By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Vermaelen, who has thus far featured 25 times for Arsenal in all competitions this season, is often one of the first names on the Gunners' team sheet following his ascendency to club captain during the summer.
However, the Belgian international has failed to recapture the form from previous seasons which saw him hailed as one of the Premier League's top defenders and has committed several costly errors this season, most notably in the Gunners' 2-1 loss to Manchester United where Vermaelen's mishit clearance gave the ball to Red Devils striker Robin Van Persie who subsequently scored.
The 27-year-old admitted his performances have not been up to standard in the previous few games, but claimed it was down to feeling burned out after having played so many games for both club and country in the past few seasons without any proper rest, and expressed his belief that a winter break in the Premier League would benefit the players tremendously.
"I can't say I've rocked the house this season, but I've not been too bad either! In any career there are times when you go through low periods," Vermaelen told Nieuwsblad.
"I've played more than 30 official matches this season and you cannot be at the top at each of these.
"We did not have a choice though because every three days there's a match.
"The Premier League is very intense. You cannot allow yourself to be less than 100%. Not even for one game!
"I have, for example, played eight games in a month. This requires rest.
"A winter break would be welcome, both physically and mentally. But we don't have one, so we play."
Vermaelen also dismissed suggestions that his inability to handle the pressure of the Arsenal captaincy was the reason for his poor displays.
"This reasoning is not well founded," Vermaelen added.
"Yes, wearing the armband is of enormous importance, but that does not mean that my performances suffer."
Vermaelen may feature for the Gunners when they take on Swansea in the FA Cup on Sunday.