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.