Arteta - Desire just as vital as talent

Mikel Arteta

The right mental approach can catapult the current Arsenal side to success, according to Mikel Arteta.

The Spanish midfielder was appointed as vice-captain to Thomas Vermaelen last summer and has relished his new responsibilities on and off the pitch.

As one of Arsene Wenger's senior players, Arteta understands that he must lead by example. Not least when his team-mates need a lift on match days.

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Close Up: Arteta

"I just like looking around a bit at my team-mates [before a game]," Arteta told Arsenal Player.

"A face can tell you a lot of things on the day. So I just look around and see what the attitude is on the day and if you can say something to motivate someone.

"I start thinking about how to do it in the warm up, before we go out or when we're in the tunnel. That's when the mind games start a little bit.

"When you see an attitude in four or five players, it's contagious. Someone can be a bit flat if maybe we played on a Wednesday night and it's Saturday and you haven't really recovered.

"Sometimes it's good to say 'Listen, look at the players we have here. We need to fight for each other, we've got a great opportunity here. Let's go for it'.

"You can speak individually about someone too and tell them 'You can win the game today, you can do this'. Just get everyone on their toes."

"Sometimes it's good to say 'Listen, look at the players we have here. We need to fight for each other, we've got a great opportunity here. Let's go for it"

According to Arteta, Arsenal’s players have more than their fair share of natural ability - so the right mental qualities will always give them an edge.

"Every team has got the talent," he said. "For me we have more than the rest of them in most of the areas.

"The others, that mentality, that ambition, that hunger inside to win and to get ahead when it's not going well or when you lose, it's very important to get off the floor and react quickly.

"I'm proud because we've shown that a few times already since I've been here, that people write us off and suddenly we've reacted when no one was expecting it. I'm proud of that and the group we have. But we can always improve."

Referee: Jon Moss
Attendance: 18178


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