Arsenal supporters will have been delighted to see Thomas Vermaelen return to action on Tuesday night, with the Belgian featuring for 84 minutes of the Gunners’ 2-1 Carling Cup victory over Bolton.
The Arsenal team have a much higher win ratio when Vermaelen is in the team and the central defender played down the late substitution, claiming that it was just a bout of cramp that forced him to miss the final few minutes of the game.
“I feel great,” Vermaelen told Arsenal Player. “I trained [on Monday] with the team and I felt good straight away so I felt confident for [last night].
“Personally I don’t believe in that [needing games to regain sharpness].
“If I come back from injury after a long time I don’t believe in coming back and getting rhythm.
“I think it is just in your head and a mental thing – if you are a football player you have to be there straight away.
“That’s why I wanted to play today and I think it’s good.
“It was a good game for us, we fought hard and it was a deserved win for us I think.”
Arsenal face a tricky match on Saturday when they make the short journey to Stamford Bridge, with Vermaelen in contention for a starting place, although he might be given some rest after such a long lay-off.