“Some people just criticize you just because of my little dip in form, but they don’t actually know what happens”- Arsenal Captain Martin Odegard reveals he has been forced to play a different role sef the signing of TWO STARS made life difficult for him
Martin Odegaard has encountered challenges in the current Arsenal season as he strives to replicate the outstanding performance of the 2022-23 campaign when he contributed to 23 goals in the Premier League. These challenges stem from a combination of Odegaard’s personal issues, minor injuries, and a slight dip in form.
Furthermore, Arsenal underwent significant changes over the summer, altering their playing style. In the previous season, the team often deployed a three-man midfield consisting of Odegaard, Granit Xhaka, and Thomas Partey, with Odegaard playing the most attacking role. However, in the current season, manager Mikel Arteta opted to introduce an additional attacker, resulting in the most frequently used midfields being Rice/Odegaard/Havertz or Rice/Odegaard/Trossard. With Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, and Gabriel Martinelli ahead of them, Odegaard now finds himself in a more defensive midfield role.
This shift has inevitably affected Odegaard’s contributions in the attacking third. In matches like the 2-2 draw against Chelsea and the Champions League clash with Sevilla, he had significantly fewer touches in the final third. Even in a comfortable 4-0 win against Bournemouth, his touches in the final third were limited.
However, recent performances indicate a positive trend for Odegaard. In the game against Brentford, he registered 41 touches in the final third, and against Wolves, he improved further with 54 touches. Notably, this surpasses his total in the entire previous season on two occasions.
Importantly, being more present in the final third allows Odegaard to assume his trademark position, approximately 15 yards from goal, central, and often unmarked, providing him the opportunity to deliver his exceptional finishing skills. Recent evidence suggests that Odegaard is adapting to his new role and finding ways to make a significant impact for Arsenal.