Arsène Wenger was delighted to see Laurent Koscielny back to his best against Bayern Munich, and says the calf injury he picked up in pre-season has hampered his campaign.
The France international was a key member of the back four that kept a clean sheet against the Bundesliga leaders in Wednesday night's 2-0 win at Allianz Arena.
Wenger was pleased with the 27-year-old’s performance in Germany and believes that he is getting back to his very best form.
He has shown a bit more authority than usual and when he gets into that frame of mind, you can see he has outstanding qualities
“He was outstanding on Wednesday night,” the boss said. “He has shown a bit more authority than usual and when he gets into that frame of mind, you can see he has outstanding qualities. It’s something I know he has but he needs that authority in his game to get his qualities completely out.
“He says that he was disturbed in his preparation [in pre-season]. In our final game in Cologne, he had a calf injury. It took him a long, long time to come back and after that he had many setbacks through the season.
“And every time he was close to coming back, he had another injury or sickness. He was sick a lot this year.”
Koscielny came into the side for Thomas Vermaelen and impressed alongside Per Mertesacker, and Wenger believes it is important to be able to rotate his central defenders.
“They [Koscielny and Mertesacker] do well together - it is true,” Wenger said. “I can’t see any obvious reason why Per and Vermaelen should not do well together.
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“I have not analysed all the games they have played together because I have played Vermaelen and Koscielny together in some big games as well.
“You think that should work as well because they are two good football players. Because we want to play football they should work well - and one is right footed and one is left footed.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 15 Mar 2013