By Rob Kelly

Mikel Arteta believes it is essential to behave responsibly both on and off the pitch and act as a good example to others.

The 30-year-old has been known for his professionalism throughout his career and was rewarded with the Arsenal vice-captaincy in the summer.

Football has been hit by a slew of negative headlines in recent months, and Arteta believes players have an obligation to try to act as role models.

“On the pitch and away from it I have been trying to behave the way I think we should, because I think we have a big responsibility [as footballers],” Arteta told Arsenal Player.

“Not only for ourselves but for what we represent to other people. We are in a very lucky position and we have to take advantage of that and use it in the right way. Sometimes we make too many mistakes!”

As one of the Arsenal squad’s elder statesmen, Arteta says that he also tries to set a good example to some of his younger team-mates.

“I am still 30, and I’m used to playing with guys who are 34, 35 and 36, but at Arsenal when you get to that age you are one of the oldest, if not the oldest!” he said.

“It’s a bit funny, but you know inside yourself that you have that responsibility and there are kids who are 17 and 18 and they are looking to you.”

Watch the full interview with Mikel on Arsenal Player now.

Copyright 2014 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 11 Oct 2012