Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes German international Per Mertesacker is starting to settle into life at the Emirates.
The 26-year-old centre back joined the Gunners from Werder Bremen on transfer deadline day, and has featured in all three Barclays Premier League games for the club since his arrival in north London.
Defence was an area Wenger had set out to improve in the summer transfer window, and two clean sheets in three matches suggest things are starting to improve in that area of the pitch for the Frenchman.
"I would like to say that Per Mertesacker is looking stronger and stronger and that he is calm, intelligent and shows me that he can lead our defence," Wenger told the official Arsenal website.
"We are conscious that there is a long way to go for us and Saturday's game is a little start. Now it will be down to consistency.
"Our season started basically two weeks ago after the August 31 transfer deadline and I believe as well we paid a heavy price to knock Udinese out of the Champions League - that was very demanding for us. After that I feel this is the first time we have had a united squad together."
The 3-0 weekend win over Bolton took some of the pressure that's been building off the shoulders of Wenger, who was happy to hear the fans chanting his name once again at the Emirates.
However, the manager understands that criticism follows disappointing results, and it will be down to him to make sure a run of good results can push the club back towards the top of the table.
"It's very nice [to hear the fans sing my name] because on that front we have struggled a little. It's been a long time since I could go home and relax after a game, I can tell you. I don't know [how long it has been]," he added.
"I never complained about the criticism I had, I can completely understand. I am responsible for the results, I take that and I say that always."
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