Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Odegaard: It’s tricky being at your best this early

Martin Odegaard says Arsenal’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Monday was vital because building momentum at the start of the season has been a hot topic inside the dressing room.

The Gunners were far from their best at Selhurst Park but managed to ground out the three points even though the final 30 minutes were played with 10 men. Much to the annoyance of the usual suspects in the media, the players didn’t hold back in their celebrations at full time.

Coming off the back of a tight victory over Nottingham Forest on the opening day, it’s fair to say Arsenal have lots of room for improvement.

Writing in the official club programme, Odegaard says that’s fairly normal when players are still trying to find their rhythm.

“The win at Palace keeps our momentum going, and we spoke about that a lot last week, about how important it is to have a good start,” he said.

“That’s our challenge today as well, we know it can be tricky at the beginning of the season to be at your best.

“You are not 100 per cent in your best form at this stage of the season, and it can take time to build your rhythm, but at the same time, you have to win the games.

“It’s crucial to pick up these points, and build that confidence early on.”

Last season, the Gunners won their first five matches in a row – only the fourth time we’d done that in our history – secured nine wins in the opening 10 games and reached 20 wins after just 25 matches (stats via Arsenal.com). And still, we didn’t come out on top…so you can see why Martin recognises the importance of every single point.

On a similar theme, Ben White says Arsenal have to be on guard against the Cottagers who he expects to pose a similar threat to Monday’s vanquished Eagles.

“It’s going to be a tough game. They’re going to be coming to Arsenal wanting to get some points, so it’s our job to do what we need to do,” he told Arsenal.com.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game [against Palace]. They’re a very good side with a very good manager who knows what he’s doing. Especially with 10 men, it’s a hard place to go.

“I don’t think you’ve seen the best of what we can do. We’re looking to be better than last year.”

Also on media duty this week, Leandro Trossard spoke bullishly about going toe-to-toe with Manchester City again.

The Belgium international hit the ground running when he joined from Brighton last season but couldn’t stop the Gunners from running out of steam in the closing stages.

He’s confident that the latest recruits can prevent that from happening again.

“Kai, Timber and Declan are all great additions for the squad,” he told Arsenal.com.

“They all bring something and it’s competitive, so everyone has to be at the top of their game to perform well. It’s a really good bunch of lads and it’s nice to have them here.

“Declan’s a really good guy and, from the day he joined, I tried to help him to settle in. From that day we had a good connection. He’s a top player but also a top guy to speak with and we get along quite good.

“He can help us in ways we didn’t have before. All the players are happy with the team now. We want to win every game and that’s what we’re competing for.

“There’s more depth and how we compete, everyone has to be at the top of their game. Otherwise, they know they won’t be playing. That’s how you strive for greatness. We have such a good group at the moment, not only on the field but also off the field and that helps a lot to perform.

“We will definitely add some quality in different parts of the game. I feel like we’re stronger and it’s a long season with the Champions League as well of course.”

He added: “We have such a great squad with so much quality and if the game plan is there and we perform at our best we can challenge them.”

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Bleeding Gums Murphy

Big game today, hopefully emerates is bouncing. 3 points and then we go into United game with a lot of confidence next week. Without a shadow of doubt, there is a genuine belief in this squad. We can do something special this season. It’s not a given but we are in the mix and that feels great.

Johnny 4 Hats

We will bang today. I have no doubt. That Palace performance was absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately, the gloss was removed by the last 20 mins (a 20 mins that was a defensive masterclass, I might add).

Fulham aren’t going to be full of ham today. They are going to be force fed rice. And, like a pigeon, it’s going to make them explode.

4 – 0

No probs.

See you at the team news. Because my life is empty and this website is all I have.


You’re funny though, which isn’t to be taken for granted. – an unfunny man

Johnny 4 Hats

Nah, my wife used to say that my sense of humour was the thing that attracted her most to me.

Now every time I make a joke she rolls her eyes and gives me a “when are you going to die?” expression.

If I could have my time again I would spend the time I spent cultivating a personality going to the gym and getting a real tight ass and some decent abs.


Let’s squeeze the craven cottage cheese out of them

Johnny 4 Hats

Serve up some Bernd toast.


I hope you don’t mean that last sentence mate. Hopefully sardonic?


Impressed that Trossard is so positive despite not starting yet and not appearing that much despite the impact he had last season.

Hope he and the rest of the team can keep that positivity up throughout the season.

Man Manny

I am not saying he is not positive, but you didn’t expect him to sound negative to the media inspite of what may be going on inside him, did you?
These guys have to at least try to put their best foot forward at all times, don’t they?


He would have avoided media sessions if he was feeling negative.


I miss Trossard. We play our best football with him in the side.


The first half of last season would beg to differ. And the final few games too…

Don’t get me wrong I love him and want to see him play, but I feel like he’s become a bit of a messiah among some fans over these last two games. We played some amazing football without him too, and we still could and should.


Sorry guys, I can’t resist but to absolutely love Trossard!
What an elite professional at the top of his game. Not only adds he extra threat to our attacking front, but his link up play is totally in a different level.
I really hope he starts today…


Arteta needs to get out of his way. He’s thinking of how to not lose games instead of how to win. Fulham gets a red card and what does he do immediately? Take Odegaard off immediately. Starting with Partey at RB is another experiment that makes no sense. We should be making teams worry about us and not worrying about them .If we set up like this against City, I would understand but it seems we go into every game being unusually cautious .

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