Arsenal captain has spoken out after watching his side win the FA Cup from the bench.
A captain of Arsenal and a mainstay presence for three of his first four seasons in North London, Thomas Vermaelen, 28, saw his game-time effectively halved this year due to the undroppable partnership formed by defensive rivals Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.
Vermaelen had made three FA Cup appearances en route to the club's journey into the final, but remained on the bench throughout the 120 minutes of normal play and extra time on Saturday against Hull City, as he was forced to watch through a nail-biting performance as Arsenal over-turned a 2-0 deficit before eventually triumphing 3-2 after an inspired late winner from Aaron Ramsey.
Speaking on the club's official website, the Belgium did not mention his ambiguous status as a Gunner, but did highlight the frustrations of a player not receiving regular pitch-time - something he would no doubt get should he, as has been widely rumoured, exit Arsenal in pursuit of another club.
"It was unbelievable," commented Vermaelen on the nature of the comeback, against the Tigers. "When you're on the bench it's even worse [because] you have a lot of nerves [and] you can't do anything."
Arsenal are already facing the prospect of losing first-teamer Bacary Sagna walk out on the club on a Bosman deal, with interest reportedly rife from Manchester City and Manchester United.
Vermaelen could well join him, as Napoli and United may table an opportunistic bid.