TV5 has a solid case for the defence…

TV5 has a solid case for the defence...

Just how good a buy Tommy Vermaelen proves to be can only be measured come the end of the season but I am not alone in liking what I see so far.
I first saw the £10million capture from Ajax in the annual pre-season friendly against Barnet and two things struck me. First, he was a lot shorter than I thought ten large on a central defender would have got us. Second, just how much he reminded me of Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic.
The first observation was one that didn’t and doesn’t concern me too much because if you have excellent positional sense and superb ability to read the game plus a good leap you have all the ingredients needed for that position.
The second excited me greatly. Vidic is a rock at the heart of United’s defence and is the type of character who seems to take things personally. I like that characteristic in a player (think Chris ‘The Rash’ Perry but with class and no association with north London cackpits) And I think our beloved Kolo had lost that edge in the past couple of seasons.
When the Ivorian came to us he had a raw hunger that drove him on. I imagine he was horrible to play against because he was mentally and certainly physically tough. Clearly, after his much-publicised tear-up with Billy G. his mind had been swayed and by January the deal that eventually took him to Manchester City had been done all but a few minor details.
Wenger had to choose to offload one of them and, as ever (mostly), he has certainly made the correct decision. And Gallas is central to my argument here. For with the arrival of TV5 WG10 has become the player we knew he once was. He seems to have had all the worries of the world lifted from his imposing shoulders and seems to have regained a spring in his feet again (as he demonstrated so perfectly for his head goal in the 6-1 triumph at Everton). He is unburdened.
So, instead of two players who disliked each other and whose performances showed that to a degree (although, of course, they were totally professional) we now have two players who can clearly work together and look they are enjoying themselves as well.
Gallas is a new player, seems to be quicker, stronger and now has that team mentality impossible to harness when you are playing alongside some bloke you don’t get on with. Add to all this our new partnership at the back are amongst the goals, too.
In last night’s matchday programme Tommy V. talks about his partnership with Billy G and points out that communication is key in a defensive pairing and highlighted the need for strong organisational skills. Like AW, they appear to be more than able to talk a good game. Long may it continue…

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know