Arsenal's fantastic start to the season continued last night as they won in Germany against last year's Champions League runners up, Borussia Dortmund.
The Gunners, who also saw off Liverpool this past weekend, have received great praise for their early season form.
The likes of Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil have all been hailed in recent months as the Gunners have stormed to the top of the Premier League table and top of their Champions League group.
However, there are two men that deserve just as much praise and they are the Gunners' centre-back duo of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
These two deserve as much praise as anyone. Many of the great Premier League teams of the past have had rocks at the back. There has been quality pairings of Tony Adams and Martin Keown, John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho and Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
But now, it's the surprise combination of Mertesacker and Koscielny who seem to be so solid from the back.
And their relationship, without question, has been the catalyst for Arsenal's success so far.
With an immaculate understanding, Arsene Wenger finally has a defensive duo worthy of an Arsenal team.
1-0 to the Arsenal was a thing of the past for a while, now it seems to be back.
The performance of Wenger's side in Dortmund last night was a combination of maturity and belief and this started right from the back.
The attacking stars of Ozil, Ramsey and Santi Cazorla need a basis to work on and Koscienly and Mertesacker provide just that.
They seem to work so well together. Mertesacker, who was slated for his early performances in his Gunners career, is an outstanding leader and his reading of the game is flawless.
Koscienly, meanwhile, has the pace to help cover his teammate and is also technically strong, so can help provide the ball to the players ahead of him.
The Gunners haven't conceded a goal in the last three games the two stars have played with one another and if they continue their fine form they will keep many more clean-sheets throughout the season.
Arsenal's confidence from the back has given the rest of the team the confidence in attack. Koscielny and Mertesacker are arguably the most important Gunners stars and Wenger must hope this partnership continues to shine.
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