By Nick Ames
The French forward has impressed in his first few appearances for the Gunners, showing intelligent movement and a willingness to engage with the Premier League’s more physical side. He has come close to scoring on several occasions, and his captain is certain that the floodgates will open before long.
Speaking in his notes for Saturday’s Official Matchday Programme, Vermaelen said: “I’m convinced Olivier will be off the mark soon. It’s not as if he has had an easy start - he didn’t get much time against Sunderland, and then played in two tough away games.
“He won a lot of duels in those matches, and it’s a vital quality when you’re away from home - if we don’t see a solution, we can sometimes play a longer ball to him in the knowledge that he works hard and is strong in the air.
“He’s made some good runs and has been a bit unfortunate not to score so far, but he’s got into the positions so I’m not worried about him at all. The goals will come.”
Meanwhile, Vermaelen believes that hard work his paying off at the other end of the field - with the Gunners looking to make it four clean sheets out of four when Southampton come to town.
“I think you can see, particularly from the away games at Stoke and Liverpool, that the whole team - not just the defence, but every area - is working really hard at shape and organisation,” he said.
“It’s one of the main aspects of football, and we’ve been putting a lot of effort into getting it right.”
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