Martin Odegaard underlined his growing influence at Arsenal with assists for Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney as the Gunners impressed on their way to a 5-0 win away at Norwich City.
Coming into the game with three goals and an assist in his previous five Premier League games, the Norway international was clearly full of confidence as he pulled the strings in midfield both on and off the ball.
Having watched his summer signing lead the high press and produce telling passes at key moments of the game, manager Mikel Arteta was clearly impressed.
“I think he is playing fantastically well,” the boss told Arsenal.com.
“He helps us a lot, he glides the team together and I am really pleased with him.”
Amidst a packed festive schedule, there was much for Arteta to like about the overall performance.
“I think we performed and played really good, we were really consistent and a real threat throughout the game and I am really pleased with the way we attacked and defended.”
He added: “It was very good. A really traditional day in this country and to play football in this atmosphere, it was great.”
In his post-game press conference, Arteta also admitted the quality of today’s performance was a decent indicator of the improvement his squad has made since the season began.
“Yes, probably. The direction the team is taking, and how we are growing the understanding between players. Obviously they’ve been playing now for a few months together.
“The unity that we show in general, and the support that we are getting in every ground from our supporters is very much linked with the way we can transmit the way we want to play. So I am really pleased with that as well.”
The Spaniard is also pleased that his young squad, who have now won four league games on the bounce, are playing with a smile.
“That’s what we are here for, to try to create enjoyment, and if they enjoy it then I am sure that people will enjoy watching them play,” he said.
“They are in this moment right now that they really like each other, they enjoy playing with each other, and you can see that on the pitch.”
There were signs of arrogance I didn’t like, Mark white needs to concentrate on his game, and Bukayo has these silly petulant moments, like that stamp, that could really cost the team, xhaka needs to wind his neck in period, there’s a really good player in there if he could grow up a little.
Totally agree with all of this. I did think that Gary Ramsdale was reliable as always however. But Martinella is terrible and needs a loan move.
Also I noticed that John Ødegaard has this annoying habit of only passing to Bukayo and completely ignoring Alexis Lacassine. He should also grow a pair.
Tomiyasu really ineffective. I’d be surprised if he completed one pass. Elneny comfortably MOTM.
Mo of the match?
Completely anonymous. Never tracked back. Luxury player.
I’m sure Jeremy Arteta will sort it out don’t worry.
I’m still trying to figure out who Mark is, guys..
He’s the phantom 12th Norwich player whose one job was to mark Ben White.
I thought Philip Partey did well and I’m liking that Eric Smith-Rowe comes off the bench and scores.
Isn’t he married to the babe from Coronation St?
Maybe chuck in your back-of-a fag packet CV to the Coaching Staff? This is surely the missing ingredient insight that will propel the Team to top of the League.
All the young lads seem to be pushing each other on to greater things, happy to witness this run of games, big test on Sunday.
Polished performance, just finally watched delayed. Beauty. And they gave it to them when Norwich tried to kick them off the pitch. Marty was sensational along with Saka, laca and gabi. This forward line is something to behold. Partey was excellent. Gabriel is a beast at the back. This team is getting some major mojo. And once again, the high press is just at another level. WTF has gotten into them. We’ve gone from a pressing farce to a pressing force in the Blink of an eye!
Dare I say something has clicked! About time and a joy to watch!
Seems like that although the fixtures have been kind to us, hoping we can put up some resistance on Sunday 🤞nice to see all areas working together.
It’s clearly Xhaka. The lad is back and Arsenal have been winning comfortable. Something about playing alongside him makes Partey a better footballer
Can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not!
He honestly at this moment deserves to be one of the first names on the team sheet. He seems like one of those players who can consistently have decent performances. Now if these young guys can beat City that’s going to be some statement. If anyone can beat Pep based on this form , it’s Mikel. I was watching All or nothinf City and just skipped to the part where they play against Arsenal in the Carabao cup final. As soon as the draw finished, Pep said to Mikel “I want you to write me a report on Arsenal- defence… Read more »
Steady on. I think all we should hope for is to markedly improve on our showing from earlier this season- which I have no doubt we’ll do. Any points we take will be a huge bonus.
They’re still a significantly better team than us, and as long as we give them a proper game we should be happy.
Another year on this team, a couple more signings, and I’d expect to see a marked increase in points against the top 2/3. For now, they’re not gonna make or break our season.
It’s crazy ESR is off the bench given the season he’s having. And yet there it is. ESR scoring for fun off the bench.
I comment my reserve until after Man City match.
Yes, fine. But can he do it on a cold rainy day at Norwich?
Yeah but can he do it on a cold freezing rainy night in Trømso?
1. It’s Tromsø
2. Can’t be freezing and raining at the same time.
3. Of course he can. Only Jose Morinho falters in the cold, dark Norwegian north.
Ah clearly I’ve never experienced freezing rain before. It can be freezing (below zero) and raining. It’s known simply as “the dreaded” in Canada. It requires a temperature inversion (warm air above cold ground level air). Precipitation falls as rain then when it hits the freezing ground it turns to ice. It’s devastating because the weight of the ice builds up and can bring down trees and power lines, and everything is slippery as hell. Roads are treacherous.
Thanks for the tromsø spelling correction. Hopefully I paid it back with the meteorology lesson.
We had “the dreaded” where I live all day Christmas. No one left the house, you needed studded tires to go anywhere.
You left out the obvious comeback:
Thanks for the spelling lesson, but it’s “Mourinho”
Get a striker and place the missing part of the puzzle.
Still think ESR is better
I’d say ESR has been our best player this season. Him, Ramsdale and Gabriel have been excellent all season. But I think Odegaard is more important at the moment, for the team to function the way it does. That said, why the need to compare them? They are both excellent players who contribute massively, and neither is standing in the other’s way.
They are our Xavi and Iniesta.
I find odegaard already at kdb + zidane level while rowe has just surpassed messi
Good to know that you’re keeping things in perspective.
ESR doesn’t do what Odegaard does, and vice versa.
They were not meant to compare to each other but to complement one another.
I am glad to have them both.
Either way, it’s lovely to be talking about who is playing really well rather than who is playing really bad.
They can play together. And we have both.
Why is the comparison relevant?
Because they play at the same position. Yes I know ESR can play at the wings. But his best position is at 10.
All good teams have lots of good players.
I agree, he is. Both talented players but I think Emile handles opposition aggression better.
This probably won’t go down well, but his game reminds me of Ozil. His vision and passing is sublime, and even it tight areas, he has the awareness and skill to keep possession
He’s a replica of Oezil…. plus workrate and pressing
If only his first touch is as good as Ozil… I guess perfection is hard to find.
I’m fine with his first touch being just a bit behind ozil, when he is one of the best presser in the entire world (see stats, he really has been the best presser of PL this season, last seaon, as well as in the La Liga when he played for Real Sociedad), which ozil completely lacked.
He presses and actually puts in a tackle now and then. Also doesn’t try to undermine the manager from within the squad so nothing like Ozil.
Ozil is long gone. Let go
I was thinking the same, and he’s a worthy successor to Ozil if he keeps this form up
Halfway through the season 19 games, 35 points. Not bad, if we do the same in the second half we are looking at 70 points at the season end, that would have got us to third last season ahead of L’pool and Chel$ki!
In those 19 games, we’ve played 11 matches against teams that are in the bottom half of the table.
The “Since Boxing Day” table of last season had that same problem of playing more games against the bottom half. Hence why that run of form couldn’t be extrapolated to this season and we are not sitting in 2nd place right now.
I am not particularly sure if we’ll be able to replicate this points tally in the second half of the season.
Well, those teams are in the bottom half of the table because they played us…
Martin Odegaard’s play this last month is the proper response– to last Summer’s idea that Villa scooped us for Buendia.
Watching Buendia today versus Chelsea– his body language at times was of a frustrated player.
Ode is no Fabregas. No Rosicky. Hes no Santi. (And will never be anything like Bergkamp).
But hes coming along. Gonna be exciting in any event. So much potential there.
No sure why you got downvoted, you weren’t wrong.
We are probable getting beaten 5-1 against Man City but if we can end up the year on 70 points (ie following our half year average) then I am good with that.
16 matches ago, there were 19 clubs ahead of us in the table. Now there are 3.
He’s been excellent with vision and distribution.
I still think though we need a player who can engage and dribble in that area (Smith-Rowe aside)
But Odegaard reminds me of Rambo, who also weighed in with goals and has this sort of gliding/ambling style of play never really at pace but always on the move prowling.