Friday, March 1, 2024

Odegaard: No time to feel sorry for ourselves

As if last night’s 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace wasn’t bad enough, confirmation from Arsenal that Kieran Tierney will likely sit out the rest of the season has made for a pretty shitty Tuesday for the Gunners.

Rubbing salt in the wounds, we’ve also heard that Takehiro Tomiyasu won’t be available for another couple of weeks and Thomas Partey is a doubt for the weekend’s match with Brighton.

A slump in form at this point of the campaign could be very costly which is why Martin Odegaard has told his teammates it’s not the time for self-pity.

Drawing a line under the Selhurst Park stinker, the Norway international, who was terrible last night, told the Evening Standard:

“We should have done much better, but there is no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have to get back to work and think about the next game already. Today is tough, but we have to look forward. We have to learn from it obviously.

“We have to look at the game, what we did wrong, and make sure it won’t happen again. It was a terrible game from us, from start to finish. Maybe a bit better in the last 10 minutes, but in general I think it was a really bad performance.

“A lot of things went wrong. We weren’t really strong on the ball, we didn’t win any duels and we looked a bit slow from the start. We lacked the sharpness and aggressiveness we always have.”

You can’t really argue with that assessment. Looking ahead to the weekend, the boys are definitely going to need a big atmosphere to help lift their spirits.

They’ve had it everywhere they’ve gone on the road this season and Odegaard was quick to acknowledge the efforts of those who made the trip to south London last night.

“I think the fans were again brilliant here, cheering us on and I feel sorry for them,” he said.

“We have to apologise and we have got to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Hopefully next game we are back with a win.”

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Future captain material


In the absence of Tierney and – hopefully – Lacazette, I would give the armband to Odegaard.


I would give it to him in any case. KT will more than likely have an injury each season on past form. You need a consistent captain.


Make him the captain next season, I’d say.

Arsene for CEO

This is a massive opportunity for Tavares and Sambi. Sambi looks like he’s going to grab it with both hands, Tavares on the other hand, I can honestly see how he’s going to surprise a bunch of you and I’m honestly looking forward to it. He’s a fantastic player, just needs confidence. Hopefully he gets the home game against Brighton to fix that. Also, if we must use Martinelli and Saka as wing backs, let’s keep them inverted. Their game without their cut ins was unnerving to watch.

Brady’s bunch

Sambi hasn’t looked great


Did you not watch the match against Palace. Considering he barely kicked a ball in 6 months, Sambi was tidy and impressive. Most of the 1st team had a day when they could not hit a pass.


If he plays, then Tavares needs to buck his ideas up.

I can’t see a fired up Emirates being too kind if he plays like he did at Nottingham Forest and Palace.

Visions of Eboue being subbed by Wenger from the left wing spring to mind. The boos were deafening.

Guns Up

Based on his body of work to date in an Arsenal shirt, which is all I’ve seen of him, Tavares is a fantastic athlete, not player. He can be exciting going forward and is pretty shit as a defender, which doesn’t add up to “fantastic player” for a LB. Of course, he could BECOME a fantastic player, as he’s still quite young. Here’s hoping he does.


I thought Sambi looked very good when he came on. MUCH better than Partey – can’t understand how Partey stayed on for so long. Tavares is exciting going forward. I didn’t think he was nearly that bad against Palace. He created options going forward, and wasn’t really as much at fault for either goal as he’s been criticised for. First goal, comes off the side of someone’s head, pure luck, and bounces to an unmarked player. Second goal, if Gabriel either makes the intercept OR stays on his feet, they don’t score. Complete miss by Gabriel who was guarding the… Read more »

Thierry Walcott

I share the same sentiments regarding Tavares. He was unlucky (there’s even an arm pushing his neck when that “side-header-assist” is made) thought that would have been a foul… and his removal at half time gave wildly reactionary fans room to use him as a scapegoat; unwarranted and unfair. That doesn’t do us fans any favours because we’re further denting the already low confidence when he’s the Tierney back-up we need right now. Odegaard is right, too. There’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves. Arteta has until Saturday morning to figure out how to set up the team for… Read more »

A Different George

On the first goal, Tavares ducked down and made no effort to win the ball or put off the attacker. I don’t mean he was either lazy or uninterested (there’s no sign of any attitude problem)–I mean he was so inexperienced that he had no idea how to defend in a situation that every defender faces in every match. On the second goal, Gabriel absolutely did miss intercepting the ball. But he should have been free to make that attempt precisely because he had cover–every defender knows, or ought to know, that in a one v two attacking situation, the… Read more »

Funsho Patrick

I thought Miguel azeez or another of the youngsters would step up…well,Mikel sees them in training..


Massive game on Saturday.

Imperative that Arteta gets the starting XI right.

That means no Laca or Tavares dragging the others down.

Johnny 4 Hats

How exactly would that work? We’ve got both full backs out and Partey too which means Xhaka can’t play LB. The only option would be Saka at LB but then we’d need Laca up front. I would love to not have to use one of these two. But I can’t conceive of a way that’s possible. My money is on Tavares playing. I just can’t see another option. As I type this I guess 3 at the back is an option. But we haven’t played it in forever and I’m not sure changing the entire system now is a great… Read more »


Yeah. I guess you’re right. The last time we played three at the back I almost died of boredom, the football was so awful – and thankfully I can’t see Arteta reverting to it. So. You know what they say – the best form of defence is to attack. To that effect, play Sambi with Xhaka to shore up midfield and the Fab Four in an attacking diamond: ESR on the left, Saka on the right with Odegaard pulling the strings behind Martinelli up front. Pepe, Eddie and – if we must have him – Laca on the bench. Then… Read more »


The game against Brighton will be better suited to Laca’s skills. Brighton is gonna sit deep against us at the Emirates, and hope to hit us on the counter. This suits Laca’s hold-up play and strength better than Martinelli’s who’ll need some space behind the defence.

Thus, for Saturday, I think it’s best we keep our regular line up with Martinelli back in the side, Lavarez in the left back spot, and Sambi for Partey. Rowe can always come on as impact sub.
This helps us to play best to our strength.


But that’s just the thing, he (Laca) struggles to hold up the ball – he’s too slow – at least a yard behind everyone else. He strays offside, he loses possession, he goes to ground and whinges at the ref rather than keep a move going – and that’s before we get to his inability to read a through ball from his team mates or the pace to get to it. And I swear if I see him bottle out of another diving header, my blood pressure is going to go through the roof. Ww need goals: he doesn’t score… Read more »


Could also put Cedric at LB and White at RB and bring Holding in. Wouldn’t surprise me to see it.

Johnny 4 Hats

That’s actually not bad. Didn’t think of that. But such a burn for Nuno! I suppose we’ll find out what Mikel really thinks of him on Saturday.


Johnny, the lad isn’t doing enough.

And the way he sulked up at Nottingham Forest when Arteta took him off was more than enough evidence to suggest that he is no team player – a Me Me Me merchant, if ever there was one. We’re supposed to be ridding the club of those, aren’t we?

A Nunoless Arsenal isn’t the end of the world, trust me.


Now that actually sounds like a plan. 👍

A Different George

I think three at the back is possible with Tomiyasu playing, not with Holding–unless we decide to pretend Brighton is Liverpool and we are Atletico.


I have totally lost my hopes in being in top 4 with recent injuries.


We still have a good chance mate – providing the efforts of the team aren’t scuppered by the inadequacies of one or two well-documented individuals.


Odegaard is captain material in my eyes. Someone you can easily get behind.

Brady’s bunch

Oooo err Mrs 😂


The minus on this is a sense of humour deficiency alert.

Man Manny

The biggest loss, for me, is Lacazette’s complete loss of form!
Even the famed link up play is not there anymore. Like Vieira said yesterday, he has been found out.
Tavares should play against Brighton. If Partey is out, El-neny – if he is still alive – should partner Xhaka in the middle. Lokonga is weak on the ball and might be targeted by Brighton.
Can we also play ESR – Martinelli – Saka (EMS) forward line with Laca and Pepe on the bench?
Shake things up a bit.


Second key penalty given away. Hardly any talk of it which is fine, but also kinda cringe. The captain shouts are nauseating, and ignore any sentiment for skin in the game. Always the easy pass. Never glides. No ball progression. Had his trial last summer and Willock had his elsewhere. Find it shocking how those performances were deduced in business terms.


Before last summer*

Resume heckle


I find it hard to believe you see him week in week out judging by what you just wrote. Been one of our very best players this season and for the price we paid its a bargain. He was awful Monday night as was the majority but no doubt he and the boys will be back up for it for the Brighton game


Yeah I’ve been really underwhelmed for reasons given. I like how he wants the ball but not much happens beyond looking after it. Most exciting wins against good opposition this season i.e Leicester he was on the bench. ESR for me is way better at finding space and progressing the ball


Mate, he’s the best central creator we’ve had since Ozil. Some of his play has been nigh Bergkampesque.

It’s no good picking him up for the Palace spot kick. The refs and VAR clearly have an anti-Arsenal agenda and will hand out penalties like sweets to any opponent we play. Simple as that.


Yeah I’ve heard that Ozil/Bergkamp comparison lots of times. I literally see no resemblance to either of their games. I don’t think the opposition mind him having the ball at all. It’s non-threatening.


You have a lot to learn my friend.


I like to be with everyone else but on this one I can’t. Ozil and Bergkamp are in a completely different league of their own.

That conversation feels forced.

A Different George

Everyone sees different things, but I am surprised at the specific things you are picking out. “Always the easy pass.” Seriously? You think his first choice is back or square? I see him always look to advance the ball, and quickly, often knowing what he will do with it even before he receives it (the Ozil comparison). And of course, he has a great motor, is very willing to sprint back, and has very good positional sense in defending. Last year, I thought he was very good with two weaknesses. He was too easy to physically push off the ball… Read more »


Regarding the easy pass, it’s the little balls down the wing and in front of the backline that get recycled back to him. They offer no threat. He also likes an extra touch, which kills the pass. That’s all without considering he can’t carry the ball on his own past players. I’ll agree he’s less lightweight on the ball. Your second point, I think his numbers are really average. Having a great motor and defensive positional sense as attributes in #10 give me Lacazette PTSD. We were barking up the right tree with ESR who showed everyone since that Chelsea… Read more »


Mate if you really think we should have kept Joe over Ode then I have bridges to nowhere to sell you at 25 million a piece!

Nothing against Joe, seems a good lad but he isn’t half the player Ode is.


The team is not in a position to feel sorry for itself. It is not as if we lost by a dubious referee decision, or had overwhemlming control of the game only to lose by a freak goal.

No. The performance was poor through the game, and the players & manager better reflect hard on themselves.


Bounce back with a win over the weekend and all will be good again lads. There is just too much doom and gloom at the moment which frankly i find a little bit unsettling. Lest we forget, this is a revamped, young team that was expected to get top six this year and kick on further next season. The fact that they are in a fight for a champions league spot is down to the spirit and talent of the squad, along with Mikel making good signings and bringing out the best in the team. Speaking of changes, really hard… Read more »


For ‘Doom and Gloom’ read Reality.

We were so far off the mark against Palace, it was embarrassing.

And look, we’re not talking about one or two individuals here, but the whole fucking team. That’s what is so disturbing.

People have every right to be concerned. And Brighton will be fancying their chances.


Off topic…A season playing Europa league could be great experience for a very young squad? Perhaps less pressure than UCL but still minutes under the belt for traveling to other countries, playing mid-week etc etc. What do you think?


I think that another year out of the ECL and the agents of The Fab Four (Saka, ESR, Odegaard and Martinelli) will start shopping around for potential new clubs for their clients.

Wake up mate.


I think a first season (of hopefully many) back in the CL will be even better, as we will attract and recruit better players and the youngsters on the fringe can get game time in the domestic cups and our young squad can start to experience big European nights, which should help improve them also.


Really not a fan of Tavares. He could get better, but right now the left back position feels incredibly weak. Just shows how important Tierney is for us.


Ode you have to wake up. It was utter crap display from you.


He was nowhere near our worst culprit.

Martin R

I think there were others even worse than he was.

Wildosaurus rex

Of the 27 points available… What do we need?

Teryima Adi


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