Manuel Almunia feels former Arsenal captain William Gallas is returning to his best as he is no longer 'worried' by distractions.
French defender Gallas was relieved of his duty as skipper last month following comments about his team-mates in the press.
The 31-year-old was in action for the Gunners on Sunday and netted the winning goal against Portsmouth with nine minutes remaining.
Almunia has hailed his team-mate and believes he will play a key role in their drive for success this term.
The Spaniard said in the Evening Standard: "He's playing better now. I spoke to him last week and he's playing better because he's not worried about other things, players or circumstances on and off the pitch.
"William took too much responsibility before when it should be shared among everyone in the group.
"I have so much respect for him and he's really enjoying playing on the pitch without so much pressure of being captain.
"We are on his side, everyone supports him. Personally I have a good relationship with him and I'm very happy he scored. He's playing very well and he deserved to score.
"He knows how to get success, but even though he's not the captain, we're still following him on the pitch."