Arsenal defender ready to play against Chelsea on Saturday

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…

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.

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