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Arsenal boss refuses to criticise Vermaelen’s form

Thomas Vermaelen looks dejected as Fulham players celebrate. Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire Thomas Vermaelen looks dejected as Fulham players celebrate. Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Monday, November 12, 2012
1:39 PM

Arsene Wenger refused to be drawn on Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen’s loss of form after their 3-3 draw with Fulham on Saturday.

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The Belgian has come under fire this season for his shaky showings at the back, with his most costly lapse gifting Robin van Persie a goal in Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford last weekend.

He has been moved to left back in place of Andre Santos for the Gunners’ last two games, but that shift has not had the desired effect, with Arsenal conceding twice in midweek against Schalke and three times against Fulham.

But Wenger declined to comment on individual performances after Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead for the second time in a week against the Cottagers, instead praising his skipper’s attitude.

“I wouldn’t like to go into any individual assessment,” he said.

The Frenchman continued: “He gave absolutely everything today again.

“Until the last second he has fought very hard.”

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Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners.

Ground: Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,361).

Founded: 1886.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004.

FA Cup: 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005.

League Cup: 1987, 1993.

Fairs Cup: 1970.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1994.

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry, 228.

Leading appearances: David O’Leary, 722.