Although, so many discontented people concluded there was nothing to write home about after another failed attempt at glory - Keown doesn't share their pessimistic views and expects Vermaelen to step up his game as he believes there is still room for improvement.
The 43-year-old ex centre back said of Vermaelen in an interview with Arsenal Tv Online:
He's been outstanding without doubt, and it's (only) his first year.
What I'd like to see him now do is to grow, I'd like to see him become a leader, I'd like to see him become more vocal. It's difficult watching from the sidelines but I get the feeling he is still feeling his way into the team.
What I love about him is that he attacks the ball. People criticised him and said he was just 5ft 11 but he proved it doesn't matter. We need him to understand his role. Once he does that he can bring the rest of the back four with him and organise that line.