Martin Odegaard says he always believed Arsenal had the potential to qualify for the Champions League this season and with the objective now within their grasp it’s time to “finish the job.”
Like the team, the Norway international has grown in stature with each passing month of the campaign.
Understated but clearly driven and resilient, he’s grown to become Arteta’s eyes and ears on the pitch and even looks a natural wearing the captain’s armband despite being only 23.
Tasked with facing the media ahead of the north London derby – a match that could seal Arsenal a top-four finish – Odegaard’s tone was typically matter-of-fact.
“When I signed I said I really believed in the team, I really believed in the project from the manager, and everything the club wanted to do. So I believe we had the chance to do it.
“Maybe we’re a bit ahead of schedule, but still we haven’t done anything. We have to finish it and get into the top four, so that’s the focus now and I think we’re doing well.”
“It will be a big game of course,”” he said of Thursday’s trip to White Hart Lane.
“We know what we’re playing for and we know the history of these games and how big it is for the fans. It’s going to be a massive game, so we’re looking forward to it.
“I think [the team is ready] but we have to show it in the last games and finish the job. We have to make sure we finish top four, and if we do that then we deserve it.
“I think we’re ready for it and we have to fight for it, so we’ll see.”
Watching from afar will be ex-Gunner Cesc Fabregas. One of Odegaard’s heroes growing up, the Spaniard recently referred to the Norwegian, alongside Bukayo Saka, as “Arsenal’s present and future”.
Saka and Ødegaard are the present and future of Arsenal. Two big, big talents 👏🏻🔥
— Cesc Fàbregas Soler (@cesc4official) March 6, 2022
“It’s cool that he’s following me,” was the response from Odegaard.
Fabregas has also had his say on the importance of the Gunners getting back into Uefa’s premier competition.
“If they can get Champions League football it would be a fantastic achievement,” he told London World.
“They’ll be able to attract better players, they’ll receive a lot of money which is important.
He added: “Every team needs a process to become a top side. We [my old Arsenal teams] had the same problem.
“We were challenging for the title until February, March most of the time, and then for whatever reason: injuries, lack of experience, sometimes not knowing how to manage games and being too nice, too offensive at times…these things happen.
“What I like about this team is that if they keep going the way they are and they stay together for a few more years, this can be a great generation for Arsenal.”
Be still my beating heart! Hope we can seal the deal tonight and rest Saka for the remainder of the season (not that I think Mikel would) COYG
I would give a limb to make sure these players stay together for at least the next 5+ years… The sky really is the limit for what they can achieve in that time, especially if we add another 3-4 quality additions to the set up
There’s just absolutely nothing stopping Odegaard and his ceiling is actually scary high.
His mentality is perfect. His technique is jaw dropping. His vision is unbelievable. His close control is world class. And he’s a model professional.
I’m a big lover of all things Cesc. But I think if Odegaard avoids injury, he will go outshine Fabregas.
Odegaard is top quality, but I gotta disagree there.
Cesc at 20 was already one of the worlds best midfielders and better than the present Odegaard. People forget how good Cesc really was.
After seeing De Bruyne last night, I was thinking of a Premier League all time 11 and Cesc wasn’t far away. I doubt Odegaard would ever be in that discussion.
Anyway, good performance tonight.
No silly yellow cards
Definitely no red cards.
Most importantly…do not lose!
Cesc was so, so wonderful. And comparisons are futile as it becomes a little like the Messi and Ronaldo dilemma.
But I think Odegaard has Cesc’s vision and passing skills but also has that Hlebian ability to move out of tight spaces. I can’t remember Cesc doing that too much but I may just have a foggy memory.
And while Cesc’s career kind of stalled post Arsenal, I think Odegaard could just get better and better and eclipse Cesc’s achievements, especially at Arsenal.
Agreed- I think Saka is the closest thing to a Fabregas in my lifetime so far. It’s rhetoric that’s often rolled out by the pundits, but it really is decision making and maturity that sets the truly generational talents apart i think. It’s why Gabi is so, so exciting, but still looks a step down from Saka, despite his scary talent. Fabregas was like nothing I’d seen in terms of always choosing the right option, and Saka isn’t far off. Odegaard certainly a wonderful player though and I’m immensely happy that we have him. Been a huge Tielemans fan for… Read more »
I think the main difference between the players is Cesc was raised playing PL football with the Arsenal team at the time. Odegaard has the ability to match what Cesc did at 20, only difference he needs time to adapt to the PL speed and agression. Imo he has been coming along so well and will only get better with time and understanding with the players around him. I firmly believe Odegaard is better as a leader and with time will be a much better player/captain for Arsenal than Cesc was. He just isn’t there yet, but im excited to… Read more »
I think the era that Fabregas operated in was different than the one today. Back then, teams assigned a ‘hit man’ to break your ankles. Nowadays that is (mostly) out of the game, there is the high press and multi-player swarms. This means that players are much fitter than back then, because one can’t aggressively tackle their way out of keeping up with a gifted player. Comparing the two is difficult, I think Fabregas was very resilient, but the opposition tired quicker than our players. I don’t know if our current crop would do well in that thuggish environment of… Read more »
Think Odegaard’s better. Much better in fact.
I agree with the non-negotiable gooner. Cesc was a dream player, and Odegaard has still way to reach him.
I remember one game circa 2010 in the FA Cup against Leeds. We were down 0-1 at the Emirates; Fabregas came in later in the second half and changed the game. He got the equaliser, and we beat them in the replay. Last season at West Ham, Ødegaard joined the fray in the second half with us 0-3 down. Although he did not score, he literally dragged a beleaguered Arsenal to a 3-3 draw. Fabregas was truly eye-catching – a generational talent you might say; but I think Odegaard is the more rounded player. His defensive shift from the front,… Read more »
Great prospect and he features in this behind the scenes summary about how Arteta has changed things, on the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/61411433
Good article, thanks for linking.
2-1 to us, BTW. COYG!
Anyone got any idea what the fuck to do for the next 9 hours?
Did you (unintelligible mumbling) steal one of my (hiccup) fucking hats ya cunt?
Get the prayer mat out
Get the prayer mats out
Do a bit of slow cooking
I’m off food. Made my famous pre NLD lasagna yesterday with extra laxatives.
did you take it round to the spurs training ground?
I’m probably going to spend some time pacing the living room and fretting.
learn the rules of Warhammer
Haha I know how you feel. Thinking I might just go dark and get the missus to wake me up when it’s over
Haha tell me about it..I’m in Australia, supposed to be sleeping as the game starts at 4.45am but no chance of that
Here in Texas I’m figuring out how to duck outta’ work around 1pm. The noon kickoffs are similar here– up at 5am to watch at 6am.
Microdose… but add a bit extra on top
I’ll be finishing an interview just before the game starts. Preparing for the interview at the moment.
Arsenal is winning today’s game.
Make me happy & proud today guys…..
Done my part. Betted on Sp*rs win. Since my betting stats stink, I predict 90% probability for a draw or a win. Next step is to find a figure of Harry Kane and some needles…
Don’t forget Lloris [email protected]
Choose Contes figure. He is explosive character and in a position to do actual damage once he is unleashed
Oh cesc how you broke my heart. But it’s more your best mate Rosicky who Martin reminds me of.
Feeling a bit sick about this one. COYG. If Ben White can’t play I’m sure Rob Holding will do a solid and the good news is they’re about equal in the shithousery metric.
Let’s hope we can “finish the job” as he says but I think we’ll be doing well to come away with a point against Sp*rs tonight. Looking at the way we played against a 10 man Leeds at The Emirates (particularly comparing how Chelsea did against another 10 man Leeds at Elland Road only a few days later) and Sp*rs recent performance away against one of the top two sides in the PL, it will require something spectacular from us. I’m not a betting person but a home win of, say 2:0, looks quite possible to me. Hope I’m wrong… Read more »
That’s the spirit
I just think most of us would be surprised if we won tonight playing as we did in the last 30 minutes or so against Leeds (or even most of the earlier 60 minutes unless we can make much more of our chances). I’m not saying we won’t, or can’t, put in a far better performance tonight as we’ve done in earlier recent games, rather that we’ll have to as Sp*rs will be up for it. After all, if Conte can’t get them charged up for this game he may as well pack up now.
Boy, the thing is this: we AREN’T gonna play like the last 30m vs Leeds. And Sp
` AREN’T gonna get the spaces that they enjoyed at Anfield and City.
Usually the team that has more at stake, that is closer to success, plays better than the opponent. And that team is us.
I predict a Nketiah winner tonight.
Spuds like playing on the counter attack, hence their wins/draws against man city and liverpoo, but they struggle in game where they have to take the initiative (like they will have to tonight). Indeed we could play them at their own game and hit the on the counter whilst soaking up a bit of pressure!!!
We beat Chelsea at the bridge, the Leeds results mean nothing…
It’ll come down to team belief and Arteta’s tactics from half time to finish.
No doubt Odegaard is a key member of the club. The truth is that, if Arteta had used Elnany in our games with Brighton and Southampton, we would salvage at least draw from those two matches. Now he did another gamble but trying to convert a natural right back to left back against Leeds. My candid advice for the manager is to use Taveres who is a natural left back.
Taveres should start, let’s not deceive ourselves we do not have option at left back now other than him.
Ø channels Mortal Kombat… Standing over the battered sp*rs.
… purely metaphorical and please dont go full Leeds.
I’m pretty relaxed about tonight. Win, and it’s over. Draw, and I’m 99% sure we’ll do it. Lose (yuk) and we will still have a one point lead with two winnable games to play against opposition who will hopefully both have little to play for. Also, Spurs still have to win their last 2 games without going all spursy.
Also we have to score at least 2 goals to win because you just know Kane or Son will be gifted a goal at some point, probably by the referee.
Odegaard can be one of the all-time greats in his position if he keeps it up. Insane potential. I hope he stays with us until he retires. Arsenal legend in the making!
After our recent three match losing streak with what lay ahead (at Chelsea, home to Man U, at West Ham, etc.) and injuries to many key players never in my wildest dreams would I have thought we could wrap up top 4 with two matches to go, but here we are having that possibility today. Luckily even with a loss we still control our own destiny, but of course we all want to wrap it up tonight.
Yes, finishing it tonight would be fantastic and I hope we can but it probably depends upon which Arsenal turns up on the night, doesn’t it? The one in the games you mentioned or the one that looked pretty awful in the closing third of the Leeds game because it failed to bury them in the earlier 60 minutes.
From your lips to the football gods’ ears, Cesc!!
Everyone seems to be feeling sick and nervous about tonight. And I’ll admit the butterflies are fluttering but Sp*rs fans are dreading tonight far more than we are. This is last chance saloon for them. All or nothing. Do or die. Their team always lets them down and they know it. It’s just the history of the Tottenham. Let’s enjoy their torment.
Funny that if you read Odegaard’s comments without knowing they came from him, you would be forgiven for thinking that Arteta had been interviewed. I suppose that means that everyone is on the same page, which has to be a good thing