by Lewis Ambrose
The 2014/15 season was a troublesome one for Mikel Arteta.
His first campaign as Arsenal captain didn’t go as he would have wished, with a number of muscle injuries keeping him sidelined. The Spanish midfielder didn’t feature after leaving the field during the 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund but has now signed a new contract and is looking forward to the new season.
“I had to decide whether I could do another good season here and I believe I can,” said the Arsenal captain. A deal was on the table from Arsène Wenger and Ivan Gazidis but the Arsenal captain didn’t want to extend his stay at the club if he felt he couldn’t do justice to the team and himself.
Now he is aiming to win his place back from Francis Coquelin, who became first-choice in Arteta’s absence.
“The good thing about football is I have learnt over the years, it doesn’t matter what you did last week. So what I have done six months or a year ago, doesn’t matter. Everyone starts from zero at the beginning of the season. You have to earn your place.”
“Over the years new people come in and the competition is strong, but that is what you are here for, to make each other better and for that we need to work hard,” Arteta said.
“Coquelin’s emergence showed a lot of character. The way he stepped in the team and helped the team to have more balance and a lot of wins.”
Arteta clearly knows that nothing he has done in the past will earn him the shirt again, but is willing to fight and prove his worth to the manager once again. The Arsenal captain is under no illusions, and having him fit will only make Arsenal a stronger side.
Fingers crossed he can stay fit and make plenty of appearances. He has been a key figure since joining from Everton in 2011, and the Arsenal squad is stronger with Mikel Arteta available.