Vermaelen shocked by Belgium horror show

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has revealed his shock at Belgium's performance in their recent defeat to Armenia, which cost them any hope of reaching the World Cup qualification play-offs.

The defender - who has 21 caps for his country - has made an impressive start to his Gunners' career after arriving from Ajax in the summer, netting on his debut in the 6-1 drubbing of Everton at Goodison Park.

However, the 23-year-old picked up a suspension in Belgium's 5-0 defeat to Spain last weekend, meaning he missed the crucial qualifier against Armenia on Wednesday night.

And he could only sit and watch as his compatriots lost 2-1, ending any slim hopes they had of finishing second in group five behind Spain.

"I watched the match via internet and I was really shocked with what I saw. I have seen a number of bad matches, but the clash against Armenia certainly was the worst one ever," he told Het Laatste Nieuws.

"The current situation in the Belgian national side is the most disappointing of my career so far. There is absolutely no passion during training sessions and not even during a match.

"It is a good thing that there will be a new coach in Dick Advocaat. We are all aware that we have a problem, but nobody is acting and doing something about it.

"I have been wondering whether I should be the one to take the lead, but I have not done so because I have not been in the form I have showed at Arsenal. You will not hear me say that I am a true leader though."