No let-up for Vermaelen

first_img He added: “I will give everything every day, as I have throughout my career. It is just something that happens in football, especially when you play for a big club. “I always want to play, of course, but the boss has big decisions to make and puts the team on the pitch that he thinks will win the game. “It worked on both of those occasions, and each time I was delighted that we won. I have played many games in my career, and spending two on the bench does not mean the world is on fire. “You can’t be surprised by these things, the only thing to do is keep going and make sure you come back strongly.” Arsenal were on Thursday hit by the news midfielder Abou Diaby was set for up to nine months on the sidelines with a knee injury, which is the latest setback for the France international who has been plagued by a series of fitness problems since suffering a fractured and dislocated ankle in May 2006 after joining from Auxerre. England midfielder Jack Wilshere, meanwhile, is also not available as he recovers from an ankle problem and forward Theo Walcott misses out after he returned early from international duty with a hip/groin problem. Kieran Gibbs has been struggling with a virus, but fellow full-back Bacary Sagna should be available again following a knee problem along with Germany striker Lukas Podolski (ankle). The Belgium centre-back was dropped to the bench for the Gunners’ last two games, when they won away at Bayern Munich and then Swansea before the international break, which kept alive hopes of breaking back into the top four of the Barclays Premier League. Manager Arsene Wenger must decide whether to stand by the pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker when domestic action resumes against Reading, or recall his skipper to the heart of the defence. Speaking in Saturday’s official Arsenal matchday magazine, Vermaelen said: “I am fighting to win my place back, and nothing will change my mentality or the way I work.” Press Associationcenter_img Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen insists his work-rate will remain the same – whether he is in the side or not.last_img read more

Football: Successful pro day propels Badgers into NFL draft

first_imgWith the 2017 NFL Draft just six weeks away, and the combine in the past, players across the country are looking to their pro days as the last big opportunity to showcase their talent.Wednesday morning inside the McClain Center was that opportunity for many hopeful Badgers wishing to fulfill lifelong dreams of playing in the NFL.The morning workout featured an array of talent, but it was headlined by two of Wisconsin’s top prospects — linebackers Vince Biegel and T.J. Watt.Coming off of an impressive combine performance, Biegel hoped to demonstrate to scouts and coaches his ability to move in the open field. The 6-foot-4-inch, 245 pound senior from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin looks like he’ll come off the board in day two or three of the draft. But he’s certainly improved his position following his combine and pro day performances.Hayes: Confused by the Badgers’ 8-seed draw? You’re not aloneAnd the No. 8 seed in the East Region goes to … AP No. 25 Wisconsin? To the surprise of Read…Watt was also looking to display his athleticism in the open field and put a cap on a successful predraft campaign. Watt came out of the combine just under two weeks ago as one of the top performing linebackers. He ranked in the top two during five of his seven drills, proving himself as a first round talent.“Yeah, I was confident in my numbers,” Watt said. “Obviously, a lot of hard work went into that. I’ve been a great tester ever since I was a freshman in high school. I’ve been working on the next level, working on that stuff since I was really young, so just going to the combine and getting able to show people what I can do on a big stage like that was really big for me.”Satisfied with his combine results, Watt focused on more open field drills and had the opportunity to run those drills with two of the best linebacker coaches in the country, NFL legends Kevin Greene and Joey Porter.“I’m just trying to be a sponge in this whole process and soak up as much information as possible,” Watt said regarding his experience working with the two former linebackers.Along with Porter, Pittsburgh Steeler’s head coach Mike Tomlin made the trip to Madison, indicating a potential interest in Watt as their first-round selection with the 30th pick.Overall, Watt is ecstatic about the opportunity he has in front of him and is looking forward to getting back on the field wherever that might be.“Any team that’s willing to take me, I’m all for it,” Watt said. “I’m willing to play for anybody. I tell these coaches you’re going to have to find a way to get me off the field. I’m gonna try and do it all.”Men’s hockey: Wisconsin headed to semifinals in Big Ten TournamentThe University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team successfully secured a first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament and will face the quarterfinals Read…On the other side of the ball, running backs Dare Ogunbowale and Corey Clement hoped to prove their worth as a potential late draft selections or walk on talents.After mediocre performances at the combine, the backfield duo needed a solid performance Wednesday to gain some traction in the minds of NFL scouts.“I came back from the combine and was so, I don’t know, down on myself,” Clement said. “I was like that’s really not me, a reflection of who I am, what I can run.” Clement said regarding his 40-yard dash performance at the combine.By the end of the morning both players had improved their 40-yard times and had positive feelings going into the time before the draft.“Improved on my 40 and my 20-yard shuttle, felt clean and caught the ball during the drills, so I’m very happy,” Ogunbowale said.Other notable Badgers that took the field included quarterback Bart Houston, wide receiver Robert Wheelwright and defensive backs Sojourn Shelton and Leo Musso. They were all looking for a chance at the next level. Projected first rounder Ryan Ramczyk did not participate in the team’s pro day due to recovery from a recent hip surgery.April’s draft will feature a host of Badgers early, and some potential day three sleepers, but all that’s left for the players now is to prepare and wait for their name to be called.last_img read more