We’re all hoping it’s a sign of things to come

So, it’s official, Thomas Vermaelen has signed for Arsenal. I am as excited to see him play as I am to see what other moves Le Boss makes this summer. I’ve never seen Arsenal act this agressive in any transfer market. They are almost always last to sign players, looking around for a bargain, and frustrating us supporters with their talk of how so and so can fill in at such and such position.

So, signing the Ajax captain, who plays in a position that everyone agrees we need for an Arsenal record transfer fee is huge. No, not just huge, this is the most definitive signal from Arsene Wenger that he’s changed course a bit that I have ever seen. Wenger himself heralds the chage thusly,

Thomas is a great signing for Arsenal Football Club, and we are all delighted that he is joining us. Thomas is a solid performer with good experience of Champions League and UEFA Cup football and is also a regular with the Belgium national team.

Thomas is primarily a left-footed centre back, but he’s multi-functional and can also play at left back. He is strong technically with a positive winner’s attitude and I have no doubt his arrival will strengthen our team. Thomas Vermaelen will be a huge asset to Arsenal.

Here here, may the Boss’ vision prove correct once again.

Welcome, Thomas, you’re a Gooner now and we all support you.


36 Responses to “We’re all hoping it’s a sign of things to come”

  1. 1 dk.nyc
    June 19, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Good signing by Wenger. Will he follow it up? Reports out of France that a Moroccan Striker from Bordeaux will be brought in to replace Adebayor? Apparently he tied for the lead on the team in goals, is 6’2″ good in the air and is especially adept at involving midfielders in play and tracking back.

  2. 2 gooner sems
    June 19, 2009 at 9:32 am

    so a cb done
    a defensive mid next please

  3. 3 Travis The Septopus
    June 19, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Hazzah and Kudos Mr. Wenger You have done the supporters right. I agree with Gooner Sems a DM would fit the bill.

  4. 4 Tim
    June 19, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I just noticed that he used to play for KFC, let’s hope he’s no chicken.


    • 5 Jay
      June 19, 2009 at 10:28 am

      Kentucky grilled or fried is the question Tim?

      Sorry, American humor there…

      I was curious if anyone had any thoughts on trying Kieran Gibbs as a left midfielder next season during some less important games? I thought one of Arsenal’s issue last season was that our left wingers (Nasri, Arshavin) would too often drift to the middle and we would lose our shape. I know it sounds crazy to move a young kid who showed great success last season, but with Clichy presumably back next season, it would be in Arsenal’s best interest to try and get Gibbs in some matches.

      This move would be similar to the transition that Eboue made over the past two seasons. I thought Gibbs was fantastic going forward with great pace, but also a steady defender. His two goals last week for the English U21 team shows his ability in the offensive end. I liked Eboue’s ability to track back at times last year and I could envision a similar style of play for Gibbs.

      Just a thought as a way to maximize his value.

      • 6 CaribKid
        June 19, 2009 at 1:52 pm

        Gibbs is originally a winger and also plays DM in the junior leagues. He and Coquelin could well be battling for the DM spot in the next 2-3 years.

  5. 7 Travis The Septopus
    June 19, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I think given time Gibbs could develop to be a decent DM

  6. 8 Mark
    June 19, 2009 at 11:10 am

    I like the thought on Gibbs, however I think Ramsey and Coquelain are ahead of him for that position. Very nice to see a CB arrive although I hope it doesnt signal the end for Toure as some people have claimed. Definately need a decent DM with experience and I think if we get one we could well be challenging for the league again! Hate to correct as well, but this isn’t a record signing. Arshavin was signed for at least £5m more. And I wouldn’t call it aggressive either, its very quick for Arsenal admittedly, but I get the impression Wenger wants his team sorted by the time pre-season in Austria comes about.

  7. 10 Zane Wilcox
    June 19, 2009 at 11:31 am

    So, judging by Vermaelen’s size and prowess in the air, as well as his being a threat offensively I think Wenger has brought him in to finally be a replacement for Flamini. A tough and speedy ball-winner, who, if you’ve watched Ajax like I have, will completely remind you of Flamini, with much more to offer in the air and just as good offensively this signing may truly end up being the very signing that we are all pining for so desperately. Personally I have been following Vermaelen for a couple of seasons and have often thought he would be a perfect CDM for us. Also, and similarly to Arshavin, he shouldn’t struggle too much with the changes in weather that the English game offers. Up the gunner! Writing from Virginia, U.S., I hope my thoughts find all of you well.

    • 11 CaribKid
      June 19, 2009 at 1:55 pm

      That’s wxactly what I’ve been saying for the past few weeks, Vermaelen may be DM option we have all be looking for.

      • 12 nycgunner
        June 19, 2009 at 2:01 pm

        and given arsene’s propensity to experiment by playing players in different positions, i wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen. but this is probably the one time he wont!

        • 13 CaribKid
          June 19, 2009 at 4:06 pm

          I have also been a proponent for converting Gallas into a DM. He has all the needed characteristics.

          • 14 gooner sems
            June 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm

            maybe carib kid is right but some experts on goal.com say that he isn’t a very good defensive mid infact they said he isn”t arsenal quality at all but if wenger
            trusts him then we all should

  8. 15 Zane Wilcox
    June 19, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Oh yeh, the fee was 10 million euros, plus 2 million euros in what Ajax’s site is calling “variable” payments. If Nasri was worth almost 13 million lets hope Vermaelen can effect the team in an equally incredible way.

  9. 16 arthur3sheds
    June 19, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Timmy, I must say I am not thrilled with this signing. He is an unknown whom according to the opinion of dutch fans is not that good. According to what I have read they are shocked in Holland that Arsenal are paying so much money for someone whom they see as a very average player. It has been said that he is nottop four quality according to the dutch and I have seen the names of two Ajax defenders named by opposing fans who are better than him.

    I hope I am wrong but he has not got the premiership experience of any of our defenders yet and the Toure/Gallas partnership had vastly improved after he was stripped of the captaincy. Vermaelen appears to be an extension of the youth policy he is hardly at his peak at 23 is he. I cannot see how he is going to improve our team in the next couple of seasons. If Toure or Gallas go I would see this as another backward step this season.

    I will also remind y’all that Arsene said our defensive problems had been sorted out thats why he bought Arshavin in Jan and no DM. It is only since Gallas absence and Denilsons omission that the goals have been leaked.

    TV may well end up being no more than someone to appease the fans and pacify their lust for an adequate replacement for Flamini, which Arsene may not really be interested in as he still has a lot of faith in Denilson and Diaby.

    I hope I am wrong but I suppose time will tell.

    • 17 CaribKid
      June 19, 2009 at 1:59 pm

      The Gallas/Toure partnership will never work in the EPL, especially when we have a very diminutive MF. It’s great to have when playing in the CL against Italian and Spanish teams.

      We still need a robust CB in the mold of a Hangeeland in order to dominate aerially in the EPL.

  10. 18 Castano
    June 19, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Well,i’m not too excited.i’m just sitting here scratching my head cause he is not in that level that one can vouch for his success.but it will be better if we can all support him to do well

  11. 19 nycgunner
    June 19, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    if arsene thinks he’s good, then that’s good enough for me until proven otherwise. who was sagna? who was eduardo? so no.. the fact that he’s an unknown does not worry me. now i would love see diaby make way for a proper DM. c’mon you gooners!!!

    • 20 CaribKid
      June 19, 2009 at 2:01 pm

      Correct NYC,

      If nothing else, Arsene has been good at bringing in good players. Lets get behind Vermaelen rather than start complaining.

  12. 23 ojugo Eze
    June 19, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    well thank God we got 1 in an area thast really needs a shakeup. fpr me whats important is his mentality and from what he has been saying i catch a glimpse of him lets wait and see,some1 mmentioned left midfield for gibbs,i would prefer pedro botelho i feel so confident about his abilities i believe he has lot to offer especially in this area and we can also ring in traore sometimes.we r loaded with gut wrenching quality mid and forward and back too but we need a winning mentality, wedont need to play football with the hope of scoring goals, we should play to connstruct them. keep gunning. love!

    • 24 CaribKid
      June 19, 2009 at 4:10 pm

      I truly like what little I have seen of Pedro Botellho, “GREAT” technical skills in the Brazilian mold, tall, fast, clinical and combative. Hopefully he can reign his attitude as Arsene will not put up with that crap.

      I rate him right up there with Vela and Gibbs in terms of talent.

  13. 25 barnaby
    June 19, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    This is a good start, he’ll likely replace toure to my view. The fact that this happened early tells me there is certainly more to come. Vermaelen’s no nonsense style should be a breathe of fresh air and provide direction for some of our wayward lads. That said, some of our players just haven’t shown up enough and further changes I believe are needed. I’m fairly certain rvp shares the same view.

    • 26 nycgunner
      June 19, 2009 at 2:08 pm

      at least rvp has someone else he can speak dutch to in the locker room, im pretty sure he was starting to feel a little uncomfortable with all that french! :)

      • 27 CaribKid
        June 19, 2009 at 4:12 pm

        Do Belgium natives speak Dutch?

        • 28 SaniTy
          June 20, 2009 at 4:38 am

          depends.. they either speak flemmish (dutch) or walonien (french). But he speaks flemmish as far as i know..
          looking forward to see Vermaelen play for us.. arsene knows!

  14. 29 sachin
    June 19, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    thrilled that Arsenal have signed a defender and this soon too :) Hopefully he works out. I still remember I was excited when Cygan had signed given he had won defender of the year for 2 years in a row with Auxerre. Not sure who said it but Cygan was supposed to replace Tony Adams..well we know how that one turned out. Still, good to know he is versatile as I have been wishing for a few years for Arsenal to get a defender who was comfortable in more than one position given Arsenal’s injury woes over the years.

  15. 32 gooner sems
    June 19, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    just heard miguel veloso’s agent saying that arsenal could be possible for his client also like caribkid said if arsene wenger spends 10 mil on a cb then you bet your ehm ehm he is one hell of a player or maybe he has lost it doubt the second option though lol

  16. 33 CaribKid
    June 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    We still don’t know how tall Vermaelen is, he is listed anywhere from 5’10” to 6’1 1/2″. Can anyone confirm his actual height?

  17. 35 bobbygee
    June 20, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Great addition for Arsenal. Now lets see how this translates into wins. The Confederations Cup is great. USA sucks. Brasil is playing well but the “D” has way too many lapses.. Huge upset Egypt over Italy 1-0. Thanks for reading my blog Bobby Gee http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

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