Vermaelen out to make up for Wembley heartache

Thursday 15 May 2014
Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen

Thomas Vermaelen is determined to make up for the heartache of missing the last major final that Arsenal played in and hopes to help his side record a memorable victory over Hull City on Saturday.

The Arsenal captain was forced to miss the League Cup Final against Birmingham back in 2011 with an Achilles injury and could only watch from the sidelines as his side conceded a last-minute goal to lose the game 2-1.

Arsenal have now gone nine years without winning a major trophy and Vermaelen knows the importance of getting the right result in The FA Cup Final this weekend.

Arsenal v Hull City

The FA Cup with Budweiser
The Final
5pm, Saturday 17 May 2014
Wembley connected by EE
Winners receive £1.8m
Runners-up receive £900,000

The Belgium international believes his side have learned a great deal from their last experience at Wembley and hopes he will be celebrating this time at the final whistle.

Vermaelen said: “Every final is something special, something different. Of course, that happened but that’s the past and we have to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

“The whole time was difficult for me, to be out for such a long time. Missing big games like finals was never easy. I was at Wembley, I was in the stands. It’s a long time ago but it was a very disappointing result and everybody knows that. 

“We can’t think about it. Saturday is a different game again. There are a lot of changes in the team since then – a lot of players left since then – but have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Vermaelen says he would love to repay the fans who have stuck behind the team despite the lack of silverware in recent years.

Arsenal supporters are set to turn out in their numbers once again at Wembley and with thousands more watching the game on a big screen at Emirates Stadium, the 28-year-old wants to make it a memorable day for the fans in north London.

Vermaelen added: “The fans have been amazing for us the whole season and as well at Wembley. I’m sure and I’m confident they will be there again on Saturday. I’ve heard there will be a massive screen at the Emirates with thousands of people so we are very thankful for their support and happy we have such great fans.

"There will always be pressure for a cup final. The players are used to playing under pressure because if you play for a club like Arsenal, you have to win every single game. People expect that so Saturday won’t be any different. 

"The pressure will be there always to win that game. We know that there has been a lot of talk of not winning for nine years but it is a game we have to win. We know there is a lot at stake as well, but we go in with a lot of confidence.”

Vermaelen is confident he will recover from a knee injury to take his place in the squad.

By FA Staff