The centre-halves in the squad are delighted to have a kindred spirit on the staff, a coach with defensive instinct, who might help their development.
"He played the same position as me and he's already given me lots of tips," said Vermaelen. "We're working on it in almost every training session to get the shape we want into the back four and get all the team organised.
"He's had a huge impact already. I'm happy he's with the first team, especially for me because he's a centre-half as well. Pat Rice was a defender as well and it's good for the defenders to have this expertise on the staff."