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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine