Vermaelen not worried by Cesc blow

Fabregas scored twice from the bench in the 3-0 defeat of Aston

Villa on Sunday to reaffirm his position as Arsene Wenger’s key

man, with the Spain international now topping Arsenal’s charts in

both goals and assists. And Vermaelen has become the latest player

to heap praise on the Catalan midfielder. “He is the best

midfielder I have played alongside,” Vermaelen told his club’s

website. “He’s really smart in his game and in training if you play

against him he’s really difficult to defend against because I think

he has eyes in the back of his head. He sees everything. “He is a

good captain too. He has a lot of qualities in football and I think

that’s important for a captain. He talks in the dressing room, not

too much but just enough. “For us he was very important on Sunday.

He scored twice in 20 minutes so he was very important. “I think

before he came on we were the better team but we didn’t create too

many chances, and when he came on we controlled the game more and

we created some more chances. “He played some good passes behind

the defence, they were really dangerous. He has a great vision in

the game.” However, Fabregas could be out for three weeks after he

suffered a recurrence of a recent hamstring injury against Villa.

Vermaelen, though, has backed his team-mates to fill the gap left

by Fabregas’ absence. Ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Portsmouth he

said: “Cesc is very important for us – it’s the same with Robin van

Persie, who is also important for us – but they’re injured and we

have to do it without them. “I think we have other good midfielders

who can fill that gap.”