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Vermaelen & Fabianski Tell Wenger – Just Let Us Play

Arsenal have been boosted enormously with news that Thomas Vermaelen is fit, sharp and ready to play against Chelsea on Saturday. Having undergone surgery on a problematic ankle, the Belgian defender played his first game for two months against Bolton on Tuesday. Arsenal won the game, but Vermaelen was forced off late on with a calf problem.

The defender later revealed that he came off simply as a precaution, and has now confirmed that he will be fine to play this week-end. He also squashed suggestions that he needed more games to regain match fitness, and instead insisted that it is simply a “mental thing” insider footballers heads. He said:

“I feel great. I trained [on Monday] with the team and I felt good straight away so I felt confident.”

“I don’t believe in [needing games to regain sharpness]. If I come back from injury after a long time I don’t believe in coming back and getting rhythm. I think it is just in your head and a mental thing – if you are a football player you have to be there straight away.”

“That’s why I wanted to play and I think it’s good. It was a good game for us, we fought hard and it was a deserved win for us I think. I felt fresh, I’m OK and am available for Saturday.”

While Vermaelen is assured a first team spot in the Arsenal team whenever he is fit and available, Lukasz Fabianski, the 26 year-old Polish goalkeeper is certainly not. The emergence of Wojciech Szczesny between the sticks has left Fabianski on the sidelines waiting for even a glimpse of first team action. Like Vermaelen, he got his chance against Bolton on Tuesday in the Carling Cup and is hoping to add to that in the future, however, he understands he must be very patient. He said:

“Of course, not playing doesn’t make me happy. I want to play, that’s my goal,” said Fabianski. “But sometimes you have to be patient.”

“I am just fighting, fighting [for my chance]. If there is an opportunity I want to play as well as I can and help the team. We will see what happens.”

“I am just focused on the game and of course it is hard for the keepers, especially for me as I was out for a long time, more than seven months. I am coming back from the injury and for the keepers the most important thing is to play regularly. Then you can build up your confidence.”

“I am just trying to take every single opportunity to show that I am deserving my chance.”

The Pole has played only 58 times for Arsenal since arriving in 2007, but has conceded 61 goals, keeping only 18 clean sheets.

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