Arsenal captain admits frustration at bench role

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Football News

Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has expressed his frustration at constantly missing out on a first-team spot.

Speaking to the club's official matchday programme, Vermaelen admitted that whilst being out of the side is frustrating, he is happy with the team's current form.

Vermaelen was appointed captain when Robin van Persie left for Manchester United in 2012, however, he has since fallen down the pecking order, with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny establishing themselves as the club's first-choice pair.

"Of course it's a frustrating time for me, but I'm really happy for the team," he said.

The Belgium international also commented on the atmosphere within the camp, and the positive mood in the camp following a run of good form.

"A winning atmosphere is so much better when you are around the training ground, it makes it more happy. For me I just have to be patient. I feel good in training, I have come back from my injury, I feel really good and I'm ready whenever the boss needs me."

And with a Capital One Cup tie against rivals Chelsea on the horizon, it is expected Vermaelen will soon get a start.

The Gunners are looking good on all fronts this season, and with the number of games the club may potentially face, Vermaelen is confident he will get adequate game time.

"There are going to be about 60 games this season, so you will always get a chance to play," he said. "I have spoken to the boss about it - it can happen in a split second.

I had it last year when Per got the red card against West Brom, I needed to be ready to come on and then play the next game too. It can change so quickly."

Arsene Wenger failed to add to his defensive department this season, instead choosing to let Sebastien Squillaci and Andre Santos leave the club, while Johan Djourou left the Emirates on loan.

The Frenchman has utilised right-back Bacary Sagna at centre-half and his impressive performances have increased the level of competition for Vermaelen, and the captain accepts it is difficult to play when you are part of a good squad.

"Of course you want to play every game, but it's tough competition in there, especially when everyone is fit - just look at the bench on Saturday," he told the official matchday programme.

Arsenal take on Borussia Dortmund tonight in the Champions League, before travelling to struggling Crystal Palace at the weekend.

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Thomas Vermaelen

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