Monday, July 22, 2024

Arteta: Odegaard becoming a game-winner

After five goals in his last five games, Martin Odegaard heads into the final three weeks of the season challenging Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka to be Arsenal’s top scorer.

His 15-goal haul, complemented by seven assists, is all the more impressive given it represents more than double last season’s goal involvements.

Still only 24, the ability to produce match-winning moments bodes well for a player who has also coped admirably with the added pressure of wearing the captain’s armband.

“It’s great,” was manager Mikel Arteta’s assessment of the midfielder’s progress, which was today recognised by the Football Writers’ Association. 

“Those are the demands that he puts on himself, those are areas that he had huge margins to improve and he’s making huge steps in the right direction to become a game-winner, which is with the profile and role that he has in the team to do that.

“Then you need really good teammates around you, which he has and that helps as well.

“He has this character that everybody respects, everybody admires, and everybody follows,” added Arteta.

“He does it [the captaincy] in his own way; there are many ways of leading a team and he has a unique one because it’s his own one and we don’t want to take anything away from that.

“We are really happy that he represents the club in the way that he does and the team and every individual.

“He needs to continue to develop those skills in the best way because the demands will keep increasing and his role hopefully as well.”

Odegaard’s first half brace against Chelsea and his long-range opener against Newcastle did much to settle Arsenal nerves following a shaky four-game period that saw the club drop vital points in the title race.

Thanks to consecutive wins, all is not lost (just yet) and Arteta is hopeful his players can keep the pressure on Manchester City right to the death.

“Every time you win, every time you play well, every time you feel like you’re competing at a level that is required to win this league, it gives you hope,” said Arteta.

“It’s not in our hands and on Sunday [against Brighton] we’re certainly going to need to be at our best again and try to win the game. If we win the game, we will be a little bit closer.”

Asked how his players have managed to regain their confidence, the Spaniard continued: “By playing well, by being on top of the game and individually raising the level that has been something critical and really important when you get to this stage of the season.

“Once you’ve done that, that has a huge impact on the team’s performance. The team has been playing well, scoring goals and winning matches, so it’s a good mixture.”

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Johnny 4 Hats

I sometimes wonder if Arteta made Odegaard captain partly because he foresaw just how high his ceiling is and wanted him to wed him to this club for the serious long term.

Odegaard is going to be the next KDB. That’s already clear. And the offers from City and Madrid and Barca and PSG will come soon, if they haven’t already.

It just makes him a bit harder to get and more unlikely to move if he’s the star of the show. And having the armband means he definitely is.

gunner17

he’s done great but he needs to bulk out a bit to really sustain/surpass that KDB level consistency

Johnny 4 Hats

I feel like KDB was mid twenties when he joined City and took a season or two to reach his imperious best.

If Odegaard kicks on from this season and does better numbers-wise next year, then by god we’ve got a player on our hands.

Harry Callahan

Yeah ..I think if he improve his strength and not lose everything else in his game..he would be an even more marvelous player…

William Nilliam

Our captaincy has seemed to have a curse on it for far too long. Let’s hope Martin has broken it, it’s looking very promising so far.

Goonshow

Current great Arse captain… future Arse legend.

Gunner1971

I think he is a bit different to KDB. KDB has power in open spaces whereas MO has that unique 2-way swivel in tight spaces. No reason he can’t reach the heights though.

Leon

Odegaard is absolute quality.

Even if he is being pressed by defenders, he always seems to have time on the ball and the vast majority of times make the correct decision.

He reminds me of Bergkamp – even has a similar personality on the pitch.

I expect Real Madrid really regret their decision to sell him for just £30 million because he is worth £100 million plus – especially if someone like Declan Rice is valued at £120 million..

Teryima Adi

Declan Rice is British- their price is inflated especially in the EPL.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Most open play goals by a midfielder in a Premier league season. Incredible when you think of players like Gerrard, Lampard and Scholes.

I still remember Arsenal supporters wanted Maddison for 60m, instead of our captain.
Crazy.

Jackie

Le Tessier, I think.

Echezona Iloegbunam

Arteta is a genius for making Odegaad captain of this great club

Goonshow

Time to update my much repeated mantra on Ode:

Next Current great Arsenal captain, future Arsenal legend.’

There… fixed it.

Goonshow

Check out this Opta analysis – really good:

bit.ly/42KfjRg

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