Arsène Wenger says Thomas Vermaelen not guaranteed return

 

Arsène Wenger has cast doubt over Thomas Vermaelen’s Arsenal future by saying that just because he is captain of the club it does not mean he is guaranteed to be in the starting line up.

Vermaelen was left on the bench for Arsenal’s Champions League match against Bayern Munich in midweek and there are suggestions that his Arsenal career could be in doubt in the summer.

It was a bold move by Wenger to drop his captain and he may be thinking about handing the armband on. He has been here before. He replaced William Gallas with Cesc Fabregas in 2008. Jack Wilshere, at 21 the same age as Fabregas was when he was promoted, has been tipped to become the Gunners’ next leader.

Wenger would not say whether Vermaelen will face Swansea today but the manager has done little to suggest his route back into the side will be a formality after revealing the armband counts for nothing when it comes to selection.

“In England, the captain is of massive importance,” said Wenger. “But as a captain and a leader that shouldn’t guarantee you a place in any game. For purely sporting reasons, or tactical reasons in the game, when you don’t think it is the right selection, do you put the player in just because he is captain?

“That is disrespectful to the guy who doesn’t play. For sporting  reasons it is not completely justifiable. Vermaelen is part of these tough boys – he still gets going even when he is not at 100 per cent,” added Wenger. “Sometimes the performance suffers a little bit from that.

“All the players are in the same position. Nobody’s guaranteed places in the team. Every position is up for grabs. You have to face it like that, the last game decides the next one.”

Kieran Gibbs will be rested today.

News
news
Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose' in memoir of a grief-stricken daughter who became obsessed with training a goshawk
Sport
football
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century