By Nick Ames
Thomas Vermaelen will not be drawn into negative thoughts as Arsenal prepare to host West Bromwich Albion - preferring to work hard at putting the Gunners’ Premier League season back on track.
The Arsenal captain has detected some downbeat attitudes externally since the 2-0 defeat to Swansea last weekend, but says the only way to turn things around is to remain upbeat.
He told the Official Matchday Programme: “I agree that this is a difficult time, but the only thing to do is to stick together.
"There seems to be a lot of negativity among people outside the Club at the moment, and I don’t want to go along with that because it’s not the way to achieve anything. Some people seem to like being negative, and it appears to make them happier somehow, but that’s not the attitude you’ll get from me or my team-mates.
"Let’s be positive, while being aware of the things we’ve done wrong and making sure that we keep fighting.”
The Belgian centre back stresses that the Gunners’ recent troubles have not come through lack of effort.
“It’s hard to say exactly what has gone amiss in our last few games,” he said. Everybody is trying hard - that’s never a problem with this team, I can assure you.
"Sometimes you just get periods when things aren’t working as they should, but in training we’re devoting a lot of effort to returning to how we usually play, creating chances and putting opponents under sustained pressure. That’s what we want to do to West Brom.”
Steve Clarke’s Baggies currently lie fifth in the top flight, despite two recent defeats, and Vermaelen knows that they will pose a stiff test.
“It will be another tricky game - they’re doing well at the moment, and we all remember the test they gave us on the final day of last season,” he said.
“I know Romelu Lukaku from the Belgium national team, but they have other threats too. They have a lot of pace and physical presence, and might play more on the counter-attack than Swansea did last week.
"We’ll have to perform really well to win, but I look upon this game as a big opportunity. Things can turn around very quickly in football, from negative to positive and vice versa, and three points will help us get on track again.”
You can read more from Thomas in the matchday programme for the West Brom game. Click here to subscribe
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