Thomas Vermaelen vows to fight for Arsenal first-team place

Thomas Vermaelen: Dropped to bench for Arsenal's last two matches

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Captain Thomas Vermaelen has vowed to give his all in order to win his place back in the Arsenal starting XI.

The 27-year-old centre-back was dropped to the bench for the Gunners' last two games, when they won away at Bayern Munich in the Champions League and then Swansea in the Premier League, which kept alive hopes of breaking back into the top four.

Manager Arsene Wenger preferred the pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in defence for the games in Germany and Wales.

Ahead of the visit of Reading to the Emirates Stadium, Vermaelen voiced his determination to win back his place in the side.

"I am fighting to win my place back, and nothing will change my mentality or the way I work - I will give everything every day, as I have throughout my career," Vermaelen said in his captain's column for Saturday's official Arsenal matchday magazine.

"It is just something that happens in football, especially when you play for a big club.

"I always want to play, of course, but the boss has big decisions to make and puts the team on the pitch that he thinks will win the game.

"It worked on both of those occasions, and each time I was delighted that we won."

Vermaelen added: "I have played many games in my career, and spending two on the bench does not mean the world is on fire.

"You can't be surprised by these things, the only thing to do is keep going and make sure you come back strongly."