By Avenell Dave
I admit that when we signed Thomas Vermaelen, I wondered whether Arsene Wenger had made the right choice.
The world and his wife were linking us with Brede Hangeland, the only player outside the big four to make virtually every Premier League team of the season.
On top of that, a friend of mine from Holland said that Vermaelen was hardly exceptional at Ajax and we were welcome to him. Not exactly encouraging.
There was also some confusion over his height, but it's fair to say that he isn't the 6ft 4inch giant many of us were hoping for.
But Le Boss, of course, always knows.
By selling Kolo Toure and signing Vermaelen, he instantly strengthened the team.
It's been well documented that Toure and William Gallas were hardly best buddies, and as we've seen already this season, the Ivorian's best days are behind him.
Tommy, on the other hand, marked his debut with a goal and has proved to be a leader on the field. You just know now that he will spank the ball - and defences just don't expect a centre-back to have such a shot on them.
My favourite moment so far has to be our last game against Blackburn when he was clattered just inside the opposition half.
Undeterred, he simply got up and kept running, hitting a shot that was going in before he'd even received the ball from Cesc Fabregas.
It was what I call an anger goal and was no doubt fuelled by the afore-mentioned foul and his failure to cut out the punt which led to Rovers' opening goal.
Even Cesc has been glowing, saying today: "These days, to have a centre back that can play, you know, these balls on the ground, between the lines, and past players, for players like me in midfield it’s really good because it gives you so much time and so much space on the ball. It’s really good. I am sure he is a very strong guy with a strong mentality. You can see he has been a captain before because he is strong and he knows how to lead a team."
So it comes as no surprise that he has been awarded the Player of the Month award once more.
Just as with Bacary Sagna a couple of years ago, Vermaelen has fitted in seamlessly.
A word for Vito Mannone as well who seems to have shrugged off the nerves and answered the doubters and came second in the poll at Arsenal.com.
Let's just hope Tommy remains fit - he could be the difference between success and failure this season.