Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen has said that Lionel Messi is on a different level to Eden Hazard despite the latter becoming the go-to player in the Chelsea ranks. The former Arsenal man is set to return to London this week when the Catalan giants face-off against the Blues in the Champions League round of 16 first-leg.
In an interview with The Guardian, the experienced centre-back was asked to compare the individual abilities of Hazard and Messi. Though he initially admitted that there are similarities in their style of play, the 32-year-old stressed it is difficult to place him into the calibre of Messi, who has five Ballon d’Or titles to his name.
Continue reading Thomas Vermaelen: Lionel Messi is better than ‘world-class’ Eden Hazard
Belgian manager Marc Wilmots laid the blame on the makeshift defence for the loss against Wales in the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.
Belgium had a great opportunity to reach the semifinals of the competition and that this golden generation can perform when it matters the most. Questions have been raised about the mental strength of the golden generation, which features the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, and Thomas Vermaelen. The latter has missed majority of the campaign and it was not surprising to see him unable to feature at the Euro 2016 due to injury.
Wilmots was sceptical about the availability of Vermaelen for the tournament, but Belgium were handed major injury blows just prior to the Euro 2016. The likes of Manchester City captain and defender Vincent Kompany’s failed to make it to the tournament was one of the biggest blows. Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen was yet another injury casualty but midway through the campaign. All these injuries – especially in the defence – forced Wilmots to field a makeshift defence against one of the surprising teams of Euro 2016 – Wales. A 3-1 defeat – despite taking an early lead through Nainggolan – saw Belgium exit the tournament with Wilmots blaming the defence as a major reason.
Continue reading Marc Wilmots laid the blame on the makeshift defence
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
You would have laughed if somebody had told you at the start of the New Year that in three months’ time, Arsenal would be in a position to give Chelsea a run for their money for the Premier League title, but, that’s what has happened.
The Gunners have been unpredictable in the Premier League in the recent times. They always tend to play differently in the two halves of the season. Continue reading ARSENAL HAVE A CHANCE