By Joe Brewin

Arsène Wenger believes the match in Marseille brought out the full potential in Laurent Koscielny.

The centre-back enjoyed a fine game at the heart of the defence alongside Per Mertesacker as Arsenal kept a clean sheet at the Stade Velodrome.

Koscielny has shouldered extra responsibility since the loss of Thomas Vermaelen to injury and his manager believes the 26-year-old is now playing with more authority.

“I believe he was certainly Man of the Match in that game,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“You saw in that game what we want from Laurent - he was commanding and playing with authority. That is something that has come out of the game last night.

“When he had the ball he was calm, he read the game well and got in front of the strikers to save many dangerous situations.”

Koscielny, now well over a year into his Arsenal career, has settled down well in English football since his move from French outfit Lorient.

Wenger admits the physicality of the Premier League shocked the defender at first but believes his authority at the back is increasing with every game.

“I would say he was surprised coming from France at the physical intensity of the game here but he has got that now and I think he is very commanding,” said the boss.

“He had a very good game against Sunderland and again in Marseille. I always thought he would become a great central defender. He is getting there.”

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21 Oct 2011