Debate – Should Arsenal let Vermaelen leave?

The pressing Vermaelen issue

The captain is always a very important spot for every team in the world. The leader of the Arsenal team is essential to the success of the team as the captain is able to make decisions for the team on and off the pitch. This will affect the performance of the team directly and many people forget that more often than not.

Vermaelen has been a great player for Arsenal in the past. A solid centre half that can easily make the first team of any club in the league, Vermaelen has established himself as a premier defender on many levels. However in recent seasons, he has been dropped in favor of the formidable partnership of Koscielny and Mertesacker. This has led to many questions regarding the captaincy issue. It is kind of ridiculous our captain is sitting on the bench but that is all for the good of the team.

The snubbing of Vermaelen has led to him to be linked to many clubs, Manchester United being one of the hot favorites to get his signature. It is not surprising he is linked to a move away from Arsenal as he is too good to just be warming the bench. Also, it is important to note that Thomas has been an absolute gentleman during the period where he is on the bench and he is gracious enough for Mikel or Per to take over the captaincy during that period.

Nevertheless, I feel that if we had to let Thomas go, he should not be sold to a rival club as this will directly affect our interests. We would also need to get another solid centre-back to take over from him and that is by no means an easy task as Premier League defenders willing to sit on the bench are a rare breed nowadays.

Should Thomas go? Let us know Gooners!

Vermaelen gets another chance at Arsenal but it could be his last

According to The Mirror, current Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen will keep his captaincy after weeks of speculation that he will be replaced by somebody else due to the poor season he has just had with The Gunners. Should he be allowed to keep his captaincy or even stay at the club?

The Belgian was widely criticised last season after a string of poor performances and defensive errors. His mistakes caused Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny to become the undisputed first choice centre backs in the team and left Vermaelen on the bench most of the time.

Mertesacker and Koscielny were two of the main reasons that Arsenal had such a strong finish to the season. Steve Bould was brought in to solidify the defence last season and it took until the last few months for it to work. That has been the main criticism of Arsenal in recent years, the poor defence. Players have come and gone and now it seems that the club has finally found its partnership and gelled properly.

As far as I am concerned Vermaelen should not be allowed to play in defence again for Arsenal. The only way I would allow him to stay at the club is if he was retrained to play in defensive midfield. We all know that a new player is needed there and I don’t see a reason why that can’t be Vermaelen.

The only reason I think that Arsene Wenger has not stripped him of the captaincy or even put him up for sale is that the club has lost it’s captain for the last few seasons consecutively. Fabregas, Van Persie, Vermaelen would show that Wenger has poor judgement when choosing a captain unless he sticks with him and gives him another chance to rise to the challenge.

What do you think Arsenal fans, should Thomas Vermaelen be allowed to stay at the club and as captain or is his time up playing at the Emirates?

Barcelona could be poised to poach Vermaelen from Arsenal

According to reports that have persisted with Arsenal in the past and now reappeared across several media outlets today, it seems as if the dominating Spanish club of FC Barcelona are still interested in Thomas Vermaelen despite a poor season from the Belgium international.

Perhaps it’s just because he is Arsenal’s captain and so Barcelona feel it’s necessary to table a bid for the player, like they have done several times in the past, but I honestly find it quite strange to why their interest remains, that is if the reports are deemed to be true in the first place. Vermaelen endured what was his worst season at the club since his arrival in 2009 from Dutch club Ajax.

When he first arrived he was seen as the defender that could tighten our defence and turn us into a solid side that could then hopefully as a result challenge for silverware, and we weren’t exactly wrong. Vermaelen was commanding and powerful in defence whilst we also saw him as a pure attacking threat, in fact the team came very close to reclaiming some silverware that season, but like many times before we seemed to fall in the final stages.

A few years on and Vermaelen was made Captain of the club, much to the fans delight, however come to the end of the season and it’s a very different viewpoint and story. Although still liked by the fans and we recognise his quality, his performances were atrocious at times, with the player in fact being left on the bench for a lot of the second half of the season.

As stated we know he still has some quality and I don’t think Wenger or the club should be looking to sell him, not just because he’s the captain and we don’t want to be seen as a club that sells their ‘star’ player or captain in most circumstances but also because I know his form will return. They always say form is temporary but class is permanent, so I think we call all say unless an extortionate offer comes in from not just Barcelona but from any club in general, I cannot see Vermaelen leading this club just yet.

Arsenal have a new star and a leader in Walcott

This season has been an excellent one for Theo Walcott. He has produced some of his best performances since joining Arsenal from Southampton in 2006. He was not even 17-years old when he became a Gunner, but it was only this season that he really became a true Gunner.

His extra confidence and maturity has been evident since the start of the season, and that in turn has led to his best ever statistics of 21 goals and 17 assists. Considering that he had a few injury problems, as well as the distraction of his contract negotiations, Theo has done amazingly well to produce the impact that he has.

The 24-year old England international was probably the best player on the pitch for England on Wednesday, and there is talk that Roy Hodgson may give him a chance to repeat his role as a centre forward that he managed with some success for Arsenal this season. All this is just reward for his hard work and mature attitude, that he now wants to pass on to his Arsenal team mates.

“The amount of experience I’ve had from a young age, having to walk into the dressing room with the winners of the Premier League and the FA cup and be the only one, with Abou, who is still in that dressing room today(can help),” said Walcott.

“I can give my experience – to the other young players. If something’s not going well, I’ll try to help someone out. If things are going well, you just let them know that they are doing something well. I think that’s my role a little bit, and of course playing my best football on the park when I can.”

It sounds like Theo could make a good captain or vice-captain one day and, who knows, maybe he will. If he continues his form from this season into the next, and especially if he continues to mature and improve, his new contract will start to look like one of the best bits of business that Arsenal and Wenger have done for a while.

Van Persie Flop at Euros? Not at all says Wenger!

Robin Van Persie only managed to score once for the Netherlands at the European Championships, as they meekly dropped away from the tournament without winning a single point. The Arsenal striker was critized by the Holland fans and pundits as he missed chance after chance, especially in the first game defeat by Denmark.

But Arsene Wenger personally thinks the critics are totally wrong, in fact he thinks Van Persie was the best striker in the whole competition. He said: “Robin deserves more credit than he gets in the Netherlands,”

“Robin van Persie was the best striker during the tournament. He’s much better than strikers from other countries and he’s also better than Huntelaar.”

“Van Persie makes sure that a team plays football. I’ve analysed his performances and if you watch really closely, you will see that he made some brilliant moves and runs.

“At crucial stages he didn’t get the ball. On the times he did not score with the chances he had can be put down to fatigue. But he’s the perfect striker.

“If you want to reach a really high level as a team, you must pick Van Persie. He’s an example for every striker. He’s an exceptional football player and more than just a striker.”

Well that doesn’t sound like a man that is expecting to lose his captain, unless of course he is just trying to bump up the price???

Verminator – Arsenal’s next captain (who won’t be sold ever!)

While the future of Arsenal skipper and super striker Robin van Persie remains unclear at best, his deputy Thomas Vermaelen has made his intentions crystal clear by declaring he wishes to stay on at the North London club “forever”.

In a declaration more apt for one’s wedding vows, 27-year old center back Vermaelen took advantage of some press time ahead of Belgium’s international friendly with England on Saturday to discuss his love for Arsenal and his desire to be at the club for eternity and ever more.

Vermaelen declared, “I will stay at Arsenal forever. There will be no transfer for me. I love London. I’ve got a house there, I’m happy there and I don’t see any reason to ever leave the club.”

Vermaelen’s unbridled declaration of love will come as welcome relief to the Gunners’ faithful, who quite clearly feel the same way about the free-scoring defender. While it is the defensive stability that Vermaelen brings which is crucial to Arsenal, his 6 goals this season were the best return for a defender in the Premier League.

Should Arsenal lose Van Persie this summer, a distinct possibility despite what his mother and wife might say, the mantle of leadership will be passed on to the Verminator, and it will be this spirit of his which can help the Gunners end their 7-year trophy drought.

Captain Arteta rues Arsenal’s missed chances

The Spaniard Mikel Arteta was made captain of Arsenal, in the absence of Robin Van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen, against Leeds this week, and although Arsenal won the game in the end, he believes that the Gunners need to take their early chances to kill teams off.

Not just against Leeds, but recent games against Wolves and especially Fulham, Arsenal failed to build on an early lead to make sure of victory.

Arteta was very pleased to be made captain for the Leeds game but pointed out that it would have been much easier if the Gunners had pulled away early in the match.

“It was really pleasing for me to be captain for a club like Arsenal, it’s unbelievable,” Arteta said. “I just want to thank my team-mates for the effort, my manager for the support and hopefully we can build on this and win against Swansea.

“We had many chances to finish it off much earlier but it seems to be like it a lot this year at the Emirates. At least we won, we are through and it was a good result after the disappointment of the Fulham game.

“It is frustrating because if you score two goals in the first half it makes it much easier. It becomes harder to control a game when it remains 0-0, everybody is getting a bit anxious to score and it makes it harder.”

Arsenal don’t seem to be qyuite as prolific as in previous seasons. I reckon we are all waiting for someone else to score instead of Van Persie. Come on Thierry!

Robin Van Persie – I am committed to Arsenal

Arsenal’s team captain Robin Van Persie snapped after all the rumours relating him to a possible leave in January or June, and he offered a statement for the club’s official website dismissing every story the newspapers came up with. The Dutch striker also vowed his commitment to The Gunners and to the captaincy he now holds

“I want to say something about my commitment to Arsenal because there have been many stories in the media lately,” said Van Persie.

“I am committed to Arsenal, and that’s how it is, despite people [in the media] making up stories. For example, they said I was selling my house, but that’s nothing recent, I moved house last year.

“I see stories which make me laugh, but I can see how frustrating it is from the fans’ point of view. But I am committed to Arsenal. I am captain, and fans should not believe everything they read.

“As for that house story, the house has been for sale for a while, but I’m not living on the streets or anything, I have found a really nice house, and yes, it’s in London! So I want to put that straight, I am committed, and I will show that on the pitch.”

Van Persie is an Arsenal player since 2004 and according to the Dutch he’s not planning on leaving the London club any time soon despite all the media fuss around this idea. The striker is having a blast this season with excellent performances even for his standards, and he is now one of the few people to have ever scored 100 goals for Arsenal.