The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that he feels that the performances of the Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen have taken a dip in recent weeks due to the pressure of captaincy affecting him. Following the departure of players like William Gallas and Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie was made the captain of the team.
However, the Dutchman also left the club in the summer for Manchester United. Vermaelen has been one of the outstanding players at the club since arriving for £ 10 million a few seasons ago. He was made the captain of the team by the manager this season.
However, he has committed a number of mistakes at crucial times in the matches, which have often led to bad results for Arsenal. This has become even more concentrated upon by the media following the recent poor results by Arsenal. Wenger has said that the Belgian is more concerned about his poor performances than anybody else. He said that the pressure of captaincy is starting to affect him because being a captain is not just being another player. A captain has to set an example on the pitch, and this factor is causing a dip in form for Thomas Vermaelen according to Wenger.
“On Tuesday [away to Schalke in the Champions League] he was outstanding. I think what has happened to him in recent weeks has affected his confidence. Physically he has no problem. You put more pressure on yourself when you are the captain. You want to be the best player in the team. You cannot be a defender and not make a mistake. But if you make one then maybe you put a bit more pressure on yourself,” said Wenger. Arsenal’s poor form did not improve in the weekend match against Aston Villa, but they did keep a clean sheet.