Feb 23, 2013 at 3pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Arsenal
2-1
Aston Villa
Cazorla (6', 85')
Diaby (37')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Weimann (68')
Lowton (36'), Delph (66')

Thomas Vermaelen "surprised" at Aston Villa struggles

Thomas Vermaelen
© PA Photos
Thomas Vermaelen says that he is "glad" to see Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner giving Paul Lambert time to get things right.

Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has said that he is "surprised" to see Aston Villa struggling in the Premier League this season.

Paul Lambert's men have taken 24 points from 26 games and languish in the lower reaches of the table, just one point above the relegation zone.

With the Villans making the trip to the Emirates Stadium this afternoon, Vermaelen said that he is happy to see the Scottish coach being given time to get things right at Villa Park.

"I'm surprised they have struggled this season," Vermaelen told Arsenal's matchday programme. "I've watched them several times and have seen them put in some really good performances, scoring some nice goals.

"They've gone with a young team and I think that's been the difference this year. What pleases me about them is that their manager, Paul Lambert, has been given time.

"He has a fairly inexperienced team and it's refreshing to see that he has been allowed to work with the players, developing them, rather than having to look only at the short term. Other clubs have sacked their managers very quickly and I'm glad Villa have not."

The two teams drew 0-0 at Villa Park in November.

Villa boss Paul Lambert watches on against Swansea on January 1, 2013
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