Thomas Vermaelen says he can still be an effective captain even though he is not a first-team regular right now.

The centre back made an impressive return to action when he led Arsenal to a dramatic victory at West Bromwich Albion in the Capital One Cup, but Vermaelen was back on the bench for the wins over Swansea City and Napoli with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny preferred in defence.

Vermaelen is ready to step up whenever he's selected. In the meantime, the Club captain says he can be an influence off the pitch.

I'm really proud to be captain and still so happy to be playing for this club

"I'm really proud to be captain and still so happy to be playing for this club," he said.

"A great captain is somebody who wants to be a leader, not just on the pitch but on the training field as well. A great captain wants to set a good example to all their team-mates and help them in difficult times. That could be in a game or when they have difficult times individually."

Vermaelen knows that the whole squad will be required as the season unfolds and is ready for an especially tough run at the start of November when Arsenal face Chelsea, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United in quick succession.

"That period will be a hard time for us and really intense but that's why you come to play for a big club like Arsenal," said Vermaelen.

"You want to play in these kind of games so to get four of those games in 10 days is something to look forward to."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Chris Harris 3 Oct 2013