Friday, June 21, 2024

Odegaard on Arsenal’s title challenge, Arteta’s guidance and the bright future ahead

Ahead of Sunday’s final game of the season, Martin Odegaard sat down with TNT Sports to discuss Arsenal’s title challenge, the club’s progress under Mikel Arteta and why he’s sure the side will bring trophies to the Emirates soon. 

Here’s what he had to say…

On how he’d sum up Arsenal’s season in one word…

In one word? I would say amazing. Wwe’ve taken good steps. I feel like we’re a lot better team this year compared to last season and we’ve had some really good games, some good results and we are now there until the last day to push for it. So it’s been good. It has been amazing. 

On his favourite moments of the season… 

It’s always so hard to pick. When you beat Man City and you beat Liverpool in those big games, the Liverpool game at home was a big one. We were struggling a bit  and they were in front of us and we really needed the win. So that was a big one. And of course, Champions League games at the Emirates. It’s hard to pick one moment. 

On whether he ever visualised Arsenal being where they are now…

I don’t know if I saw myself being captain that quick, but I saw a lot of potential in the team. I believed in what we were doing and the project and everything. So I knew when I came here that we were going to get better and better and fight for things, so that’s the reason why I came here. Also, I wanted to be a part of the project and and I was so sure that we were going to get to the highest level. And we are there now, pushing until the last day, to win it. And also Champions League, so we’re doing well and hopefully we’ll see what happens. And if not, I’m sure it’s going to happen very soon.

On how proud he is of the team’s progress…

Yeah, amazing. Again, you see now the difference, compared to last season. In the last few games, we played some big games, some important games and some of the games we didn’t even play that good, but we get the results, and we’re a lot stronger, we’ve matured a lot as a team and you see all the players taking big steps, so very, very happy with the progress and who knows, hopefully, we can have some luck and if not, we’ve made some really good progress. I’m sure we’re just going to keep doing that. We still have a lot of things we can improve and get better at. So I’m excited for that as well. 

On whether there’s been a turning point for the team… 

This season obviously we have to speak about the Dubai trip again. Everyone is speaking about it, like what happened there, and all that. But we were just struggling a bit before that and we needed that break and we went there, people brought their families and we came together and we got closer to each other. We had some time away and time off and it helped, we came back stronger and more together as a group as well, we’re just so together we’re a family and we love fighting for each other, we love playing together and we love to push each other every day. That pays off in the end. 

On Arteta being the father of the family…

Yeah, he can be a lot of different things, but he always knows what buttons to push and he knows what the players need in every moment and sometimes he needs to be hard and really push us and sometimes he he can be a bit softer, he has a great understanding of what the team needs and in different moments. He’s great and it’s pushing us so much every day to get better, so it’s nice. 

On how much Arteta has developed as a coach since he arrived…

He’s just getting better and better. But when I came here straight away, I saw the ideas and everything he spoke about. It was next level for me. Some things you don’t even think about in the game and then he comes to you and it all makes sense. For him it’s just now that he can give us all the tools and give us all the information. When he first came in maybe we needed some time to adjust to it and now he’s just given us everything and we’re responding really good to it. It’s a pleasure to work with him and he’s unbelievable. 

On whether the team watched Sp*rs vs City together…

Obviously, everyone was watching that game and the results. No, no [we didn’t watch together]. Some people didn’t watch the game, but you look at the results and you were hoping. But we just spoke about it the day after. We have to focus on ourselves and we can’t get too emotional about it. And we have one more game. We play at home, it’s the last game of the season and our goal and our task is clear, we have to win that and then we’ll see what happens. That’s the mindset now, just win that last game and give the fans a good last game and then we’ll see. 

On whether he’s superstitious…

I don’t know, [with] some things, yeah. I’m like everyone, I guess; a bit superstitious and we’ll see what happens. It’s out of our control. And as I said, we just focus on our game. We have to win that game. And it’s a tough game. We play against a good side that had some good results. Win that game. And then hopefully we can see what happens. 

On what type of superstitions he has…

It’s just like silly things. Like if I wore a pair of boots or whatever, and I scored and I wear them again, things like that. Just simple things. 

On how much more the fans believe in the team these days…

A lot since I first came here. Now they see a proper team, I hope. And also they see a team that they really feel for. They really like it and they enjoy watching us, not only because we win games, but also because we play a football that they like. And that’s what I feel like when I go to the stadium, I really feel like we have that support and that they like the team, and that’s a great feeling. When I first came here we were in such a bad moment and it was tough for everyone and especially for the fans, it’s hard and they’ve been there the whole time and now hopefully they are a bit more happy than they were at that time. So, yeah, that’s good to see. 

On his message to the fans ahead of the final day of the season…

It’s just about ending the league now in a good way with a win at home. I know they’re going to be on fire again for the game. It’s the last game and we’ll do everything we can to make it a game to enjoy for them and to get that win and then we’ll see where it takes us. 

On a positive future for the club…

Of course. As you say, and as I said, we’ve had a good season, but I know that if we don’t win that league, no one’s going to be happy in this building and we’re going to come back even stronger and push again to do it. I’m sure that this team will end up with some great trophies in a short time. Hopefully, now. And if not then we’re going to come back and push even harder to be better.

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Bruce

Win it for us

C.B.

And make sure Saliba, Arteta etc get signed up for the next 10 years or more.

C.B.

It’s out of our hands if a City win, which has to be expected. But amazing we are in this position, says masses about how good the team is. Continue the upward progression and we can win anything.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

If West Ham manages to get a 1-1 with 15 minutes to go, the referee will give a PK to City.

ALBangBang

Arteta has really brought this club and the fans together. Some people have short memories but Ode’s right, we were in a bad spot and he has totally turned us round.

Ukesox

100%
People rave about Pep & with good reason. However, he inherited a title winning squad & a club with a blank cheque book … a magnet for top players. Arteta inherited a bang average squad which needed completely rebuilding & reluctant owners. The job he’s done has been remarkable.

Ebo

I love that at no point he even remotely thinks about himself in answering these questions, some might doubt whether he personally has improved this season due to his stats being down but that’s of zero concern to him, all he sees is the team being much improved from last season and he’ll do whatever it takes for that to continue. What a player, what a person.

Daveo

I’d be broke if changed my boots only when I didn’t score…

Onenil

When he says ‘some people’ didn’t watch the Sp*rs City game he means Ben White doesn’t he?

Celebration Police

Lol. I was thinking the same.
When (not if) Arsenal wins the title tomorrow and a reporter asks Ben White about the City – Spuds game. I expect a response like, was there a game going on? First, I don’t watch games plus I can’t spend my valuable time watching losers. They denied themselves of a UCL place which they’ll never play again for another 10 years thinking they’re denying of of the title.
Now imagine that response in Ben’s voice

Ebo

Why watch football when there are dogs to walk and play with?

Aedan

Decided to get a last minute train to London in case something magical happens. Obviously can’t get a ticket for the game, but any recommendations for pubs near the ground to watch tomorrow?

wrightstuff8

Get to Highbury and Islington, and wonder about – plenty of pubs which will be filled with gooners – take ur pick! Hopefully you will have made a brilliant decision….

Theo

West Ham could lose because City are obviously better by far. But unlike Everton, West Ham do have something to fight for. First, it’s their manager’s last game and nothing would please them more than winning it for him as a parting gift. Second, despite being local competitors i have a feeling they would feel pride in helping their former beloved captain Rice win the league. Third, Moyes would love to live the glory through his former protege and captain Arteta.

I know, am clutching at straws here but…..

Theo

Five things we’ve learnt from Arsenal’s 2023/2024 season.
1. Arsenal have matured…..
2. A Haaland isn’t that much necessary…..
3. Saliba is real….
4. Trossard is monumentally underrated….
5. We should leave summer bussiness to Edu and Michel …..provided we get M.Kudus.

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