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.”