FAVOURITES FOR THIRD SPOT

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has said that his club are the favourites now to finish in the top three this season. Vermaelen was speaking on the occasion when Arsenal had just overtaken Tottenham in the Premier league table following the midweek round of fixtures. Tottenham could only draw against Stoke city, while Arsenal managed a 1-0 win over Everton away from home. Further, Tottenham will be having a tough round of fixtures in the remaining matches like Arsenal, who have an easier run-in. These are the reasons for Vermaelen to believe that Arsenal are now the favourite for the top three.

Vermaelen has said that one of the major changes in the race for the top three positions came when Arsenal faced Tottenham in the North London Derby a few weeks ago. Tottenham could have gone 13 points clear of Arsenal if they had won the match, but they lost the match 5-2 after a quite impressive second half comeback from Arsenal. Since then, Tottenham have been on the decline, while it has been the opposite with Arsenal. Arsenal have since managed to close a 10 point advantage and secure a one-point advantage over Tottenham. Vermaelen was a key figure in Arsenal doing so because his injury time header gave the club all three points against Newcastle recently.

“We are always confident [of staying third], especially if we keep winning games as we are. Yes [Arsenal are favourites to finish third], we just have to keep the focus on our own performance. At the moment we have had some good results against some difficult teams. We have shown good mentality,” Vermaelen said after the 2-1 win over Newcastle. Finishing above Tottenham extremely important for Arsenal given that they have not allowed their neighbours to finish above them since 1995.

COMMITMENT MAKES VERMAELEN CULT HERO

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that one of the reasons for Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen to be a cult hero at Arsenal is his commitment to the club. Arsenal were very tough situation in the summer after the departure of some of Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.

Just when it seemed that they were about to lose all their top stars to other clubs, Thomas Vermaelen penned a new four year contract with the club. The Belgian defender was coming on the back of a injury hit season, but was still able to commit to the club who had shown great interest to bring him from Belgium.

Even though the season has not exactly gone in the way they would have wanted, Arsenal fans can look forward to seeing their club qualify for the next season’s Champions League. Qualifying for this elite European competition is very important for a club like Arsenal because it would not only help them retain their current stars, but also provide them with very important cash to attract even more. Just at the turn of this year, Arsenal looked to be out of the race to finish in the top four, but we have just moved into the third position following a spectacular run of form.

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NOT ENJOYING BEING LEFT BACK

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has admitted that he is not enjoying playing in the left back position for Arsenal. The Belgian defender has had to fill in for Kieran Gibbs at the left back position for Arsenal this season due to the incredible number of injuries the club has suffered in this department.

Kieran Gibbs is expected to return back from injury soon, which will finally push Thomas Vermaelen back into his favourite position – central defence. Arsenal have had a stranger injury situation in which a number of fullbacks have either been injured or been sold in the transfer window.

As a result, central defender Djourou has been filling in that right back for the injured Bacary Sagna, while Thomas Vermaelen has had to move to the left back position. It is a position Thomas Vermaelen has revealed that he is not comfortable with, but is prepared to carry on if the situation and injury situation of Arsenal demands. The Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen is regarded as one of the best players at the club. However, he has not particularly excelled in the left back position, where he has played numerous times this season.

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PUT THE NIGHTMARE BEHIND US

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has said that Arsenal do need to put behind their nightmare 4-0 humiliation at the San Siro in order to perform well in the remaining competitions. Arsenal do not have a chance of winning the Premier league this season, as they are too many points behind leaders Manchester City at the stage of the season. They have already been eliminated from the Carling cup this season. The FA Cup remains the only hope for Arsenal to win a trophy. Ironically, the FA cup of the last trophy Arsenal lifted back in 2005.

Arsenal will be facing Premier league club Sunderland in the fifth round of the FA Cup. They will be competing for a place in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup. Arsene Wenger will be aware of the fact that if Arsenal make it into the quarterfinals, then it would be only a matter of two games before Arsenal reach the finals. Thomas Vermaelen has been one of the influential players for Arsenal over the last few seasons. However, he is yet to win a major trophy with Arsenal. In order to do so, Thomas Vermaelen has said that the players should be forgetting the 4-0 defeat and concentrate on the forthcoming matches.

“When you are a professional you put the bad things that happen behind you. We have to give something back to all those Arsenal fans who came all the way out here, only for us to disappoint them. We will have to learn our lessons from what happened in Milan, but it is important at times like this to remain mentally strong,” Vermaelen said. It is also the priority for Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League next season, without the lack of which will result in serious financial implications.

VERMAELEN RETURNS EARLY

Thomas Vermaelen, the Arsenal centre back, is in line to face The Red Devils Manchester United in the return fixture of English Premier League on the 22nd of January, 2012, according to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

The Belgian international centre back limped off the field in the second half during their English Premier League encounter against Queens Park Rangers, a match they went on to win 1-0, sparking rumours that the injury prone defender would be out for some time. But according to the manager, Vermaelen has made a rapid recovery and is already back in training and looks good to make his comeback against the reigning English champions.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the FA Cup encounter against Leeds United, the Arsenal manager said that none of his players on the recovery table will be making a comeback in their FA Cup tie or the English Premier League tie against Swansea City. However, in news that is sure to spark joy amongst the Arsenal fans, Wenger did add that their dependable centre back Thomas Vermaelen would be making a comeback by the time they face Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium, a match that is being seen as a grudge match after Arsenal were thrashed 8-2 at Old Trafford at the start of the season.

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VERMAELEN IMPRESSED BY RVP

Thomas Vermaelen has praised his fellow Arsenal teammate Robin Van Persie by saying that the Dutch striker is probably the complete player he has ever played with.

Robin van Persie has been one of the most influential players for Arsenal in the last few years, but his form has particularly been extraordinary in the calendar year 2011. So far, he has scored 33 goals in 34 matches for Arsenal in 2011 alone, while his very close to equalling the record set by Thierry Henry for the Invincibles in 2004. He is also only a few goals short of the all-time Premier League record set by Alan Shearer in 1995.

Now, Thomas Vermaelen, who is regarded as one of the best defenders at Arsenal, has come out in praise of the Dutchman. He has said that Robin van Persie has become much more complete in recent seasons after the departure of high profile players. Now, he has become a true captain for the club in every way. A lot has been spoken about Arsenal’s ability to keep in a challenge for the top four positions, but they have been able to maintain it in due to the exploits of Robin van Persie.

Thomas Vermaelen says that he is hoping that Robin van Persie signs a new contract with Arsenal. “I knew before that he was a quality, world-class player and that technically he was really good. It’s amazing if you play with him, even in training. He’s scoring goals now and his game is more complete,” Thomas Vermaelen said in the official website of Arsenal. Following the injury to Kieran Gibbs, Thomas Vermaelen will be assuming the role as the left back for Arsenal in the busy Christmas fixture list, and the Belgian defender hopes to do a better job in this new position as well.

Arsenal Keen on Pastore

Arsenal are looking to bring in another midfielder in the January transfer window according to a number of British tabloid papers. Arsenal have been making a resurgent move up the Premier League table, but it is not going to be sufficient for them. They are recently defeated by Manchester City in the Premier League match, which all but ends their hopes of winning the Premier League title this season. As a result, Arsene Wenger is looking to replace the young midfield with some experienced players, although the kind of players who interests Arsene Wenger are usually much younger.

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Benayoun spares Vermaelen’s blushes

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.

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VERMAELEN GLAD HE STAYED

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.

Vermaelen is Back

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.”