MX23RW : Wednesday, December 12 12:39:17

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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A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1594241192231
2Sevilla1584327161128
3Atletico MadridAtletico1577121101128
4Real Madrid158252319426
5AlavesAlaves157351817124
6Levante156452725222
7Real Betis156451617-122
8Getafe155641612421
9GironaGirona155641717021
10Espanyol156361720-321
11Celta Vigo155552824420
12Real Valladolid155551315-220
13Real Sociedad155461818019
14EibarEibar155461923-419
15Valencia153931212018
16Leganes154561519-417
17Villarreal153571519-414
18Athletic Bilbao152851523-814
19Rayo Vallecano152491530-1510
20Huesca1514101230-187

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