Thomas Vermaelen is frustrated at being left out of the starting line-up this season but he says he is fully prepared to take his chance when it arrives.

After missing the first few weeks of the campaign with injury, the club captain has had to be content with a place on the bench while Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny forge a solid-looking central-defensive partnership.

It means that the 27-year-old Vermaelen has tasted just 10 minutes of Premier League action all season.

Matchday Programme

Read the captain's notes in the official matchday programme

"Of course you want to play every game, but it's tough competition in there, especially when everyone is fit - just look at the bench on Saturday," he told the official matchday programme.

"There are going to be about 60 games this season, so you will always get a chance to play. I have spoken to the boss about it - it can happen in a split second. I had it last year when Per got the red card against West Brom, I needed to be ready to come on and then play the next game too. It can change so quickly."

Vermaelen added that the team's excellent recent form is helping to soften the blow of being out of the starting XI.

"Of course it's a frustrating time for me, but I'm really happy for the team," he said.

"A winning atmosphere is so much better when you are around the training ground, it makes it more happy. For me I just have to be patient. I feel good in training, I have come back from my injury, I feel really good and I'm ready whenever the boss needs me."

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Josh James 22 Oct 2013