Vermaelen wins “Best Player” award and reveals allergy to grass and Spain

By Walter Broeckx

Thomas Vermaelen has been voted best Belgian football player outside Belgium.

Every year in Belgium we have the election of the golden boot. It is the election by reporters and trainers of the best player in the Belgian league.

I must admit I hardly take notice of this election as football in my country doesn’t interest me much. I don’t follow the speculation that goes on for weeks.  The ceremony is broadcasted live on TV and as I was looking for some football on TV I just ran into the show and they just came at the point where they would tell the audience who has been voted best Belgian football player abroad.

So I stopped for a while and yes it was our Thomas Vermaelen that came out as the number 1.

Before they gave him the trophy they showed a film in which Thomas showed the TV crew around in London, in the Emirates, and had a talk with his parents and Dutch girlfriend.

It gave some nice moments which I like to share with you as it gives another picture of the person behind the footballer.

First they talked about life in London and they liked it over there.  And then came the story about the transfer. There had been talks with Arsenal from the end of the season in Holland and they were very close to an agreement.

His girlfriend told the story about the beach telephone. She saw a strange number on the phone as they normally get a number with the prefix +32 or +31 from Belgium or Holland. But this was a strange number and they hesitated for a moment and then she said : Just take it, it might be important.

And Thomas is normally a very cool guy who is not that easy to impress but she saw his face getting all kind of strange expressions and Thomas who speaks good English began to stutter slightly. But it was Arsène Wenger in person and he told Thomas that he really wanted him. That did it and from then on he knew that going to Arsenal would be the right thing to do.

Also his parents were interviewed and the told about young Thomas as a kid. In fact when he was a little kid he always was playing football with other kids. But as he was the smallest of them all and because the others said that he couldn’t play well enough he was always put in goal.

In fact he was a decent goalkeeper in his younger days so it seemed.  But he found his way in to the field and I bet some of the kids that thought he was not good enough for them will be a bit embarrassed I think.

Another interesting thing came out the parents talk. They admitted that after Thomas had signed for  The Arsenal they had opened a bottle of Champaign to celebrate the fact that their son would go to one of the top teams off the world.

After all they said the EPL and Arsenal what can be bigger in football? And the name Barcelona was mentioned but the mother said straight away that Barcelona wasn’t what Thomas liked. Barcelona and Spain is too hot and too much sun for Thomas. He rather likes the colder climate we and England have.  So Barcelona and Real can forget him in a few years. It’s too hot over there.

Another rather strange thing about his youth was the fact that he once had to take an allergy test and according to this test he was allergic to….grass. But he and his parents never noticed anything about it in reality. It is a fact that nobody knows about, until now, and even Wenger doesn’t know it. So hey, we now know more than Wenger.

In the film that they showed on TV they also gave images of fans around the Emirates on a game day and all the Gooners were delighted with Thomas, as we all are in fact. The superlatives came in as fast as Theo can sprint when fit, and one older Gooner said that Thomas will be the future captain of Arsenal. Well that would be a great thing.

So when he came to collect his price he was interviewed on stage and they asked what he wished to achieve in this year and Thomas was very clear about it: he wanted to win the EPL and if possible the CL as well.  It will be tough and difficult but we will fight for it as hard as we can. I’m sure he will and when he gets his targets he will be voted once again best Belgian footballer abroad at the start of next year.

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17 Replies to “Vermaelen wins “Best Player” award and reveals allergy to grass and Spain”

  1. Walter,

    Thanks very much for this article.

    TV is an all round great guy. I’m glad for him. Next time he wins BEST BELGIAN player not just abroad. We the fans also look forward to winning with TV.

    And those Spanish tossers can be sure this is one player they cannot unsettle.

  2. One great signing one of the best centre backs in world right now another masterpeice from Wenger can he pull a simular thing with a striker in January?

  3. Thanks for posting this article Walter. It’s interesting to learn a bit more about the players outside of the pitch

  4. Thanks for this Walter, as already stated it is great to put a human dimension to our players as the media make most of it up.Considering all the negative comments that were made before we even signed him, I would suggest that he has rammed large slices of humble pie down their throats. He is quick, aggressive,determined an excellent header of the ball with a great passing range and you can see that when we concede a goal he is in pain ! Another great bit of homework by the arsenal scouting network

  5. Hi Walter

    Great story Walter. Started imagining TV on beach and getting nervous.

    Hey Keith.. Why cant we all just leave all signing decisions to Arsene.. He has put everything right even when we have lost RVP.. Who knows what he has in mind.. Maybe AA is the answer.. but I am very happy with any team that AW puts up…

    Hey about Sol.. did anyone saw that reserve match against WHU.. How was he.. I mean how good was he.. Weneger has broken his own unsaid rule and scouted him for 3 months, so must be good..

  6. Abishek, I normally watch reserve games live on my computer. But suddenly Arsenal has changed its policy and now we can only see highlights of the game, the day after. Must say I don’t understand why they cancelled the live broadcasting (maybe to costly – but please just say it then) and I’m not happy with it.
    So I could not see the game and therefore I dare not to say how he looked for 45 minutes.

  7. Walter, thanks for your insight to share this human interest piece.

    Look at the character of Arsenal players, its a reflection of our manager!

  8. Glad to get some background info on Thomas Vermaelen and happy for him winning the Belgian honour. Allergic to grass? That’s quite interesting. Anyway, very glad he is an Arsenal player.

    A big thank you Walter.

  9. walter u are the man, vermaelen well what can we say about his absolute GENIUS !!! you could not ask for someone much better, he is everything that a fan can ask for quality, fast, experienced, commited, aggresive and number 1 PASSIONATE ! Hope he finishes his career here with us as I am saying from now he will an ARSENAL LIVING LEGEND AND FUTURE CAPTAIN BELIEVE ME OR NOT GUYS HE WILL, THANK YOU ARSENE FOR BRINGING HIM……. THERES ONLY ONE ARSENE WENGER!!!! IN ARSENE WE TRUST!!!

  10. there is no doubt that he is infact the best Belgian player outside the country. he is such a blessing to the club. His presence has cemented the defence and we hope he continues with his goal scoring. I personally like his look of determination on the field of play. Come on Vermierlin you are the BOMB!!!

  11. Walter, Am a gooner in USA (Texas) and iam alway Fascinated by your articles on Arsenal. Thanks for the good work and keep it up.

  12. Thanks very much for this. I, too, can see TV being captain of our illustrious team in the future. Let’s hope it’s not too soon though as we don’t want to lose CF, do we?

  13. Great write up Walter.

    Funny how there was hardly a word about this in the UK press !!!

  14. Vermalen is one of the best central we have around the world now. And im not suprise by any award he gets. He’s destined to achieve great things wt arsenal,& hope he ends his career in emirate…

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