Per Mertesacker has explained that there were reasons why he was slow to settle last season.
The Germany international has been outstanding for the Gunners this term.
The Arsenal defender recalled: “I went through a lot of difficulties and a lot of mistakes at the beginning, but the manager always said I would get through it because I was a good player.
“I took my time to settle down completely and there were a lot of reasons.
“I missed completely the pre-season (before joining Arsenal), so it was really hard because I had to work straight away to play straight away.
“It took me a while to get to that level, but the manager always trusted me and said I was intelligent enough to cope with problems.
“Then I got a big injury in my first year and I missed Euro 2012, so I was fit for my second season.
“Maybe it was a good thing that I missed the competition with Germany to train and get my body fit.”