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

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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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