By Josh James

Thomas Vermaelen has spoken for the first time about his pride at being named Arsenal captain.

The defender has inherited the armband on a full-time basis following Robin van Persie's departure, and is delighted to be starting a new chapter in his career.

"It makes me really happy and proud to be Arsenal captain - it's a real honour," the Belgian says in his programme notes for Saturday's match with Sunderland.

"I won't change the way I am, though. The boss makes you captain because of the way you are, so I won’t change how I am in the dressing room or outside. I want to lead by example, and do as well as I can on the pitch.

"Maybe I am not much of a talker away from the pitch, but I want to lead the team through the way I play."

Vermaelen, who skippered previous club Ajax as well as the Belgian national team on occasion, said he enjoys the responsibility of captaincy, and paid tribute to his predecessor.

"Every captain is different, everyone has his own personality and does it in his own way," he said. "Robin did it really well last year, and of course what he did on the pitch was great as well.

"But away from that he did a lot of team building, making sure the team was a real team, and I want to do things like that as well."

You can read Vermaelen's first ever captain's notes in Saturday's matchday programme. Click here to subscribe

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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 17 Aug 2012