Daily Archives: June 7, 2015
When Thomas Vermaelen graced the Emirates following a successful spell at Ajax, Arsenal fans were awed at his aggressive style of defending and no-nonsense attitude, as he worked in tandem with William Gallas winning a place in the 2010 PFA Team of the Year. In his first full season at Arsenal, Vermaelen scored six goals making him one of the highest scoring center backs in that campaign.
A nasty Achilles tendon injury haunted him in his second season with the club but the arrival of Laurent Koscielny was welcome as the Frenchman played alongside Johan Djourou to forge a formidable partnership. Following the departure of Robin van Persie at the start of last season, Arsene Wenger handed the captaincy over to Vermaelen and his labored performances last season showed that it was a big burden for him to bear.
After another shambolic performance against Tottenham, Wenger axed the skipper from the squad, bringing in Koscielny to play alongside the cool, calm and collected Per Mertesacker and together, Arsenal had a new solid base in defense to work with and the Gunners went on an amazing run in the tail end of the 2012/13 season, winning eight league games and drawing two games to pip Tottenham to fourth place.
Vermaelen spent a considerable chunk of the 2013/14 season on the bench and he expressed his disappointment of not getting enough playing time which facilitated his move to Barcelona last summer. He was plagued with several injuries with Barcelona after sealing the £15 million move from Arsenal and it took him 10 months to make his debut for the team, which lasted just over an hour. Arsenal replaced Vermaelen with Gabriel Paulista in January and Gabriel made his debut before the Verminator.
Last night, Vermaelen’s fairy tale campaign with Barcelona continued last night as his team won the treble after defeating Juventus in the Champions League final. Ivan Rakitic (Cesc Fabregas replacement lol), Luis Suarez and Neymar Junior scored the goals that put the Old Lady to the sword. With the ref blowing the final whistle, the celebrations began in earnest with Vermaelen and his teammates dancing with joy as they basked in the euphoria of winning yet another trophy.
This means that Vermaelen has celebrated more times for Barcelona than the amount of times he has actually played for the Catalans.
With Javier Mascherano aging and Jeremy Mathieu still struggling to get into the team, Vermaelen can mount a considerable challenge for a first team berth next season. From a footballing standpoint, injuries have robbed the former Arsenal skipper for making his mark in the Barcelona team but he can count himself lucky to be part of one of the best football team.
Here’s to Vermaelen – a treble winner.
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