The Spanish midfielder reveals he has had to adapt to a more defensive role, because of the new additions at the Emirates, and feels he has developed new skills whilst doing so
The former Everton man has enjoyed a good start to the season and has struck up a good partnership with new signing Santi Cazorla in the middle of the park.
However, he feels with the new additions made to the team, he has had to cut back his attacking tendencies and drop deeper into a more defensive role to help balance the team, which he is happy to do.
“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 the official Arsenal magazine.
“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.”
Arteta believes there is more to being a defensive midfielder than being a big player and a solid tackler as he claims the position has evolved in recent years and that awareness is now the most important attribute to succeed in the position.
“There are many different aspects to it,” he added. “For me it’s not only about how strong physically you are, or how demanding the position is physically - it’s about being aware, anticipating, being able to read the game and assess what’s happening.
“Sometimes you don’t need to make unbelievable tackles to win the ball back - not if you’re in the right position.
“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.”