Arsenal’s ‘All or Nothing’ documentary may have pulled back the curtain on life in Mikel Arteta’s dressing room but according to Martin Odegaard, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
In contrast to some of his teammates, who clearly didn’t feel the need to temper their behaviour in front of the ever-present Amazon cameras, the Norwegian comes across as a diligent, low-key and even quiet presence.
In that context alone, you could argue he makes for a surprising appointment as the club’s new captain but the 23-year-old, while accepting he’s not the most vocal character, has hinted there’s more to him than initially meets the eye.
“Maybe I am not the loudest guy,” he told reporters after the win at Bournemouth.
“But still, I think it is very little of last season that you see in the documentary – and I don’t feel any need to talk when the camera is there.
“I am a little bit more shy when the camera is there, but I think there was a lot more that happened then you see in the documentary.”
Interestingly, Odegaard also revealed he’s forged a close bond with Granit Xhaka, who never seems scared to voice his opinion whether cameras are present or not.
Hugely respected at the club, the Swiss has been promoted to the role of vice-captain (along with Gabriel Jesus) two and a half years after being stripped of the top job by Unai Emery.
The Norwegian, who also captains his country, is thankful he can lean on the 29-year-old for support.
“We have talked a little bit,” said Odegaard. “He is a good friend of mine, and we are quite close.
“He is someone I talk to a lot and try to learn from. I think he is a great player and also a great leader. Of course, I talk to him and try to get the best out of me, and everyone else as well.
“I have to try to use [being captain] in a good way, of course. Obviously, there is a bit more responsibility being the captain and all that.
“But I try to do the same things, I always try to do the best for the team, I fight for the team, and I give 100 per cent always. I have to try to use it in a good way.”
After a trio of wins that has seen Arsenal climb to the top of the Premier League table, it’s so far, so good for life under Odegaard.
It’s a welcome turnaround from this time last year when the Gunners were bottom of the table.
“I think a lot of things have changed,” reflected Odegaard. “I think we have improved so much and it’s a bit strange to think it’s only one year ago. I feel like it’s a long time ago.
“We have improved so much, and we worked so hard in training to improve the way we play, and to improve all the basics in our game and I think you can see that on the pitch now.
“We understand each other a lot better. I think the system works really well, everyone understands their job on the pitch, and I think that’s the main thing, that the system is working well.
“And of course, we have signed some good players as well, so that helps.”
Sounds very positive. Bright lad,that helps a lot.
Good vibes about the team and Mikel!
seriously who would tump down this comment here. Well said C.B.
People with mash potatoe as fingers.
You mean, like crushed spuds?
Brilliant! 😀 😀
Great to see him shut up the people who were weirdly on his back after the first two games.
As much as I love to see the songs and outpouring of love for players like Saliba and Zinchenko, I feel some players are not getting the love they deserve from the fanbase.
I put Odegaard firmly in that category, along with Ben White. They are both young lads and they will have quiet games. But I think they’ve both been nothing short of transformational since arriving and deserve to be shown serious gratitude from the fanbase.
Strangely I quite enjoy that they go under the radar more. Cheaper on FPL!
The outpouring of love for Saliba and Zinchenko is because they’re new and fans are enjoying signing new songs.
Yeah, thought the early criticism of Ødegaard, White & even Saka was a bit weird. Hopefully it’s just a by-product of sharing round the attacking responsibilities more widely & not some of the support just looking for anything to complain about
This is Arsenal.
Online, our fans are idiots. I don’t care to see what other clubs fans say about their team, so maybe Arsenal fans are normal. The Saka criticisms I didn’t get either. He started slowly last season too, and look how that turned out
First time I noticed Saks was in that dire EL final against Chelsea where he was our only good player.
Beast, I feel like last season, the was a seriously toxic element on this forum. Cowardly couch-warriors who would single out one player after another, based on flimsy on-field evidence and more largely on their own sad agendas.
Happily most have crawled away into their damp shoe-boxes as the shining light of success and obviously settled and happy players fills them with rage.
Totally agree. Ben White was my MOTM against Bournemouth.
I really really like Odegaard, I think he’s a superb player and it’s hard to know where his ceiling is because he’s so naturally talented. That being said, I don’t think he should be the captain of this team, I’d prefer someone with a bit more of a ‘nasty’ or ruthless streak. Martin seems like an extremely pleasant young man but sometimes you need your captain to be a bit of a cunt ala Roy Keane or Vieira. Despite this I rate Martin very very highly and he’s far from a disastrous choice.
He’s less captain and more head boy.
Come on guys, everyone knows Granit is captain!
Nah, I get it. I like the level of protectiveness people feel about Odegaard. He’s not your quintessential British captain but that doesn’t mean he won’t be an excellent choice.
I’m all for it.
It’s not just a level of protectiveness, it’s more an irritation that people don’t appreciate the levels to Odegaard’s game. So many people think just because Odegaard is a creative CAM he lacks the so-called “blood and thunder”, because when you think of him you think of an incisive pass or a nice flick, and immediately equate that with his personality – talented but effete. Completely neglecting the fact that he runs more than any other player in most games, often to the point of exhaustion. Odegaard has enough god-given talent to be hoovering up banknotes in Saudi Arabia, but… Read more »
Well said. I think Arteta sees Odegaard not as head boy as much as assistant coach. As a player, I think he sees a significantly more talented version of himself (and I rated Arteta highly as a player). It’s true he doesn’t seem like Roy Keane or Vieira. Much more like Xavi, who was also a fairly successful captain. That’s not too bad.
I am aware of Vieira image as a no nonsense hard tackling hard nosed player…but is he really someone like Keane, someone who bark orders and feared by the dressing room? Cause everytime I see him speaks, he seems to be a very polished, measured cultured and intelligent person. I would imagine that he is a leader who is respected rather than feared by his team mates during his playing days.
Keane was an utter cunt and summed up that particularly scummy, but talented and very effective Manure squad.
And never, ever forget that, under the icy Nordic calm,
HE’S A BLOODY VIKING!!!
Now that was an excellent comment. Say what you wish but in many ways Xhaka, and our fans, and Arteta have made him the captain. Arteta is a very very astute manager. He has taken the strongest most honest and influential personality and allowed him to act…”captain ish” but without all the pressure. Odegaard is a perfect choice who is strong yet reserved enough to make it all work. Brilliant!
Hehehe..I see that this comment got a lot of downvotes but I get it and I tend to agree with you …Headboy tend to be someone who is a model student, doesn’t shout a lot but still respected by everybody…and thats Ode..
I like the blood and thunder captains of old but I wonder if that’s a bit passé now?
I would think a young team looking for direction would need an experienced and vocal head to lead them. But while we’ve recruited young, we’ve also seemingly selected emotionally mature and strong personalities.
Odegaard seems like a wise head on young shoulders and his intelligence might just be what this likeable team needs.
Whatever it is it seems to be working so far…
The times have changed. Let’s get over the times of Vieira and Keane. Ødegaard is an extremely matured and a tactically aware captain at that. Last season I remember almost every attacking move of our’s moved through Martin’s awareness on the pitch. He is the manager/captain on the pitch. Basically Mikel’s go to man.
Odegaard = Arteta’s Arteta.
Arteta with a touch of Ozil.
Not that I think it’s particularly the remit of the captain but Odegaard feels like an approachable guy which may help new arrivals settle in better.
For me it’s easy to say that you don’t need the blood and thunder captains of old as football is more nuanced now. That being said if we were 2-1 down in a NLD with 10 mins to go would you rather someone vocal trying to rally the boys or a more passive leader? I get it there’s a time and a place for both it’s just my humble opinion.
False alternative: there are lots of ways to be active and engaged that aren’t “blood and thunder.”
Or someone who is leading by their actions?
Or to have someone to tell them where to be on the pitch rather than straying around?
You would want someone who’s smart enough to know what to adjust tactically on the pitch for the win and who has the passion and authority to execute it. That’s our Captain.
3 from 3, +7 gd, 2 clean sheets, only team with 100% win, top of league, captain has a brace already…
… What are you on about! (not a question)
I’m absolutely buzzing with our start. I was just sharing an opinion.
There’s little point going over all this now, but I did wonder if having cameras in the dressing room might affect performance
I mean it clearly didn’t for City, but for our young team I wonder if the dressing room dynamic might have been affected
Maybe. But in the long run I think it may have a positive impact. They will have watched it and learnt from it and it also gives a bit of added motivation this season. It was painful missing out on CL to those pricks but they will win fuck all. If we win Europa, get into CL and get into the top three or four then it could all work out in our favour. We are not going to win the CL anytime soon but we could win the Europa and that would be nice. No CL may have impacted… Read more »
The fact that Pep wants the cameras to come back and Arteta is glad they are gone says a lot about how the two differ. I actually think, from doing a shallow dive on Pep, that he’s a bit of a narcissist. It’s pretty well documented that he feels he is not given the credit he deserves for winning the league with a team that has unlimited resources (surprise, surprise). It’s funny, when I tell people that I bowled a perfect game they always seem less impressed once I admit that I had the gutters up. Plus all that “that… Read more »
You know that if we somehow did happen to still be 1st come end of play of Game 38 that nobody would give Mikel & the team credit & it’d be because City/Liverpool/Chelsea had bad seasons etc. On the Pep side, if he wants to get rid of any more top quality “rejects” then I’ll happily accept a Gundogan or a Bernardo, hell I’m sure we could even squeeze KDB into the team(side note: that pass for the equaliser yesterday should be on Pornhub cause it was filth)
A bit of a narcissist? That guy would marry his own reflection and insist on conducting the ceremony, preparing the cuisine, and performing the entertainment, as only he would do!
I usually agree with you on substance (like you, annoyed that Odegaard was not given enough credit). But not on this. Of course Pep wouldn’t win the league with Norwich’s squad. But he is a brilliant team builder (yes, with huge resources) as well as a tactician. One example: everyone can see how Kyle Walker is so crucial to the way they play. But when City bought him, there were was almost universal ridicule (including from me) at spending so much for such a limited player–“yeah, he’s fast, but he can’t cross, he doesn’t know how to defend, etc.” And… Read more »
Even players Pep treated bad (other than Zlatan) hail his talent. This includes Yaya Touré, Nasri and even Henry who was replaced on the wing by Dani Alves, a left back. On the other hand, he is known to be quite lousy in terms of relationship he has with players who he no more wants in the team.
Hats – NOT ‘Zinny’, please oh please… never ‘Zinny’. It rhymes with ninny, ffs!
Our where I learned to watch football, in Africa, he remains (uttered in a very low soft growl, rising to a cresendo, Michael Buffer-style):
Which fans of Kaiser Chiefs (the club not the band) would shorten to simply:
Sp*rs over-performed hugely the season before, with the cameras.
Becausw they relished being in front of the camera, seeing they’ve never had cameras surrounding them every end of season cos they win no shit.
Shame no cameras when Olivier Giroud was around, they’d sure have got the best out of him.
We’ve got Granit Xhaka, we’ve got Granit Xhaka!
Next great Gooner Captain… future Arsenal legend.