Laurent Koscielny has paid tribute to Arsenal's midfielders for their part in the team's defensive improvement.
Arsene Wenger's side have conceded just three times in seven unbeaten matches since they lost the north London derby at Tottenham and, although the back four deserve plenty of credit, they have been helped by the protective shield of Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey in front of them.
Ramsey has been particularly impressive since getting a run in his preferred central role and his excellent work has not gone unnoticed.
"Aaron puts in a lot of effort for the team. He's playing very well. He has good passing, he loves going from box to box so he's very important for the team"
"I don't know what the English word for it is, but in France we have a name for the sort of player that runs in front of the defence all the time," Koscielny told Arsenal Player.
"We have this [type of] player in Mikel and in Aaron. They work very hard and very well in midfield. When we have the ball, they play with passes. When we lose the ball, they have the quality to stop a lot of counter-attacks. They give themselves for the squad. I think they are the first and second players who run the most on the pitch during a game.
"Aaron puts in a lot of effort for the team. He's playing very well. He has good passing, he loves going from box to box so he's very important for the team - like every player. The season is very long and we need to have all players fit and confident for the squad."
Individual and collective effort is all very well but an effective defence needs communication too, and Koscielny believes there has been a significant improvement in that department.
"Yes it's true," he said. "Communication is important on the pitch, for defenders as well. All the time you have players moving so it's important just to talk. It's a little thing but it's very important for us.
"Yes [I shout more now]! My English is better so I talk more on the pitch. We are defenders so we can see everything on the pitch. I think every player on the pitch talks for their team-mates because it's important - just to move two or three metres, we can stop a counter-attack.
"What's most important is to switch on quickly when we lose the ball," added Koscielny. "I think we did this very well in the last weeks. We need to keep [doing this] because after we lose the ball, we quickly win it back in the opponent's half and we can have a lot of opportunities."