Thomas Vermaelen talks up Arsenal spirit following draw with Everton

 

No-one can fault the mentality of the Arsenal squad as they battle to get back into the top four of the Barclays Premier League, according to captain Thomas Vermaelen.

The Gunners drew 1-1 at Everton last night, taking an early lead through Theo Walcott only for Marouane Fellaini to equalise.

After also failing to beat Aston Villa at the weekend, Arsenal are down in seventh, five points behind West Brom and third-placed Chelsea.

Defender Vermaelen insists the team are showing all the signs needed to push forwards, having extended their unbeaten run to four matches in all competitions.

"Mentality-wise, there is nothing wrong with the team," Vermaelen said on Arsenal Player.

"Everybody works hard and there is no-one who doesn't work for the team, and that will give you results, from that point of view I am very happy."

Vermaelen, though, accepts there is room for improvement ahead of Saturday's visit of Swansea.

"In the first minute we scored a good goal, and after that we dominated, but gave them chances because we were a little bit sloppy with the ball, so that was a bit disappointing," he said.

"In the second half we were a little bit dangerous, but didn't create too many chances.

"In the end we got a point, I don't know if we should be happy with that or not."

Walcott had set the Gunners on their way with a well-taken effort on 52 seconds in what was only his fourth league start of the season.

The 23-year-old, yet to pen a new contract extension, feels his killer instinct in front of goal is improving all the time.

"Those are the sort of positions that this season and in the last few seasons I have been quite deadly in," Walcott said.

"When given a little sniff I am able to take it now. The goals [I have scored] show that.

"My general play [is getting better] as well. The assists are coming now, which is fantastic, and I am enjoying my football.

"I am very happy with the way I have started and it has got to continue. Hopefully I will take it into Saturday's game."

Manager Arsene Wenger revealed Walcott, just back from a shoulder injury, was carrying an ankle problem during the second half, while defender Laurent Koscielny is expected to be sidelined for up to a month after coming off after less than five minutes with a groin injury.

German forward Lukas Podolski, meanwhile, missed out because of a chest infection and will be assessed ahead of Saturday's match.

Wenger feels his squad have shown "100% commitment" in recent performances, which included securing a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League ahead of next week's final Group B game against Olympiacos.

"We have given a lot and we have some players who play on the edge. Hopefully they will recover for Saturday," the Arsenal manager said.

Wenger remains positive for the challenges ahead.

"If you look at the Premier League at the moment we have played 14 games, eight away, and now we have played at the two Liverpool clubs and the two Manchester clubs," he said.

"If we play well at home and get the results at home we have a chance to come back, that is our job now.

"We have rebuilt a new team, we have Jack Wilshere back and hopefully we can go from strength to strength.

"We have the spirit, but we have some room for improvement in the final third. Overall, though, when you have the spirit you have the chance.

"We have to show that now by being consistent."

PA

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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent