Is Vermaelen Still Capable of Holding Down a Spot in the National Team?

Thomas Vermaelen is an indisputable legend of the Belgium national team, putting in 58 appearances for the side since 2006. His versatility in the back four and ability to play as a centre-back or a full-back has always worked in his favour, but after a couple of disappointing seasons since leaving Arsenal, could the 31-year-old soon find his position in the Red Devils’ defence in jeopardy?

Since moving to Barcelona from North London at the end of the 2013-14 season, Vermaelen has struggled to recapture the imperious form he displayed during his tenure of 110 top flight games at the Emirates. As such, the European powerhouses sent the Belgian to Roma on loan for the 2016-17 campaign, deeming him surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp. Continue reading Is Vermaelen Still Capable of Holding Down a Spot in the National Team?

MARTINEZ LOSES HIS FIRST GAME

Former Everton manager Roberto Martinez started his run on a poor note as Spain crushed Belgium 2-0. Sacked coach Marc Wilmots might not be too sad about the end of the game after he sacked when he supervised of one the most talented team on the planet, yet they lost out in the Euro 2016 woefully. Spain was on a poor run at the tournament, but the changes they have made started yielding fruits.

Despite the phasing out of former starts Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso, and former play maker Xavi Hernandez, Spain seem not to be lacking real talents as the changes to the squad rose up to the occasion as they thrashed a Belgian side coached by Roberto Martinez and Thierry Henry. Continue reading MARTINEZ LOSES HIS FIRST GAME

Why Belgium are THE team to beat in Group E

Belgium are widely regarded as one of the best international teams in the world and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Marc Wilmots’ men reach the latter stages of the competition this season.

While they have been paired up with a tricky group – including Italy, Republic of Ireland and Sweden – Belgium will believe they are one of the best sides in the tournament and could go on to win the group with relative ease. Continue reading Why Belgium are THE team to beat in Group E

Thomas Vermaelen did not take long to open his account for Barcelona

Thomas Vermaelen did not take long to open his account for Barcelona.

The defender scored his fourth appearance for the Catalan club, who managed a 1-0 win over Malaga as a result. The former Arsenal defender failed to make any sort of an impact last season as he was injured throughout the campaign. Now, though, he has spoken in length about how he wants to repay the faith of the Barcelona supporters. Vermaelen was a £ 16 million signing from Arsenal last summer. He was brought to the club as the replacement for Carlos Puyol.

His return to the first-team could not have come at a better time since Barcelona are short on numbers especially at the back. Sky Sports pundit Terry Gibson claims that the Belgian international feels like a new signing for the reigning while the champions. At 29 years of age, he still has the ability to deliver for a few number of years at the top level. Barcelona needed a quality centre back in order to avoid overreliance upon Gerard Pique or Javier Mascherano. Gibson says that Vermaelen has always remained a quality player and he is surprised with how Arsenal fans still doubt him. Continue reading Thomas Vermaelen did not take long to open his account for Barcelona

Vermaelen’s Future Thrown into Further Doubt

Thomas Vermaelen’s future at Arsenal has been thrown into further doubt after manager Arsene Wenger refused to rule out the player leaving the club in the summer. The Belgian international is the captain of Arsenal, but he finds himself in a strange predicament where he is on the bench for most of the matches. The centre back partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have been impressive for most of the season. This has resulted in Vermaelen been called upon only when one of them has been unavailable.

Vermaelen’s current position has been in place for quite a long time. It started after the defender was being linked with a move to Barcelona. He was a £ 10 million signing for Arsenal a few years ago. Given the current partnership between Mertesacker and Koscielny, it looks highly unlikely that the 27-year-old will be able to get back into the first-team reckoning for next season. Hence, Arsenal are likely to sell him rather than keep unhappy players at the club. Ahead of the FA Cup final this weekend, Wenger has refused to rule out Vermaelen committing to a new contract and staying at the club.
Wenger’s own future has been in doubt due to the contract still not being signed. The Frenchman, though, has repeatedly stated that he wants to stay at Arsenal.

“I do not even know if Thomas Vermalean is fit to be in the squad at the moment. I cannot speak about the transfers today. Normally I would say no because he is under contract. But,” said Wenger about the future of Vermaelen. Barcelona are in demand for defender after losing Carlos Puyol to retirement. Due to their failure to get their targets like Thiago Silva and David Luiz, they could turn their attention towards Vermaelen in the summer.

ARSENAL WILL PERFORM

The Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has said that he expects the team to perform well in the match against Bayern Munich. Arsenal will be facing the German club in the last 16 stage of the Champions League. This is one of the standout fixtures in the competition this season because the Premier league club will be coming up against the team that finished as runners-up last time. The first and the second leg will be played in the last and first week of February and March respectively. Even though Arsenal are struggling a lot in the league, Vermaelen believes that they can cope with the German giant.

Arsenal have been knocked out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage on numerous occasions in the past. They have even been defeated by Bayern Munich back in 2001 when the Germans went on to win the competition. Due to the fact that Arsenal have qualified for the knockout stages in the 13th consecutive time, Vermaelen believes that the experience that the club has had over the years will help them get past Bayern Munich. Arsenal will have to face one of the top clubs due to the fact that they finished second in the group stages.

“Most of the time in the Premier League, the one that is the most consistent wins the league, but the Champions League is a [cup] tournament, so anything can happen. It is only about two games, one home and one away. You need a bit of luck in the tournament as well, so we will see how far we can get. Bayern Munich are doing well in the German league,” said the Belgian defender, who has been criticised this season for his inconsistent performances. Arsenal are fourth in the Premier league after a poor start to the season.