The Gunners captain says he started at a disadvantage to the rest of squad after his injury.
The Spanish midfielder has had to become accustomed to more of a secondary role so far this season after previously having been a regular during his first three seasons at the club.
That is because in his absence through injury last season, Arsene Wenger settled upon a solid midfield trio of Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey, a decision that has worked especially well since.
And Arteta says he is getting accustomed to his new role, although it is a new situation for him.
“I’ve never been like this before, a substitute,” he told arsenal.com.
“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.”
Starting at a disadvantage to everyone else
The midfielder however insists that he is feeling good after coming back from his injury for this campaign.
The midfielder missed six months of the 2014/15 campaign after picking up an ankle injury in November, something that later required surgery in January, with some claiming it could have ended his Gunners career.
He has since recovered well to feature in their opening games of this season to dispel that suggestion, but says that he knew he was starting at a disadvantage to everyone in the squad.
“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,” he added.
“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.”