A few days before a massive north London derby, Martin Odegaard might have been forgiven for keeping a low profile. There are only so many “smash ’em for us, Martin” comments a man can endure, right?
Seemingly, not. On a night when Arsenal legends gathered under the same roof for a private view of the new artwork that will adorn the Emirates Stadium, the current club captain was arguably the guest of honour.
For more than an hour, the Norwegian chatted to fans, welcomed selfies and wandered the gallery soaking up the snippets of club history that the designs have so cleverly brought to the fore.
He was even granted a private audience with the Arsenal Vision team where Elliott pressed him on
whether he ever manscapes Arsenal’s impressive season (we’re top of the table if you hadn’t noticed) and dealing with growing expectations of a proper title challenge.
“To be honest, we enjoy the pressure,” said Odegaard.
“We feel that people believe in us. To feel that people take us seriously is a good thing. We are where we want to be and we want to fight to win things, we want to be at the top, it’s where this club should be.
“We’re in a good position at the moment but we have to stay calm, we have to stay humble, we have to keep working hard. There are still so many things we can improve. That’s one of the best things, you know, we can always get better.”
At an event that underlined the buzz around the club and a growing connection with the fans, Odegaard also touched on the impact of the atmosphere being generated on the terraces at the Emirates.
“This is one of the most important things for our success, what the fans are doing, the way we are connected together. The connection that we have is so special,” he said.
“I remember in the West Ham game when we conceded the first goal, the whole stadium just cheered for us and helped us to get back into the game.
“This helped us so much and the fans are such a big part of what we are doing now. I’m just grateful for all the support and the love we get. I just want to say thank you.”
Here’s hoping the mutual back-patting continues for the foreseeable future. It’s great to be approaching a run of big games with everyone on the same page.
To listen to the rest of the Arsenal Vision interview with Odegaard and to hear from CEO Vinai Venkatesham and Jack Wilshere, who is featured on one of the new designs, click here.