playerprofile_arteta
playerprofile_arteta

Mikel Arteta

Mikel was promoted to club captain at the start of the 2014/15 season.

Generally sitting as the deepest of Arsenal’s three central midfielders, he demonstrated his experience and class throughout, providing an effective shield for the back four while instigating numerous forward moves with his fine technique and passing ability.

Mikel Arteta Profile

Born March 26, 1982
San Sebastian, Spain
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 8
Previous Club(s) Everton, Real Sociedad, Rangers, PSG (loan), Barcelona

A highly-consistent player who is a big influence on and off the pitch, Mikel captained the side for much of the season and led by example with a string of classy performances.

Arteta's three goals during the season all came from the penalty spot. In the FA Cup quarter-final against Everton he was made to re-take a spot kick but held his nerve to give Arsenal a crucial lead in the tie.

Mikel has been one of the Premier League’s leading lights in his position for almost a decade, having represented Everton with distinction for six-and-a-half years before joining the Gunners in August 2011. He made 209 appearances for the Goodison Park side, scored 35 times and was named their Player of the Year on three occasions.

He began his career at Barcelona, with a spell at Paris St-Germain providing his introduction to senior football before moves to Rangers - where he won all three major domestic Scottish trophies - and Real Sociedad.

Although capped at youth level for Spain, he is yet to receive a full call-up for his country.

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal Career

  Prem Lge Europe FA Cup Lge Cup C. Shield Total
Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2011-2012 29 6 6 0 2 + 1 0 0 0 0 0 37 + 1 6
2012-2013 34 6 7 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 43 6
2013-2014 27 + 4 2 5 + 1 0 5 1 1 0 0 0 38 + 5 3
2014-2015 5 + 1 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 9 + 1 1
Total 95 + 5 14 21 + 1 1 9 + 1 1 1 0 1 0 127 + 7 16

My Year

  • 2014/15
  • 2013/14
  • 2012/13
  • 2011/12

August

Mikel was named club captain at the start of the month after lifting the Community Shield and led the team in their dramatic late win against Crystal Palace on the opening day of the season. He also skippered the Gunners in their Champions League play-off first-leg clash against Besiktas but was withdrawn after 50 minutes due to a sprained ankle, which kept him out for the rest of the month.

September

Mikel captained the Gunners for all of their games in September apart from the Capital One Cup clash with Southampton, for which he was rested. He sustained a calf injury in the north London derby and missed the rest of the month. Santi Cazorla said of Mikel’s leadership: “There are always players who are born to be a captain and he is one of them. He talks a lot on the pitch and also in the dressing room.”

October

Mikel missed the first two games of the month with a calf injury but returned to lead Arsenal to a 2-0 win at Sunderland. “We need to be consistent now and get the points because you know how difficult it is,” Arsenal’s captain said after that game. “You look at Manchester City dropping points, you look at Liverpool dropping points and that tells you how difficult this league has become.”

August

A thigh injury kept Arsenal's vice-captain out of their opening four games of the season.

September

Mikel returned to first-team action in September after an injury kept him out for the whole of August. The Spaniard played the final 10 minutes of the win against Stoke before completing his first 90 minutes of the season in the Capital One Cup against West Brom, before he was taken off in extra time with cramp. Mikel replaced Serge Gnabry after 77 minutes of the 2-1 win over Swansea at the end of the month.

October

Mikel played in five of Arsenal's six games in October. The Spaniard scored his first goal of the season from the spot but was then sent off in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. "It was a very harsh decision to send me off,” Arteta told Arsenal Player. "It was the most important period of the game. There was always uncertainty we could get caught. When we scored the first we were on top of the game, that decision changed the game and we were in trouble. But thankfully we held the result, we scored a second and we won the game."

November

Mikel started all six of Arsenal's games in November. Playing in his usual deep-lying midfield role, the Spaniard produced outstanding displays in the wins over Liverpool and Cardiff City. He demonstrated his experience by providing added protection for the back four, helping them to keep five clean sheets. "I think we looked really solid again," Mikel told Arsenal Player after the win over Cardiff. "We kept another clean sheet which is very important for us because up front we know we have the ability to score. It's a great three points - we are delighted."

December

Mikel made six appearances for the first team in December, starting in four of them. The 31-year-old was sent off for second time this season during the 2-0 defeat to Napoli. But the Spaniard continued to impress at the heart of the midfield. Speaking after the goalless draw with Chelsea, the vice-captain said: "I thought we controlled them; I think we lost two points there. It is not a bad result but I think we had enough chances in the second half to win it. We threw everything up to try to score and it is a shame that we didn’t. It is one of the most difficult leagues to win this season and this period is going to be a big challenge all the teams. It will be very interesting."

January

Mikel played in three of Arsenal's six games in January. The Spaniard featured in Arsenal's wins against Cardiff and Tottenham at the start of the month before sustaining an ankle injury which kept him out for three weeks. But he returned to the team against Southampton and completed 90 minutes. "It was a very hard match," he said. "There was a big difference between the first half and the second half but credit to them. "I liked the reaction of the lads in the second half because we came out and did a completely different job, we played through the lines and were much more intense. That’s why we created the goals."

February

Mikel played in four of Arsenal's six games in February. The experienced Spaniard scored the Gunners' solitary goal in the 5-1 defeat at Liverpool before marshalling the side to an encouraging clean sheet at home to Manchester United. The midfielder missed the games against Liverpool in the FA Cup and Bayern Munich in the Champions League before returning to the side for the comfortable win over Sunderland. Despite the side playing four games in the space of 11 days, the 31-year-old insisted he still has the ability to cope with the physical demands of English football. "When you get to know your body and you have more experience, you are able to learn and read the game better," Arteta told Arsenal Player. It makes it easier for you and this is probably the time when I'm enjoying my football most, so I want to carry on. For me the age is only a number, I feel very good."

March

Mikel started all seven of Arsenal's fixtures in March and scored a vital penalty for the Gunners in their FA Cup quarter-final victory against Everton. The Spanish midfielder went on to produce solid displays in the games against Tottenham and Manchester City. Arsenal endured a difficult second half of the month with a 6-0 defeat to Chelsea and a frustrating draw at home to Swansea City. But the Gunners ended March with an hard-earned draw against Manchester City and the 32-year-old insisted the spirit of the side remained well and truly intact. "After we went 1-0 down [against Man City], mentally we were really strong and showed great belief," he said. "We were playing against one of the best teams in the country and we had the best situations in the game. "We all came together again and fought a lot and deserved at least a point. The lads had a great response, and I thought we could have nicked a goal to win it. I liked the character and the desire the team showed."

April

Mikel played in every minute of Arsenal's games in April. The experienced Spaniard got Arsenal off to the perfect start in the penalty shoot-out win over Wigan in the FA Cup semi-final with a coolly taken spot kick. Speaking afterwards, Mikel said: "We're really happy, it seems like at the moment we need to suffer and really earn things but I think we've done it today. "We were unlucky to go a goal down the way the game was going but I think we showed a lot of character as well. We gave everything we had, we went forward, we created chances. It took us until the end to score and as for the penalties I think we were cool."

May

Mikel started all of Arsenal's games in May as the Gunners went on to finish fourth and win the FA Cup. The Spaniard skippered the side and completed 120 minutes on a dramatic day at Wembley as the Gunners ended a nine-year wait for silverware. "I'm glad overall for the players because they deserve it, for the manager and for the club in general and the fans," he told Arsenal Player. "This club has got every resource to do better than what we've done in the last nine years so hopefully we can build from here. "We've got some young talent with a lot of experience at their age. So to get through these moments is going to be very important for their careers."

August

Mikel featured in the goalless draws against Sunderland and Stoke. “Every year you are trying to improve your numbers and how you can help the team,” he said. “We will see what the boss will ask me to do. I always try my best and that won't be different."

September

Mikel continued to impress in a deeper midfield role over the course of the month, before picking up an ankle injury after the game against Chelsea at Emirates Stadium.

October

Mikel scored a crucial late winner as Arsenal beat QPR at Emirates Stadium. The midfielder was also voted Man of the Match against Norwich and played five times in October. “Since the beginning of the season Mikel has been absolutely outstanding,” Arsene Wenger said after the QPR win. “He does a fantastic job, he is highly focused and I am very happy for him that he gets the rewards."

November

Mikel played in every Arsenal game during November.

December

Mikel had a successful December, playing in five matches and scoring three times. After securing a 2-0 win over West Brom with two penalties, he was again successful from the spot at Wigan, scoring the only goal of the game. Boss Arsene Wenger reserved praise for the Spaniard, saying: “When you miss a penalty in the last minute of a game and you come back and you take two, you can only take your hat off. It is not easy to do what he did. It’s funny because the keeper thought he had missed one on his right, so next time [went to] his left and he [Arteta] put it in the middle twice. It demands some nerves. He could be a good poker player. He is a winner. He is ready to fight to win.”

January

Mikel started Arsenal’s first two games of 2013, but was then sidelined for the rest of the month after picking up a calf injury.

February

Mikel Arteta played every minute of every game throughout February. “Something good that we’ve got here is that we don’t look at the other one and say ‘Look what you’ve done’ If someone makes a mistake, the team makes a mistake,” the midfielder said after the Aston Villa win. “Everyone makes mistakes during the game and you can’t fault a player for that."

March

Mikel started every Arsenal fixtures during March and was on target in the win against Reading, confidently dispatching a late penalty. "We had a really high tempo right from the start,” he said after the Reading game. “I think we had a lot of good combinations around the box. We looked lively. In the first half, we could have killed the game. After the third goal, I think the game was over."

April

Mikel was an ever-present in April, completing every game. He captained the side on four occasions in Thomas Vermaelen’s absence and equalised from the penalty spot against Norwich City at the Emirates in a game that Arsenal eventually won 3-1. “We had enough chances in the first half to go in front and then suddenly the first chance they get, they score,” Mikel said after that game. “With five minutes to go, you would hardly believe we would get three but we did it. “We just had to keep believing, keep creating chances and in the end I thought we deserved to win. It is a massive result for us. It doesn't matter what happens, until the referee blows the final whistle we will never give up. We have a lot to play for, it is massive for us to get into the Champions League spots and we have to keep fighting.”

May

Mikel featured in all of Arsenal's fixtures during May. The midfielder picked up a calf injury late on against Wigan Athletic but started the following game against Newcastle United, where he was substituted after 28 minutes. “I feel very happy because I think I have found a level of consistency throughout the whole year,” Mikel told Arsenal Player at the end of the season. “I missed two-and-a-half weeks with a little calf problem, after that I think I have played every game."

September

Mikel enjoyed a successful first month at Arsenal, featuring in every match in the Premier League and Champions League. The Spaniard made a seamless transition into the Gunners midfield and hit his first goal for the Club in the 4-3 defeat at Blackburn. "A club like Arsenal has to be in that situation [at the top in the Premier League and Champions League]," he said. "If they are not, it means people are not expecting big enough things. That [pressure] is what we all want."

October

Mikel was an ever-present in Arsene Wenger's first team during the month, starting in every available Premier League and Champions League match - including the crucial away victory in Marseille and that dazzling win at Stamford Bridge.

November

Mikel was a virtual ever-present, starting every available Premier League and Champions League fixture. His form alongside Alex Song and Aaron Ramsey was encouraging as the team continued its impressive run of form in European and domestic football.

December

Mikel scored his third Premier League goal of the season in the 4-0 win over Wigan at the start of the month. He was also an ever-present in Arsene Wenger's starting XI, featuring in all six league matches. “Every side in the Premier League works hard but one goal is not enough," he said. "We have to be ruthless at home and keep more clean sheets to make sure we don’t drop points. We have to stand up now.”

January

Mikel was a permanent fixture of the first team until he suffered an injury ahead of the Swansea game. But January remained positive for the Spaniard, who captained Arsenal for the first time in the FA Cup win over Leeds. Mikel returned at the end of the month as a late substitute in the fourth-round win over Aston Villa. “It was really pleasing for me to be captain for a club like Arsenal, it's unbelievable,” he said. I just want to thank my team-mates for the effort, and my manager for the support."

February

Mikel started every game in all competitions during February. The midfielder scored his fourth Arsenal goal of the season in the 7-1 victory over Blackburn, before playing his part in the brilliant North London derby win over Tottenham. “I just try to balance the team a little bit," he said. "Sometimes I would like to go forward more, but I’ve still had chances and the goal [against Blackburn] was my sixth this year, which isn’t bad. I don't want to be the main man; we all know who the main man is and that’s Robin. He is the leader, he is the one who makes a real difference."

March

Mikel was a virtual ever-present in March, missing only the Champions League win over AC Milan with a minor injury. The highlight of the month came in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa with his superb 30-yard free-kick to seal a comfortable win for Arsenal. “He is always 100 per cent focused and committed and that is what you want from a real professional," said Arsene Wenger. "He brings the best out of other players. I believe he is a winner and a fighter as well. I think he possesses both aspects of the game of a real midfielder - that means he can defend and he can attack. That is what we looked for.”

April

Mikel's season was cut disappointingly short with an ankle injury suffered in the defeat against Wigan. The midfielder had enjoyed a blistering start to the month with the superb late winner against Manchester City. “He is a player you don't like to lose because he is an organiser, a winner and has great qualities,” said manager Arsene Wenger. “He has 90-minute focus on the pitch and what typifies him well is the goal he scored against City."

May

Mikel missed Arsenal's final two games with an ankle injury.