Strong, dominant, zero-tolerance etc. are just some of the words in an endless list which can be associated with current Arsenal Captain, Thomas Vermaelen. After two successful seasons at Arsenal, The Belgium international was rewarded with the prestigious honor, of leading the football club. During this period, he has had some outstanding performances, which have seen him gaining plaudits of the Arsenal manager and fans.
After joining Arsenal from Ajax in the summer of 2009, his outstanding performances quickly made him a fans’ favorite. However, this season, the performances of Arsenal captain have been below par considering his own standards. Mistakes weren’t in Vermaelen domain, yet this season there have been a handful. His movement on the pitch, for which in previous seasons he was most notably known for, has vanished. Vermaelen’s partner, (Laurent Koscielny) Arsenal’s most improved player over two seasons strangely warms the bench. One visible attribute last season was their never die attitude. While both had separate qualities the understanding and the willingness to cover up for one another and, the faith between the pairing was ever evident. While Koscielny ensured defensive stability, Vermaelen provided the necessary runs to support the midfield. His forward runs (when he ran over 40 yards vs Newcastle and won the game for Arsenal in March 2012) have disappeared, as without his defensive partner Koscielny, Arsenal’s defense looks severely weakened.
For this to occur to a player of his caliber is astonishing. The confidence seems to have disappeared. Vermaelen is a shadow of the player that he once was.