The main reason this is good news though is that Vermaelen was one of many key players - including the irreplaceable Van Persie - which was stuck in the tricky situation of only having 2 years left on their contract, and his signing will hopefully encourage the others to follow suit. On signing, the Belgian said:
"I am really happy to have signed a new contract with Arsenal. I always had the intention to stay here. Arsenal is a fantastic club. We have great supporters, we're doing well financially and we are playing with some quality young players now and they will develop, which is very good for the future."
Hopefully the future will be bright over the next few years.
The other news came after Arsene's pre-match interview with the French press where he revealed more about our terrible summer. Le Boss said:
"This summer was the most agitated I've ever known. I had half the players in the dressing room who wanted to leave."This sums up the ridiculous summer we had, and the negative affect it had on the team as a whole. No wonder we have started the season so badly when no-one really wanted to be here. Frankly lessons must have been learnt from last summer, and if we make the same mistakes again then there is something wrong with the people in charge of the club.
On to tomorrow's team news and Keiran Gibbs, who picked up yet another injury against Sunderland, is out of the tricky trip along with the other injured players, Wilshere, Vermaelen, Sagna . The good news is that Ramsey travels, and Djourou and Koscielny are back.
Like all of our away European games this year, this game will be hard, possibly the hardest we will face. Marseille have an array of attacking talent with Remy, Valbuena, Ayew and Lucho Gonzalez standing out in particular. At the Stade Velodrome, with the sixty thousand passionate fans behind the team, they will cause us a lot of problems, but we have already showed that we can deal with tough atmospheres this year after coming away with two great performances at Udinese and Dortmund.
The team should probably be something like this: Szczesny Jenkinson Mertesacker Koscielny Santos Arteta Song Rosicky Walcott Van Persie Gervinho
However, with the experience of Arshavin and Benayoun to call on, as well as the return of Ramsey, there could be more than the one change after Sunday. Like us, the French giants have not enjoyed their best start to the season and are lumbering in 15th, but Europe will be a welcome distraction, and they cannot be underestimated. Overall, A draw would not be a bad result, but if we do manage to scrape a win it will go a long way to rebuilding the teams confidence and regaining some kind of form. You never know with this Arsenal side though.