Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen was a relieved man after Yossi Benayoun popped up to save his blushes. The Gunners looked to be heading to a 1-0 win over Aston Villa, but with almost an hour player Vermaelen under hit a pass to his defensive partner Per Mertesacker and Villa man Marc Albrighton nipped in to level the scores.
Arsenal toiled for the rest of the game and at times Villa threatened to steal all three points. But with three minutes left to play Robin van Persie, who had opened the scoring with a first-half penalty, floated in a cross and substitute Benayoun headed home a winner.
Continue reading Benayoun spares Vermaelen’s blushes
Thomas Vermaelen has said that he contemplated leaving Arsenal during the summer transfer window, but ended up staying at the club. Now, he says that he does not regret and is ready to stay with the club for a long time because he believes that Arsenal are making a lot of progress.
Thomas Vermaelen has been one of the important defenders for Arsenal in the last few years since moving from Ajax in 2009. However, it is thought that he grew tired of the fact that Arsenal were unable to challenge for the top trophies. So far, he has made 43 League appearances for Arsenal, but he has already grown up to the stature of being a suitable replacement for William Gallas.
The 26-year-old has been absent in the Arsenal defence for most of the season, but he has returned from injury to a distant to the Arsenal team in a crucial stage of the season. Even though Arsenal started extremely poorly, they have since gone on an excellent run that has put them in an excellent position to challenge for the Champions League qualification places. Despite this excellent run, the prospect of them winning the Premier League title looks to be faint.
Speaking after his return from injury, Thomas Vermaelen said: “I thought long and hard about my contract with Arsenal – for a really long time. I knew people outside the club had doubts. The most important thing is that I feel happy. I’ve only really played one full season Arsenal, so I wanted to give something back to the club, and stayed.”
Thomas Vermaelen scored an own goal against Fulham, but was quick to rectify it by scoring at the other end to equalise for Arsenal.
Whilst Thomas Vermaelen may have been substituted early on in Arsenal’s Carling Cup victory in midweek, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expects him to make a full recovery in time for the big match against Chelsea.
The Belgian international had only just returned to first-team action, but lasted just over an hour before he had to be taken off on Tuesday night. Thankfully this has proved to be nothing too serious, and he has the chance of lining up alongside Per Mertesacker in the heart of the Arsenal defence against Chelsea on Saturday.
“Vermaelen might be available to be in the squad,” Wenger told the club’s official website.
“We’ll have to assess him. He is not injured. He came off with a calf problem on Tuesday in the Carling Cup.
“It was cramp because he has not played for a long time and he only had one training session. As I say he is not injured but he might be a little bit short for a game of that intensity.”
Arsenal centre back Thomas Vermaelen is reportedly set to return to the Gunners’ first team this weekend.
The Belgian international has been out of action for the Emirates outfit since August, picking up a serious achilles injury whilst away with his country.
However, the 25-year-old came through 90 minutes for the Arsenal second string in a 0-0 draw against Manchester United last Thursday, and the Daily Mail reports Vermaelen is in-line for a comeback at the Britannia Stadium.
Whilst the Gunners are still mathematically in the title race, second appears to the be the more realistic target for Arsene Wenger’s side as they aim to end the season on a high following victory against the Red Devils on Sunday.
A senior return for Vermaelen would add another positive to the end-of-season party at Arsenal, and could be the first building block towards a successful campaign next term.