Thomas Vermaelen: 'Being a defender at Barcelona is difficult'

Thomas Vermaelen says that adapting to Barcelona's style of play is difficult for a defender.

Thomas Vermaelen has claimed that people have the wrong perception of life as a Barcelona defender, insisting that it has taken him time to adapt to the role.

Vermaelen has endured a difficult time at Camp Nou since signing from Arsenal in 2014, but the left-footed centre-back managed to get 10 starts and two substitute outings under his belt in all competitions this season before sustaining a hamstring injury last month.

However, Vermaelen remains positive about his time at the Catalan giants, having claimed that he has had to work hard to adapt to a new playing style, with Barcelona's pressing tactics different to what he experienced in five years with the Gunners.

The 32-year-old told The Guardian: "People have a bit of a wrong view of defenders in Barcelona because they think, 'Ah it's an easy job, they only attack, attack, attack' but the demands are very high.

"Playing in the other team's half doesn't just happen by itself. It's because we keep them under constant pressure. If you let them come on to you, we will be under pressure so you push up, push up, push up, every time. That means you have 50 metres at your back and that's not always easy. Nor is playing out from the back.

"Sometimes it would just be easier to kick it forward and that's it but that's not our way, and it's a bit more enjoyable to play. I'm used to playing out from the back but still there are things that are different here from my previous clubs. It's a bit - I don't know the word - advanced."

Vermaelen could return from injury for the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie with Chelsea on Tuesday night.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBarcelona38289199297093
2Atletico MadridAtletico382310558223679
3Real Madrid382210694445076
4Valencia38227965382773
5Villarreal38187135750761
6Real Betis38186146061-160
7Sevilla38177144958-958
8Getafe381510134233955
9EibarEibar38149154450-651
10GironaGirona38149155059-951
11Espanyol381213133642-649
12Real Sociedad38147176659749
13Celta Vigo381310155960-149
14AlavesAlaves38152214050-1047
15Levante381113144458-1446
16Athletic Bilbao381013154149-843
17Leganes38127193451-1743
RDeportivo La CorunaDeportivo38611213876-3829
RLas PalmasLas Palmas3857262474-5022
RMalaga3855282461-3720

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