Arsenal’s Arteta reveals pressure problems

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has admitted he has struggled to enjoy his career due to the pressure of being a professional footballer, Sky Sports has reported.

Arteta has conducted an interview with Arsenal’s official magazine in which he reveals the extent to which the pressure has affected him. “I have achieved what I wanted to achieve but with one particular regret – that I haven’t enjoyed it as much as I should have done,” the former Everton man said.

“And that’s because I always put too much pressure on myself, trying to improve things that are not going well, not just in my own game but other things around the players or the club.

“I always think that, in five or 10 years’ time, I’ll look back and say, ‘Mikel, do you realise you played for Arsenal, you played nice football, you had good coaches, good team-mates, a good life in London?’ Maybe I should just enjoy it more but it’s part of my make-up and it’s what keeps me going.

“So I find it difficult to say ‘I love it’ because I’m constantly putting myself under pressure, there’s always a next target or a ‘we won but we didn’t do a certain thing well’ nagging away at you.”

With Arsenal fighting Arteta’s old club for a Champions League spot and through to the FA Cup final, where they play Hull City, Arteta added he is unable to stop thinking about football.

“The fight to switch off gets harder and harder,” he continued. “I just can’t do it – I have long discussions with my wife every time we have a bad result and I constantly think about what we can improve, what we did wrong, what happened in the game.

“I turn it over in my mind a thousand times. That’s because it’s the biggest part of my life. I don’t know how to turn it off.”

Arteta has been an Arsenal player since a 2011 move from Goodison Park. He had spent six-and-a-half years on Merseyside, making more than 200 appearances, and has gone on to play more than 100 times for the Gunners.

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