Thomas Vermaelen has vowed to fight for his place at Arsenal and dismissed talk of him quitting the club.
Gunners skipper Vermaelen got a rare start in the first eleven in the defeat to Manchester United at the weekend due to Per Mertesacker’s illness.
Big German central defender Mertesacker has been Arsene Wenger’s first choice to partner Laurent Koscielny at the heart of the Arsenal rearguard.
And that has meant a frustrating time for Belgian ace Vermaelen and led to rumours that he was set to leave the north London outfit in the pursuit of regular football.
But Vermaelen has pledged to knuckle down and help the table-toppers’ cause.
He said: “I’m always positive. What I have said is that it is not about my situation but what the team does and I’m really happy that we’re top of the league. Personally I’m still confident I can play for this club and every chance I get I will do a job for this club.”
Reflecting on the 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford –which leaves the Gunners two points clear at the top of the Premier League – and his late call-up, Vermaelen said: “It wasn’t hard. I go into every game ready to play. I always make sure I’m mentally ready and physically ready, so for me it wasn’t difficult.
“I knew it could happen at any moment so I’m always ready. I’ve been saying it for weeks and months and all of a sudden it happened.
“We lost the game to a set-piece and that’s a bit frustrating. Neither side really created too many chances. We didn’t play well enough in possession of the ball to create any chances or score goals.
“We wanted to win the game and went to Old Trafford to do that. We were eight points ahead of United going into the match and had the chance to make it 11 points. It was a bit of a missed opportunity.
“But we’re still top of the league and need to keep the confidence we’ve had over the last couple of weeks. There’s no reason for that to change dramatically. We’re still confident we can win games and we have a long way to go.”