By Rob Kelly

Mikel Arteta insists he is happy to curb his attacking instincts for the good of the team – and has no desire to be Arsenal’s ‘main man’.

The Spanish midfielder has been an influential figure in the Gunners midfield this season, yet has seen the likes of Robin van Persie and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain grab the headlines.

While Arteta admits he likes to get forward, he understands that at times his defensive responsibilities must take priority.

“I watch the game from behind [the attackers] and I know that when we become too open we leave many spaces and concede goals,” he told Arsenal Player.

“I just try to balance the team a little bit. 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.

“The most important thing is the team, and once the team is doing well the highlights will come for the rest [of the players] because we are playing well. Everyone is part of a machine and we are all just trying to make the machine work as well as we can.”

Watch the full interview with Mikel on Arsenal Player.

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10 Feb 2012