Thomas Vermaelen has looked a disconsolate figure at times this season, clearly the Captains Armband weighs heavy on him and he can only be guilty of trying a bit too hard as his quality is difficult to contest. I think back to the Spuds game, the ManYoo and the Chelski games and I see a player trying to do a bit too much of everything rather than concentrating on his role and communicating to his team.

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Vermaelen has acted swiftly to discuss his frustration at being out of the side, but he has said in a frank interview on Arsenal.com¬†that he has under-performed at times this season and his form hasn’t been good enough. Taking that aside, if he looked at the performances from Koscielny and Mertesacker together it is clear that they work far better as a partnership and they communicate better.

So what can Vermaelen do to remedy the situation? I would suggest he puts this season behind him, has a great holiday somewhere in the sun and then comes back for pre-season ready to fight. Can he dislodge Koscielny and Mertesacker? He can if either of them get injured or suffer a lack of form in the same regard as Vermaelen himself. What he needs to do is analyse why Mertesacker and Koscielny work better together and see if he can learn from that.

Vermaelen himself said¬†“I’m happy at Arsenal. I didn’t play much and that was frustrating, but things can turn around quickly,”

“I was on the bench, but I could just as quickly be playing again. I’m working hard to make that happen.”

“These are things that happen in professional football. Arsenal are a great club where there is a lot of competition.”

If he chooses pastures new then I will be gutted, whilst he isn’t seen as a crucial player right now by the Arsenal faithful, he is a stonkingly good defender when playing to his potential and we shouldn’t be letting players like this leave. We need more than two first-team ready centre-backs and with the departures of Squillaci and the possible transfer of Djourou we are light in this area already. Ignasi Miquel is hotly tipped around London Colney to move up the defensive food chain this pre-season in a make-or-break season for the young Spaniard. I think he has a lot to offer and could benefit from a season-long loan, but if Vermaelen goes then his ascension into the first team would be accelerated.

Teams linked to our Captain include Barcelona, but I suspect that after their successful yet expensive raid for Alex Song last season they might be reticent to try and prize another asset from Arsenal – especially one that has had questionable form over the last two years.

I don’t want Vermaelen to go. We need to strengthen, not weaken ourselves and Vermaelen adds that little bit of stability, he’s been here for a few years now and to let him go would only upset the apple cart. We don’t need to sell, so don’t.

Also, we need to buy some players…get on it Arsene, I want to see signings as soon as the window opens. Joking aside of course, we need to be pro-active again this season and get our players in early, we reaped the rewards last season as both Cazorla and Podolski bedded in well straight away, with Giroud having a more protracted introduction due to his commitments for France. Firm lesson learnt, get them in early and then we have them ready for the first game of the season – not the first game of September.

WG