Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hailed the attitude of club-captain Thomas Vermaelen after he responded well to being dropped from the first team.
Wenger chose the Belgium defender to be the new captain last summer after ex-skipper Robin van Persie left the club to join Manchester United, but his form has dipped since having the armband which has seen him lose his first-team place for the previous four games.
It started when Vermaelen was dropped for the Champions League game against Bayern Munich. Since then the centre-back has also missed three Premier League games against Swansea City, Reading and West Brom.
In his absence Arsenal have won all four of the games and only conceded twice.
The game last weekend saw Vermaelen return to action late in the second half as Per Mertesacker was sent off. That left Arsenal fighting for the three points, which they eventually managed to hold on too.
As Mertesacker is suspended, it is likely Vermaelen will return to first-team action when his side face Norwich at home on Saturday.
During his press conference Wenger hailed Vermaelen's attitude and response to being dropped from the first team.
"He took it in a remarkable way [when he lost his place]," Wenger told Arsenal Player. "He is a great man and I didn't make him captain by coincidence. I knew there is something mentally special there. He responds in positive situations and in less positive situations like when you don't play.
"They know there could be rotation with the three centre backs from the start of the season, depending on good and less good periods of any individual player. He [Vermaelen] took that remarkably well."
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