Mikel Arteta: I was no longer good enough to play for Arsenal

Retiring Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has revealed he knew he was no longer good enough to play for the side.
Arteta played 13 times for Arsenal this season but struggled with injuries, and played only 11 times in the 2014/15 season having featured as a first choice in the previous three years.
The midfielder is expected to link up with Pep Guardiola as a coach at Manchester City, and said he had accepted over the course 2016 that he could no longer contribute as a player.
“It is very hard to stop but I wanted to leave it. I wanted to decide, and I thought for the last few months that I wasn’t good enough to represent this club on the pitch.
“You have to accept it. It has been a long time for me to be playing football and I didn’t want to cheat them or anyone. It is time. I want to leave it like this and we will see what happens.
“You have to be honest with yourself. That’s why I haven’t been upset with the manager. I have been upset with myself. When you can’t get it right and you have been through injuries and difficult moments at this level.
Arteta was pleased to have featured in the last game of the season, but accepted it was time to move on.
“For me, to play at this club, you have to be the best in your position. When you lose that, I think you should be away from this place. I have probably been here too long. In the last few months, I probably didn’t deserve to be here but at least I got the chance [against Aston Villa] to stay in touch with them and it has been amazing.
“For me, the standards you need to play for this club, it cannot be eight out of 10. It has to be 10 out of 10. When you cannot deliver that, it is not good enough. Sometimes, people get away with it. Inside myself, my gut wasn’t clean and, when you are like this, I prefer to make the decision myself.”

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