our best ever teams have always played it their way.

Lomas
Lomas

No harm in giving coquelin more time but would rather it was alongside Arteta rather than instead of. Love Coquelins energy and tenacity but he isn’t disciplined enough for the main DM position for me, he will regularly get caught high up the pitch, but like some others here, I do think he can add something going forward. I think best as a rotation option for Ramsey.

Gearoid Kelly
Gearoid Kelly

Very well said!

Pete
Pete

We have too many midfielders! I’d like to see Podolski, Walcott, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Rosicky, The Ox, Coquelin and Ramsey all playing.

Jim
Jim

HA! Now wouldn’t that be a line up.

Ramsey, Coq and Arteta would be our back three, Wilshere, Cazorla, Rosicky, Ox our midfield, Poldi and Walcott on the wings.

Rodders1971
Rodders1971

IC’d LOVE to see Walcott playing every week…ANYWHERE but the Arsenal…isn’t it strange he’s not giving his wonderfully insightful interviews after every game now he’s got his 100k per week?We’ve been mugged off by that little wanker,he deserves the bench at best.

Pete
Pete

Its refreshing to not have SIR BALLS here stirring shit up all the time. Almost no arguments in the comments section today!

RealGooner
RealGooner

Arteta needs to be replaced…I like the guy and with all things considering he has done a good job at Dm, and he seems to be more of a leader than verm.. But his lack of athleticism really stands out at times, especially in the big games. His positioning and reading of the game is exceptional and for a smallish slow player he puts in many tackles and interceptions. However he is also detrimental to arsenals overall game at times, especially going foward..He isn’t very good at creating space for himself if he is being marked and isn’t physically strong enough under pressure so he has to rely completely on his passing abiltity. Which is neat and tidy but not particularly effective or incisive in the way that players similar to him like busquets and alonsos are.

He is actually indicative of arsenals problem right now.. A good player yes but not a great one. This is a problem we have all over the pitch at the moment. In wengers successful teams we had the top 5-10 players in the world (at the time) in each position, now its probably top 30 or more in some cases.

As for verm I’d like to think his poor form is down to the pressure of being captain. Simply unrecognisable from the player who first signed…although sometimes I wonder if his goals when he first arrived hid the same mistakes he makes now..Hope not!

Speaking of unrecognisable a friend has been trying to convince me that diaby has worth and importance.. I looked at him speechless in disgust until he showed me ‘abou diaby vs liverpool’ on youtube. Whoever that guy was wearing number 2 that day is welcome to return anytime.

Noah
Noah

Koscielny was our best player last season after judas. Not really sure how it has taken this long for him to get back in the team this season considering our recent defensive form, although ill admit that when he has played (Chelsea at home in particular) he has looked short of confidence. Hope he can now have a run in the side and get back to his best form.

Aero
Aero

I agree.

Had he had a clean pre-season and no injury at the beginning of the season ( I think the Euros played a part too) I’m sure he would have picked up where had left off. At their best Per, Koscielny and TV are a pretty dynamic set of defenders. The key word for us now and all of next season will be CONSISTENCY.

Aero
Aero

Wenger has played this Vermaelen situation very well. He has not come out and criticised him and has really just deflected the heat off of him. As much as TV5 needs a breather/wake up call/kick up the backside, he needs to do it in peace without so much speculation and fan-fare around him, I’m sure Wenger’s 1to1 with him was honest and direct. For Szcz it’s not much a big deal due to his personality and it is okay for Wenger to say he has essentially been dropped as for Szcz it needed to be shown as the ‘laying down of the gauntlet.’

Jack needed a rest and I am positive it is by design that it coincided with the interlull. Rosicky was heavily responsible for our ‘come-back’ last season so he knows what needs to be done, he just needs his legs to catch up with him.

On Wenger’s comments about competition in the team, It is definitely the best way forward in principle. Players wise, we need to ramp up the quality a little bit and make every position competitive pretty much the same as our full-backs are at the moment.

Pete
Pete

Wenger always tries avoid his players taking heat.

Aero
Aero

Of course he does.

It may be me but he is being more delicate with TV5, compared to the usual, this is a ‘strong side’ ‘I have faith in him,’ routine.

Pete
Pete

Yeah. I can imagine TV5 taking it all to heart quite a lot.

Rose
Rose

That’s kind of why I love Wenger as a manager, its like he’d take a bullet for his players. He certainly takes on criticism for them, whether its warranted or not. No showboating, no angry accusations at his players, no admissions of disappointment or disgust. He leaves all that for when the cameras are off, which is where it belongs. Such a class act.

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GunnerdareMacedonia
GunnerdareMacedonia

I would love to see Diaby tomorrow box to box player tracking back and going forward 90 min with arteta and TR7 in midfield

chav
chav

Diaby should be as far away from the team as possible. He is too lazy to close down other players. His good games are pretty rare as well. He should be behind coq in the pecking order

RealGooner
RealGooner

If only that diaby who played at anfield would appear and play like that regularly over the course of a season…Fuckin ‘IF’.

Fever Pitch

do you really wanna know why TV is ‘out of form’ this season…? 2 REASONS !! :

1.Presence of BFG – which has seriously better season than the last 1-but lacks of pace (in other words – FREQUENT absence of KOsc6)

2.Absence of a proper DMF (2 Of em actually)

and the most obvious reason……He gained captaincy of the most weakened Arsenal team of all times…dont blame the guy…put him in the Immortal squad and watch him RULE!

Im sure that none Arsenal fan wants to see our C and best defender-coz he iz-go to rivals or Barsenola…

i hope he plays today along KOS6 cos i dont wanna c Michu again lobing BFG….

3 POINTS COYG!!!!