Thomas Vermaelen has praised the form of Robin van Persie this season, but the defender insists that without the Dutchman, Arsenal would still be boasting top form as they make up for their poorest start to the season in over 50 years.
Van Persie has scored seven goals in five appearances for the Gunners, and his hat-trick against Chelsea was seen by many as proof that the 28-year-old has what it takes to be one of the best strikers in the world.
And while Vermaelen had nothing but praise for Van Persie, he believes that the entire Arsenal squad are starting to play better as a team and create opportunities.
“He is a world-class player and an amazing striker but we have a big squad and he can’t play every game and we have enough strikers to fit in in his place,” Vermaelen said.
“I think that we have enough players who can decide a game, like Gervinho, who is very quick, and we created chances without Robin, so we are confident that we can create and make goals without Robin.”
Vermaelen also revealed that while his long term injury was a real setback for him, when the 25-year-old received another blow this season he knew it would be no time before he got his form back.
“It has been a difficult time for me, especially last year being out for pretty much the whole season,” he explained.
“I came back strong, had a great pre-season and played the first four games and then I got injured on the other side. I was not too stressed about it, as I had experience of it from last season, so I knew that it would only take six weeks for me to come back. So I was not worried.”
While the Belgian hasn’t had many opportunities to play alongside defensive partner Per Mertesacker, the star believes that the pair will gel very quickly on the field.
“I have not been training with him a lot, maybe once for a few minutes, and of course it is not a problem as I have watched him playing alongside Laurent Koscielny and I have a good vision of his qualities,” he said.
“There is always criticism and complaining about Arsenal’s defence. What can I say about it? It does not worry me at all. I am on the pitch to do my best. I am confident and don’t care what people say. We have won eight from 10 and drawn one and that is the most important thing.
“Of course, it is not only about defence — the shape of the team, the organisation and that is something really important in the game and something that we can really improve on.”