Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta relishing new deep-lying midfield role
Arsenal star Mikel Arteta insists he is enjoying his new defensive duties as the Gunners' deepest-lying midfielder
Mikel Arteta insists he is enjoying his new defensive duties as the deepest-lying midfielder in Arsenal’s team this term.
The 30-year-old has produced a string of impressive displays as the holding midfielder, allowing Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla to push on and support Arsenal’s frontmen.
Arsene Wenger’s side have enjoyed a positive start to the Premier League season, with the Gunners currently lying in seventh place -and Arteta is delighted with his contribution to their success.
“It’s a very important job, balancing the team between attack and defence, and that’s what I’ve been attempting to do,” Arteta told Arsenal’s website.
“I’ve had to change my mentality a little bit – I know that I can’t go forward as much as I used to, and I need to sacrifice more in attack – but if it’s beneficial for the team I’m more than happy to do it.
“If you want to play at a top-level club like Arsenal you have to adapt to different roles and situations. We’ve got so many attacking players now, with a lot of quality going forward, and I know I now have more defensive responsibility.
“I need to assume that responsibility to help my team-mates and I’m very pleased to do it if we get the right results.”
He added: “But it’s a demanding position for me mentally, because we have a lot of defensive responsibility and if you don’t do it correctly then you can get caught by a run, or something like that, and it’s a goal. That’s the biggest thing to be mindful of.”