Wenger reserves praise for dropped Arsenal captain Vermaelen

The defender has been kept on the sidelines for his side’s last four consecutive wins, but his manager is expecting a positive reaction when he returns against Norwich

Arsene Wenger has praised Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen for his “remarkable” reaction to being left out of the side in recent weeks.

The Belgian defender was handed the captain’s armband following Robin van Persie’s departure in the summer, but has struggled to recapture his best form this season and has been on the bench for the last four games, with the Gunners winning every one.

However, his manager has been thoroughly impressed with the centre back’s reaction to being dropped, telling the club’s official site: “He took it in a remarkable way [when he lost his place].

“He is a great man and I didn’t make him captain by coincidence.

“I knew there is something mentally special there. He responds in positive situations and in less positive situations like when you don’t play.

“They know there could be rotation with the three centre backs from the start of the season, depending on good and less good periods of any individual player.

“He [Vermaelen] took that remarkably well.”

The skipper is expected to return to the starting line-up for Saturday’s game against Norwich in place of the suspended Per Mertesacker, who was sent off in last weekend’s win at West Brom.

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