Arsenal midfielder Arteta poised to play deeper role

The Spanish midfielder said that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger talked to him about taking on a more defensive role for the club this season.
Mikel Arteta has said he is happy to do "the best thing for the team" and play in an unfamiliar deep role in Arsenal's midfield this season.

Arteta said that manager Arsene Wenger had assured him that moving from his normal position was in the best interests of the squad as a whole, which the Spanish midfielder says is a big change, but one he is prepared to undertake.

The 30-year-old acknowledged that during his side's 1-1 draw with Manchester City it was important to have a creative, yet physical, presence in the center of the pitch.

"It is a big transition, but it is more a mental thing. The boss is convinced that is the best thing for the team and I am too, so let’s do it," he told the club's official website. "If it works, and in games like that where you probably think you need a more physical presence but you still create and are able to match the physical ability and the way they play, it reinforces your belief. I am totally happy that is a good way to play."

With the result against City, Arsenal maintained its unbeaten start to the new season. Arteta said it came down to the attitude of all the players, arguing that his team was the better side at Etihad Stadium.

Despite praising the Gunners' mentality, he also warned that they need to be more consistent in the future if they want to challenge for top honours.

"The attitude has been spot on and we know it can only be like this," Arteta said. "It cannot be any other way for a game or 20 minutes in a game when you relax, because you are going to pay for it and against big teams like this, even more.

"For us, it’s good because we believe that we are as good as them, at least. I think on Sunday we were better than them. If we are, then all we need is consistency."

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