Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Vermaelen’

Football

Arsenal update: Real after Cazorla, Higuain news and Benjamin Mendy details

By Stefano on June 25th, 2013

Well we thought this was the summer it wasn’t going to happen, but it seems that several clubs are sniffing around some of Arsenal’s most high profile players. Like Laurent Koscielny who seems to be hinting that he is staying at The Emirates in spite of interest from a number of clubs.

But he isn’t only one. The Daily Star says that Real are planning a surprise move for Arsenal playmaker Santi Cazorla. The little Spaniard, who has at times been breathtaking this season, doesn’t sound however as if he is going anywhere.

He said

“In football you have to live in the moment,”

“I have three years left on my contract and I have not thought of anything like that. My plan is to continue at the club.

“Arsenal are treating me very well and I want to win a title with them. In football, you cannot predict the future at any time.”

The Higuain saga rumbles on, though the confirmation of Carlo Ancelotti as new manager of Real ought in theory to hurry up the player’s exit. A lot of sites, including SportstDirectNews, are predicting that the player will announce his move, almost certainly to Arsenal by the end of the week.

Finally HITC has the lowdown on French teenager Benjamin Mendy who The Gunners are allegedly trying to tempt away from Le Havre. Although he has been billed as a left back – which is odd given the prowess of the two left backs on Arsenal’s books – Mendy can play on the left side of the centre. Given that he is 6 foot 1 inch, this could well be why Wenger is targeting him, maybe as a Vermaelen replacement? Arsenal are reported to have bid £2.5 million for the player which Le Havre obviously don’t feel is anything like enough.



Football

Arsenal update: Rooney latest, Vermaelen on his way, Gervinho exit

By Stefano on June 7th, 2013

After last night’s shock news that the Gunners have made a bid for Everton’s talismanic midfielder Marouane Fellaini things are a bit quieter on the gossip front this morning.

There’s a little more about Wayne Rooney plus some whispers about a couple of players who might be on their way out.

Firstly Rooney, and Arsenal’s CE has been talking about how the club can now comfortably afford both a big transfer and his astronomical wages.

At a press conference Ivan Gazidis was asked if the Gunners could afford a £20 million deal, plus £200,00-a-week wage.

He responded…

“Of course we could do that. We could do more than that.”

“We have a certain amount which we’ve held in reserve. We also have new revenue streams coming on board and all of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you.

“If Arsene thinks signing big names is the right thing to do, yes. The fact is this year we are beginning to see something we have been planning for some time, which is the escalation in our financial firepower.

“We can look at some options that weren’t really in our financial capability. It’s a progression over the next two seasons. It’s quite significant for the club.”

So the big question revolves around whether Wayne Rooney wants to come. In The Mirror yesterday Arsenal authority John Cross said that he thought it would be ‘easier for Rooney to stay at United.’ He will first have to make his peace with new boss David Moyes though.

Meanwhile Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo is claiming that Thomas Vermaelen is now very close to the exit door at Arsenal. Following a season blighted by injury and poor form the Belgian centre back Mundo says that Barcelona would be cheap enough and keen enough to join Barcelona.

Finally is Gervinho now surplus to requirements? French team Marseilles hope so. They want to take the player on loan says Le 10 Sport.

Marseilles finished second in the French league last year, but face more competition this time round from a big spending PSG and Monaco.



Football

Arsenal update: Sanogo medical, Vermaelen and confusion over Higuain

By Stefano on May 23rd, 2013

There is plenty of Arsenal related transfer gossip this morning though sadly not much of it relating to Stevan Jovetic. It does seem that the deal with Fiorentina has stalled and that Arsenal run the risk of letting Chelsea sneak in and do an Mata.

There is also plenty of confusion about the future of Gonzalo Higuain too. Last night news from Italy suggested that Juventus had won the race to sign the Argentinian, however in what it claims is an exclusive the Daily Star says the opposite is true

And Starsport revealed yesterday how incoming Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was plotting to hijack the Gunners’ bid to sign Fiorentina’s £25m-rate forward Stevan Jovetic.

That leaves Higuain, 25, as the number one choice – and the Gunners are understood to have contacted Real to sound out whether they would be prepared to sell.

The club are also keeping fairly quiet about what is happening with the transfer of French striker Yaya Sanogo. According to the Lyon website Lyonne.fr the player has had a medical and the move is imminent.

Guy Cotret said

He gave us his answer. He chose to join Arsenal and so he left to have his medical there.

Finally The Sun is going with the story that Arsenal are willing to listen to £5m bids for skipper Thomas Vermaelen.

As it points out

It would mean the Gunners taking a £5m hit on a player they bought from Ajax for £10m four years ago.

The Gunners captain is apparently desperate to stay in north London, but it seems as if the club are very keen on shipping him out



Football

Worrying stats highlight Arsenal’s poor form when Thomas Vermaelen starts

By Stefano on March 20th, 2013

vermealen graphic

So Arsenal fans – tell me what you think about Thomas Vermaelen? It seems pretty clear now that Arsenal’s captain is very much Wenger’s third choice centre back behind Mertesacker and Koscielny. And to make matters worse for Vermaelen both players have been talking recently about how they are committed to the club and see their future in London.

Conversely the Belgian defender hasn’t had the best of seasons and his performances have been dogged by poor positional play, wayward passing and misunderstandings with his partners. In spite of this he has apparently caught the eye of the scouts from Barcelona who, if sources are to be believed, have penciled him in as the next player to move from The Emirates to the Nou Camp.

Here then is a quick snapshot of what Arsenal have been like with and without Vermaelen this year courtesy of WhoScored.Com. In some ways it is a slightly skewed view as he has obviously played many more games than he has missed. Nevertheless there is the emergence of a trend that shows that Arsenal’s defences are meaner without the Belgian. And when he has not started Arsenal have not lost a game.

I do wonder if the Mertesacker and Koscielny pairing will be a standard fixture (unless one of them gets injured) until the end of the season. Vermaelen’s dip in form could mean that he becomes the next player to exit The Emirates.



Football

Arsenal update: Alexis Sanchez for Thomas Vermaelen swap? Striker Carr on radar

By Stefano on March 20th, 2013

There’s more buzz about the Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal transfer this morning with several papers suggesting that the Barca winger/striker is one of Arsene Wenger’s top targets for the summer.

Wenger has been helped in his quest by the former sporting director at Udinese, Fabrizio Larini, the club where Sanchze made his name.

Larini thinks that his former protege should join The Gunners because their style of football complements the way that Sanchez plays.

“Sanchez needs to play the ball on the ground, just like Arsenal. That would be his ideal game. I do not know his current situation at the Spanish club. But his fitness problems have definitely limited his performances.The only thing that these teams will have to consider is that he is a player who needs freedom to play his way. In teams that have particularly rigid patterns of play he might have a few problems,” Larini said.

Several papers are also suggesting that one way of bagging Sanchez would be to include him as part of a swap deal for Arsenal centre back Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian has been out of sorts this season so a new start in Spain might appeal to him.

The Mail also reports that Arsenal are tracking the Dulwich Hamlets striker Daniel Carr. The player, who the paper claims is one of the hottest prospects in non-league football, was apparently on his way to Liverpool but Arsenal are keen to hijack the move.



Football

Arsenal update: Vorm in, Mertsesacker out…

By Stefano on March 18th, 2013

Arsenal’s search for a keeper continues and the latest name to be thrown in the ring is the man who they put two past on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger is apparently now keen on Swansea’s Michel Vorm ,who at the very least would be a replacement for Lukasz Fabianski and may even supersede Wojciech Szczesny as the Gunners’ long term number one.

He wouldn’t be that cheap though. The player has three years left on his contract and several other clubs, including Barcelona, are apparently interested too.

Meanwhile German club Wolfsburg have targeted Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker for a summer move. The defender, whose performances have been inconsistent for The Gunners this season, would be reunited at the club with their sporting director Klaus Allofs who previously signed the player for Werder Bremen in 2006.

Allofs said

“Everyone knows what I think of Per. If he is for sale, he will always be of interest. He was the leader at Bremen and I also believe he is the leader in the Germany team. If he is for sale, he will always be of interest.”

There is a strong possibility of a serious shake up of Arsenal centre backs in the summer with Thomas Vermaelen allegedly a target for Barcelona.



Football

Arsenal update: Song return, Vermaelen to Barca, Real defender targeted

By Stefano on March 8th, 2013

Today’s Arsenal news is all about Spain. The big story is that, unhappy with his lot at Barcelona Alex Song is pondering a move back to The Emirates.

Less then a year after questioning the player’s commitment and attitude Arsene Wenger is reported to be happy to welcome the Cameroonian back to London.

Song, who has been pretty much sidelined by current Barca coach Jordi Roura, is apparently very keen to leave with PSG also monitoring his situation.

Arsenal are of course in need of a solid and powerful defensive midfielder – though there is a question mark over whether Song fits that bill. In his last season at The Emirates he was chastised by the manager for pushing forward too often and not maintaining his position.

One possible deal could see Song return to Arsenal and Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen head the other way - with Barca adding a few million pounds as a sweetener.

The move might make sense for Vermaelen whose form has been poor this season.

One replacement then could be Real Madird’s Raul Albiol. The player has featured less and less for the side this season and may also be looking for a new challenge. The Daily Mail thinks that Arsene Wenger might be tempted.



Football

Kieran Gibbs is back in training- is he Arsenal’s first choice left back?

By Stefano on March 6th, 2013

Some good news for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal fans. The club’s English left back Kieran Gibbs is back in training and could feature in both The Champions League and The Premiership soon.

The jury is still out on the former. The game against Bayern next week may come too soon for the player which would be bad news for the team. At The Emirates Bayern ruthlessly exploited Arsenal’s right flank and the makeshift left back Thomas Vermaelen. A fit Gibbs would be a much better option.

Failing that Gibbs could be ready to play in the Premiership against Swansea on March 16th.

But will he start the game? Wenger’s winter signing Nacho Monreal has overall had a good start to his English career. In many games he has looked solid at the back and powerful going forward. He even provided an assist for Santi Cazorla in the recent 2–1 victory over Aston Villa.

However he had a poor game against Spurs and some pundits blamed him for the second Lennon goal as he seemed to stand helplessly still as the Spurs’ player broke through the Arsenal high line.

Most Gunners fans seemed to like what they have seen of the player so far, but I wonder if a full fit Gibbs, who was excellent in the first part of the season and who has a significantly longer relationship with the rest of the defence to draw on, should start against Swansea. After that it could all be down to who starts and how well they play – or in Gibbs’case how long he stays injury-free.



Football

Why Jack Wilshere should be Arsenal’s new captain sooner rather than later

By Stefano on February 24th, 2013

As every Gooner knows the Arsenal captain’s arm band is cursed. Pop it on to your shoulder and with a few months you’ll be off playing elsewhere in Europe. It happened to Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie and now we hear that Barca are sniffing round Thomas Vermaelen.

Now there is a school of thought that suggests that Arsenal should cash in on the Belgian. His form, like his fellow central defenders, has been poor this season and there is a theory that being captain has affected his game. It has also caused problems for Arsene Wenger too because, to be frank, there have been several times this year when Vermaelen hasn’t really merited a place in the team and Wenger has picked him rather than dropped him.

Given the issues faced by Arsenal captain then the news that Arsene Wenger is considering giving Arsenal’s outstanding midfielder Jack Wilshere the armband, might not be universally welcomed by Arsenal fans. But to be honest it makes sense and needs to be done sooner rather than later. Firstly it may help Vermaelen. I personally am not too bothered whether he stays or goes – and part of me thinks that a wholesale clear out of the central defence is must for Arsenal to push forward – but it will take the pressure off and will help to concentrate on his game and hopefully recapture the form that propelled him towards the role in the first place.

As for Wilshere, well it is clear that he is the hub round which Arsenal work. His central midfield position is the perfect place for a leader to play. He is the future for the club.

There is also a precedent for Arsenal having a young captain too. Cesc Fabregas was of a similar age when he took the arm band and Tony Adams was just 21.

What Arsenal desperately require at the moment is leaders and Wilshere is someone who will drive the team forward. He is very mature for his age, will start every game and had a huge amount of passion for the club.

If, as seems likely, Arsenal don’t make the Champions League next season, then there will be a transnational year ahead and maybe the re-building starts with Wilshere taking the reins.



Football

Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny misses training – who might Arsene play tomorrow?

By Stefano on February 18th, 2013

Some very worrying news for Gunners fans on the eve Arsenal’s games against Bayern Munich. There are reports that French centre back Laurent Koscielny missed training this morning because of ongoing problems with a calf injury.

It has to be said that Koscielny looked fine against Blackburn (fitness-wise) and that this might just be a precautionary move by the Arsenal medical team.

However if Koscielny does miss tomorrow then Arsene Wenger has a tricky decision to make. It will mean that Thomas Vermaelen will be needed to partner Per Mertesacker at centre back, creating a problem as to who will play at left back?

Wenger could move Sanga to that position with Carl Jenkinson at right back, or he could draft in Ignasi Miquel.

Either way it wouldn’t be ideal given Bayern’s awesome firepower



Football

Rumours of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona? The Arsenal captain’s curse again!?

By Stefano on February 18th, 2013

Here’s an interesting question for Arsenal fans. Would you cash in Thomas Vermaelen for a Barca player or two?

Well that’s the rumour that has been picked up the Daily Mirror which suggests that the Catalans are lining up the Arsenal defender as a replacement for Eric Abidal who is unlikely to return to to-level footballer after his illnesses.

In return The Mirror suggest that Arsenal will be offered several Barca players including David Villa.

The paper says

Wenger has gone cold on the idea of signing Barcelona striker David Villa. However, the Spanish giants will try to reignite his interest if it will help get a deal for Vermaelen done.

Barcelona have already put around £40million aside for new signings in the summer and that pot will grow if they can offload Villa, versatile defender and midfielder Adriano and young forward Cristian Tello.

Vermaelen, 27, is under contract at Arsenal until October 2015.

So Arsenal fans what do you think? Might this be a sensible move for Arsene Wenger? It is clear that Thomas Vermaelen isn’t the commanding figure he was a couple of seasons back. There are even those who think that the Arsenal captain isn’t part of the best defensive pairing which they believe to be Mertesacker and Koscielny.

Then again it would be tough to replace a player with his skill and experience.

It is interesting too that this could end up being another example of the curse of being captain, for several players that Wenger has given that role to has left the club not too long after.



Football

Arsenal injury update – and who should play against Blackburn?

By Stefano on February 14th, 2013

This Saturday Arsenal welcome Blackburn Rovers to The Emirates for an FA Cup clash they are desperate to win. The FA Cup remains the bit of silverware most likely to end the club’s seven your trophy drought.

Yet Arsene Wenger has plenty on his mind when it comes to deciding who is going to start in the line up. For three days later Arsenal face a much tougher challenge in the guise of Bayern Munich who visit The Emirates for the first leg of their Champions League tie.

Wenger also has quite a few players coming back from injury, so he needs to decide does he risk them against the Championship side on Saturday and keep them for Bayern game.

First up then here’s what Arsene said this morning to the club’s website about the various injuries.

Thomas Vermaelen – He is looking quite good and is possibly back for Saturday. He should be in the squad.

Jack Wilshere – He is having tests today [Thursday] and tomorrow. He is looking better. He is still a doubt for Saturday. He’s got a kick on the thigh.

Laurent Koscielny – That is a problem. He has a test today and tomorrow exactly like Wilshere.

As for the others

Ramsey is alright. Sagna is alright. Jenkinson is suspended. Diaby is available again and all the other players are alright.

The really good news than is Thomas Vermaelen’s recovery. It would make seen to put him on the bench and save him to play at left back in the Bayern game.

If we consider that Koscielny is likely to be a non starter on Saturday and that he need to be preserved to play alongside Mertesacker on Tuesday, Wenger could try Miquel against Blackburn. Monreal will be able to play left back and Sagna at the right.

If Wilshere is left out of the squad then Arsenal’s midfield could be Arteta, Cazorla, Diaby with Walcott and Podolski on the wings.

Wenger can also pick Gervinho, who had a splendid AFCON and could well feature.



Football

Arsenal vs Bayern Munich – Wilshere ok, but who will play left back?

By Stefano on February 12th, 2013

A week today Arsenal take on Bayern Munich in what is one of three classic Champions League encounters involving British sides this month. Having won their group, and also knocked Arsenal out before, the in-form Germans will start as clear favourites but Arsenal will hope to make things very tricky for them with a decent win at The Emirates.

On the injury front there’s good news and bad news for The Gunners. Jack Wilshere is apparently fine after only suffering a dead leg against Sunderland. He is in theory available for the game against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup this weekend, but I would be amazed if he didn’t start on the bench.

Meanwhile Laurent Koscielny has recovered from a minor calf injury and he is also expected to be available for the Blackburn game to play alongside Per Mertesacker.

So where though does this leave Arsenal’s other main injury doubt Thomas Vermaelen?

As you may recall Arsenal have a massive problem at left back against Bayern with Gibbs injured, Monreal cup tied and Santos now back in Brazil. Vermaelen has played at left back before and would be a dead cert to start. Goal reports that he is back in light training this week, but with the prospect of Arjen Robben bearing down on him it is a big ask to start back against Bayern.

Wenger could play Sagna at left back, with Jenkinson on the right, or alternatively use Spanish youngster Ignasi Miquel.

It is a really tough call for the Arsenal manager.



Football

Premiership preview – Is it time for Arsenal to drop their captain Thomas Vermaelen?

By Stefano on November 30th, 2012

It has been a difficult start to life as Arsenal captain for Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian has been a popular figure at the club since his signing in 2009 and was handed the armband in the summer after the departure of Robin van Persie, but has performed disappointingly so far this season, making a couple of high-profile errors.

In stark contrast, Per Mertesacker has started the campaign very well, defending reliably and scoring his first goal in English football, the crucial equaliser at home to Tottenham. Meanwhile, Laurent Koscielny is probably the best partner for both players: Mertesacker needs a quick player alongside him, while Vermaelen appreciates the Frenchman sweeping up if he loses challenges.

This presents Arsene Wenger with a selection dilemma: Mertesacker is the first centre-back on the teamsheet at the moment, and Koscielny is his natural partner. That wasn’t an issue when Kieran Gibbs was injured, because Vermaelen could move out to left-back. But now Gibbs is available again, and offers a more reliable attacking threat from full-back. At home to Swansea, Arsenal will need someone who can stretch the play, and also a quick player against Swansea’s wing threat.

Vermaelen was omitted from the side that drew at Villa Park last weekend, but with Arsenal facing three league fixtures in eight days, that could be explained by squad rotation. Wenger leaving out his captain for a second consecutive weekend would be significant development; but on form, it’s Mertesacker, Koscielny and Gibbs who deserve to be in the side alongside Bacary Sagna.

This post courtesy of Pick Our Team. PickOurTeam is a new type of football community giving fans an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the formation and selection of their team. PickOurTeam is the voice of the fans – collecting views on who should play where and ratings on how the players, manager, and referee perform each week. Every match the findings are compiled and presented back to the fans.




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