Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill hailed the performance of former skipper Olof Mellberg in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal in the first competitive fixture at the Emirates Stadium.
Mellberg headed the opening goal of the game and then helped Villa hold on for a point, after the Gunners had drawn level through a Gilberto Silva strike.
O'Neill told the club's official website: "I thought he played really well. He and Liam Ridgewell were terrific at the back, everyone was.
"I'm pleased for him. He's no longer captain of the side, for no reasons really. He's relieved himself of the national captaincy, just to give himself a fresh chance and that's what's happened here at Villa too."
Meanwhile, O'Neill admitted that he is hoping to do some business in the transfer market before the end of the month.
He added: "I will try because we have ten days and after that we are on our own for four months.
"It is not the biggest squad and we are going to try to supplement it if we can, but that might be easier said than done.
"I would have loved to postpone the start of the season for three weeks or postpone the transfer deadline."