Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has praised former Gunner Robin van Persie for the job he did as skipper last season.
The Dutchman is persona non grata at Emirates Stadium after moving to Manchester United, but Arsene Wenger’s new skipper insisted last season’s Premier League golden boot winner did a great job.
Vermaelen has struggled for form this season, which could have something to do with the added responsibility, but he is confident he will grow into the role and is sure an air of discipline will help him in this.
“I just try to do as well as I can, setting a good example on the pitch and off it. Robin did a good job last year and it went well, so I aim to continue that,” he told the official Arsenal website.
“I try to be disciplined, to live by the rules, and to make sure the whole team is doing the same.”
The Belgium international is not alone, however, and revealed there are a number of senior player in the Gunners squad that are capable of taking on responsibility.
“There are a few of us who work together on that, though - Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker as well, they’re really good and help me a lot,” he added.
“We’re like a small team, making sure everyone is doing the right things and trying to assist them when they need it.”
Vermaelen should be used to leading a team though, as he wore the armband for his previous side Ajax before moving to the Emirates Stadium club.
It has been an indifferent start to the season for the 27-year-old and his side can’t currently break into the all-important top four.
However, he was looking back to his old self in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw away at Everton on Wednesday evening.