By Chris Harris
Thomas Vermaelen says Arsenal wanted to prove a point with their performance at Reading on Monday night.
Arsène Wenger's side stormed to a 5-2 win at the Madejski Stadium to lift spirits after last week's shock defeat at Bradford City in the Capital One Cup.
Vermaelen missed the decisive penalty in the shoot-out at the Coral Windows Stadium and he was pleased with the team's response.
"We had a lot to prove," said Vermaelen. "A lot of people questioned us and maybe that’s normal but we wanted to perform and we think we did that.
"If you play for a team like Arsenal, there are always going to be people outside who are going to question the manager and the team.
"The thing is, you have to stay united and work hard on the training pitch because we are the only ones who know what’s going on in the team. What people say outside is just part of the job.
"The team was disappointed because of course you want to win the game [against Bradford] but the thing is we were focused straight away again and we know in England we have so many games that we can make it up again straight away.
"You can’t stand still too long with a defeat like that - you just learn from it and move on."
"Santi has been amazing for us for the whole season already," he said. "You can see his qualities straight away - he is great in midfield, good with passing the ball and he scored a hat-trick so I am really pleased with that.
"For a few games we didn’t score a lot but on Monday we scored five so I am really happy for the team.
"Theo played as a striker and I think he did well," added Vermaelen. "We know his qualities - he is quick and goes in behind defenders all the time and I think we could find him and score a few goals as well.
"He can stretch a team with his quality because he has a lot of pace. He can go in behind the strikers and that means he can stretch the opposition and that gives the midfielders a lot of room to play. With our midfielders, that is a big plus of course."Copyright 2013 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 18 Dec 2012