• Premier League

Vermaelen to fight for Arsenal place

ESPN staff
March 29, 2013
Thomas Vermaelen has missed out on the last two games despite being the captain © Getty Images

Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has vowed to win his place back in the starting line-up after being left out for the last two games.

The Belgium international was out of the first team against Bayern Munich in the Champions League in Germany and missed out against Swansea in the Premier League. Manager Arsene Wenger went with the pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny for both encounters, but the Frenchman could recall his skipper to the starting 11 when the Gunners face Reading at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

"I am fighting to win my place back, and nothing will change my mentality or the way I work - I will give everything every day, as I have throughout my career," Vermaelen said in the club's official matchday programme for the Reading game.

"It is just something that happens in football, especially when you play for a big club. I have played many games in my career, and spending two on the bench does not mean the world is on fire.

"You can't be surprised by these things - the only thing to do is keep going and make sure you come back strongly."

After Robin van Persie was sold to Manchester United last summer the 27-year-old took over the captaincy, but has struggled for form over the last couple of months after Arsenal suffered a shock exit to Blackburn in the FA Cup, were well-beaten by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16 first leg and lost to Tottenham in the North London derby.

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