It’s time to unleash the beast or will the ‘Captains Curse’ strike again?
So Vermaelen is reportedly off to Manchester United. Away he goes to join good mate Robin Van Judas. I say stuff that, he isn’t going anywhere! For too long our captains have left our club when we’ve needed them most. Cesc left because it was in his DNA; a little boy told Van Judas; Gallas was a big-mouthed mercenary; Henry wanted trophies, and Viera wanted trophies/money.
Thomas’ favoured position is at centre back; problem is, it’s occupied by Kozzer and the BIG fecking German. Both have formed a formidable duo boasting perhaps the best partnership in the league. Unfortunately for Vermaelen, both are extremely durable and don’t look like being overtaken any time soon. Mertesacker has the composure and experience needed to partner Kozzer; Kozzer the speed and agility to compliment Mertesacker. If Vermaelen is to stay with our prestigious club then he needs to reinvent himself. But most notably, he needs to want to change.
How much does he want to succeed at Arsenal? He’s our captain and is very passionate, so I’d hope his own desires coupled with his will to win means he would do everything required. I’m suggesting a positional change to defensive midfield. It could be a risk, but it could also be a master stoke, so why not give it a chance. He has one year left on his contract…a situation similar to Flamini’s situation in the 07/08 season. Put your hand up and show Arsene what you are capable of.
Why will it work? Here are my reasons:
- He has the technical ability in his passing and shooting to handle the position. Normally the role doesn’t require such at trait but at Arsenal it does. Is he any different to Song or Flamini in that aspect? Even Arteta has toned down his creativity and range of passing to fit in.
- Thomas is an excellent tackler. His highlight reel is bursting at the seams with goal saving sliding tackles. A desired trait to break up opposition attacks before they begin. He’s without doubt not one to shy from a big tackle. Beautiful…it would lift the spirits of those around him and get the supporters out of their seats.
- Versatility. He can play as a centre back and a left back. Our style of play can leave us prone to counter attacking. If Gibbs or Jenks/new RB are caught up the pitch, who better to clean up the mess?! If a defender picks up a red card Vermaelen can slot in to their position without upsetting our style of play.
- If Kozzer or the BFG go down injured, Vermaelen can slot in an fill the void without bringing on a cold defender that isn’t up to speed with the game.
- Long range shooting!!! Sometimes we can be a touch too predictable in the final third. With Vermaelen pushing up he can give the opposition another thing to worry about. In his first two seasons at Arsenal he scored some absolute rippers from long range.
- Unrivalled aerial ability. The last time he lost an aerial duel Terry had hair. Not only is this added value in the midfield but it brings added safety to opposition set pieces, and makes us dangerous during ours.
- He is a leader of men and the captain of our team! What better position to organise the troops.
- In his first season (09) he was selected in the PFA Premier League Team of the Season. So we know he is a world class player when injury free. A lack of game time and continual battles with injury has robbed him during his peak years. He can be a force again!
- It won’t cost us a dime! He becomes our first choice defensive midfielder with Arteta and Flamini as backup. It saves us from spending a large sum of money for a position that tends to be overly inflated market wise. It’s a lot cheaper to bring in a quality centre back.
- Welsh Jesus and Ozil. Both can focus more on what they do best, attacking. Thomas is a team player and knows his role in the team. If he’s told to hold the fort you better believe he’ll give everything he’s got to do so. The more we see of Ozil in the opposition half the better.
If Thomas works hard on improving his fitness base during the pre-season, has the desire to make this position his and improves his positional sense with the coaches, I see no real disadvantages.
Don’t agree with me?! Well let’s see what Arsenal legend and midfield destroyer Patrick Viera has to say in regards to being a midfield general:
- Put the team first
“The first step to playing as a defensive midfielder is understanding your role and accepting it. You’re there to work hard and to help everyone else, before yourself. The role of the defensive midfielder has changed. In the past it was just about protecting the back four, but now you are asked to do everything: score goals, make assists and defend. Your team-mates need to be able to count on you. And when you’re having a bad game you need to know they’ve got your back. This kind of trust gives you confidence.”
- Use your football brain
“As a defensive midfielder you must be tactically aware. You’re at the heart of the team so you have to hold everything together and allow other players to express themselves. To do this you need to talk a lot and use your brain, because quite often you have to be in the right place at the right time. You have to cover the gap between the midfield and the back four, cover the left and right full-backs when they go forward and the central defenders when they push further up the pitch.”
- Impose yourself early
“Physicality was a very important part of my game. I knew that the first contact in the battle was going to be really important. This is the moment when you impose yourself and win games. Being strong in the first tackle says, ‘I’m here and I’m going to try and make it hard for you’. Intimidation is part of the game, but as a defensive midfielder you also have to be really good technically. You have to have the ability to collect the ball from the back four and pass it on to the front players.”
Personally I think Thomas covers all three areas easily. He will burn opposition midfielders like a f*cking supernova
So…Manchester United…piss off. Vermaelen…stay. Supporters…rally around him, it’s time to unleash the BEAST!
Written by: OzGunner
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