Mikel Arteta says he is adapting to starting matches from the bench.
The Arsenal captain was a first-team regular in his first three seasons in north London but missed six months of the 2014/15 campaign as a result of an injury sustained last November.
Arteta has returned to full fitness and made his first Premier League appearance of the season off the bench at Crystal Palace last weekend.
"When you’re sitting on the bench you just have to keep trying to see things happening, where the danger is, and think what can I do if I go on the pitch?"
“It’s hard when you come [on] like this, when the team is hanging on to try to keep that result, but you need to get there with the highest intensity possible, start making an impact if possible, and it’s a new situation for me,” he explained to the official matchday programme.
“I’ve never been like this before, a substitute. When you’re sitting on the bench you just have to keep trying to see things happening, where the danger is, and think what can I do if I go on the pitch?
“Going from the outside to the inside is very different. Outside, everything looks slower, and when you get in there it’s 100mph so you really need to be ready. You have to warm up really well and when you get there you have to be ready to go straight away.
“I’m feeling really good. After a difficult season, when I didn’t play since November 26, eight months is a long time to catch up. All the players are getting applause and you’re getting nothing so you need to work hard to catch up.
“I knew that I was starting at a disadvantage compared to everyone else because when you haven’t played you have to start slowly. The time will come when hopefully I get my reward.”
Read more from Mikel Arteta in tonight's matchday programme.
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