By Nik Brumsack
Mikel Arteta may have turned 30 this year, but he insists he still feels young on the pitch.
The Spaniard has been one of Arsenal’s most consistent performers this season, combining tenacity and technical ability to exert his influence from central midfield.
Arteta is happy with his start to the campaign and believes his impressive performances stem from an enduring love for the game.
“I still feel really young and I always have that mentality,” he told Arsenal Player. “For me the age matters only to a point.
“You feel good - you have that enthusiasm and you love coming into training every day as I do. You play the games and feel proud of where you are. I think that takes your age right down.”
Arteta is one of the eldest members of the first-team squad and was named vice-captain by Arsène Wenger in the summer - a title the midfielder says he is privileged to hold.
“I’m quite passionate and I can’t really be quiet when my blood starts to flow or when things aren’t going well, or I think we need to do something more,” he said. “I tend to say something, always in a respectful way, and try to help us improve.
“For me it’s a big honour [to be vice-captain]. I haven’t been here for a long time. If he [Arsène Wenger] thinks I’m the right person to help Thomas [Vermaelen] lead this group, I’m more than happy with that.
“I take it very seriously and try to benefit the interests of the players and the Club. That’s what I will try to do this season.”
Watch the full Close Up interview with Mikel on Arsenal Player now.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 18 Oct 2012