Saturday, March 25, 2023

Odegaard: I’ve developed my game a lot

Martin Odegaard believes he’s playing the best football of his career as part of a resurgent Arsenal side.

The 23-year-old has been a vital cog in the machine at Emirates Stadium this season both as a creative presence behind the strikers and as club captain.

He’s come a long way since making his senior football debut as a 13-year-old for homeland side Stromsgodset.

“Yeah, I think so,” replied the Norway international when asked if he’s at the top of his game. 

“I think I’ve developed a lot in the last few years. I’ve always been good on the ball but I feel like I’m developing different sides of my game; without the ball and how to improve and affect the game in different ways.

“I feel like I’m doing well and when the team is doing well, it’s easier for me as well. I’m really happy to be part of this team and the project and I’m happy with where we are at the moment, but we want more.”

Top of the Premier League after nine games and with two wins from two in Europe, things couldn’t be going much better for the Gunners.

After ending last season by missing out on Champions League qualification, it’s an impressive turnaround from Arteta’s players.

So what’s different? “It’s just us becoming better as a team,” said Odegaard.

“We all understand what Mikel wants from us even more. We work hard every day to improve and I think everyone just understands the system and the style.

“We’re just working hard to improve on the principles and, of course, we got some new players in who brought a lot of quality.

“I think the main thing is the work we do every day at the training pitch, how we improve and how we work on the style.”

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Midfield genius teaching midfield genius, synergy is off the charts.


Odegaard is playing at a world-class level right now. He’s taken on the captaincy and then just taken his game up levels. His movement off-ball in possession, work-rate on defense, and then just absolutely masterful creativity – this guy is special. Feels like every bit the attacking quality of Ozil in his best Arsenal years, but with workrate on defense and inclination to make a tackle (and a header) and get stuck in (and he’s a leader)!


Definitely shares the vision of Ozil, but more 2 footed and more willing to shoot (possibly after some encouragement from Arteta). I loved Ozil at his best, some of his link up play with Sanchez looked telepathic, but I don’t think prime Arsenal Ozil would even be starting in this current 11. Odegaard is the more complete modern player.

The Far Post

I think prime Arsenal Ozil might not fit the work ethics of this team, but he could be a sick attacker. Look again at some of the highlights when he ripped through the defenders with his dribbling. Haven’t seen that from MØ yet.


Yeah the attacking burden on Odegaard is less with what he has in front of him, all 3 of the forwards can beat their man. Also feel like that position in the press is very important, if he doesn’t pressure his man then he’s undoing all the hard work from the Gabi’s and Saka.


Ozil was an incredible footballer. As good as he was for us, he was better in Germany and at real. With quality around him at real he was one of the best players in the world, but he picked up some bad habits at Madrid, which worsened at arsenal. He stopped tackling and challenging for headers; he basically avoided all physical play which made him soft. He WAS one of my favourite players in world football, but he was a shell of himself towards the end. Odegaard is a completely different character and I think he’ll have a much longer… Read more »

A Different George

I’m not a psychiatrist, but I really think Ozil was permanently wrecked by his treatment by the German media and the “Bayern mafia” after the World Cup debacle. I’m not saying this is what caused his defensive deficiencies, but that every issue between him and Emery became a matter of personal (and maybe community) honour to Ozil; his whole identity depended on being adamant about everything, on field and off. There was a brief glimpse of a solution with Arteta’s arrival, but the problem was too far gone.

Martin Ø’Nelly

Humble and hard working team player. Great captain! Seems that this is also the general spirit in the team now. Just love it – and look at the progress! Ok, there may be set-backs but our resilience is increasing. Trusting the process now.

Boy Bastin

I agree. I think you’re also right to flag up possible setbacks as well. The team is not the finished article, they’re learning as a unit from game to game. There are bound to be a few setbacks along the way this season, and we have to be prepared for those but the general direction on and off the pitch is clear.

Man Manny

I have never been so impressed by an Arsenal team after the Invincibles like this team. The ’07 – ’08 with the Fabregas, Hleb, Flamini midfield come close. But there is a fight and hunger in this team that was not there in that team. In Martinelli, Saka, Jesus and Ødegaard, we have a front four. That will only become more lethal in the coming years. In Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Tomiyasu and Tierney, we have defenders that has the potential to be the best in England. ESR will outgrow his injury issues. Vieira will grow into a beast… Read more »


I hear ya, I feel Patino will ease himself into Xhaka’s position, starting next season. We dont need to spend £130 mill on Bellingham because this kid is special, gooners know. The backup you speak of is a pressing need, get it, snarf, and I like the look of that Danilo guy. Thought he was good vs Chavs, brilliant technique and composure. What about that Trusty dude, hes a left sided CB, though Ive never seen a single minute of him in action. Then we have Cuffy, Lino, Walters, Nwaneri, maybe Biereth and a few others that will knock on… Read more »


We need Xhaka to sign an extension. Patino won’t be ready for the first XI on a regular basis until 24/25. He could make sub appearances next season.

Regardless of what happens this season, we need Xhaka here next season as well – and, if he stays fit, Partey as well. They are every bit as important to this current team’s success as any other player.


Isn’t Xhaka locked in until 2024 and Partey til 2025? Seems about perfect to let them play out those contracts out and have a new generation gradually taking over.


The contract even has a one year extension clause to take him until 2025. No need for another deal.


All for positivity, but I don’t think many would argue if we tried to get Bellingham..
Comparing him to Patino is pretty optimistic, regardless of how good he’s looking! He’s only about six months younger than Bellingham, and Bellingham is captaining Dortmund and arguably their best player.


The way thing’s are going I don’t see anyone “easing” themselves into Xhaka’s position. Even in the days of Xhaka being somewhat of a liability our midfield didn’t seem to function without him. Definitely something that needs to be addressed as anything happens to him or Partey we’re in trouble. Although I think Vieira could play in Xhaka’s current more advanced role.

Boy Bastin

He certainly has. He’s improved his overall game tremendously in my opinion and also seems to relish being club captain. We haven’t had a great run of captains (on the whole) for some time now, so young Odegaard – and he is only 23 for goodness’ sake – is a welcome change.


Well, at least we know who’s taking over from Arteta one day…


I heard yesterday that both Xhaka and Elneny have taken charge of under 13s sessions this week, doing their UEFA badges. Hope they both use those badges here one day.

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