The link between us fans and Ødegaard is worth 20 points a season


By Tony Attwood

There is a significant change in the way the media is approaching Arsenal.  It was perhaps best summed up by CBS Sports who called the last performance, “Ordinary at best” and meant it in a positive way suggesting Arsenal can now win against ordinary opponents using every trick in the book, and that is, by and large, rather good to know. 

Because if the constant torrent of journalist negativity is over, at least for a while, it could influence the bloggers and supporters to see the games with more open minds.  It could even leave the door open for commentators to start noticing a) what referees do in general and b) how different the refereeing in the Premier League is from that in the Champions League (although that might be a bit much to ask!)

What is particualarly being recognised however is the contribution of Martin Ødegaard, not just in the way in which he is running the Arsenal team as captain, but because Real Madrid could not see his potential and let him go.

Now he really does seem to have grown into the part of captain – one could see that in the line and the way that he dealt with the children, who quite naturally looked petrified out of their skins (which of course is a mixed metaphor but hopefully you saw it too).

Despite his youth (25 is young to be a captain with such capability in all aspects of the captain’s job) he is a major influence on the pitch and seemingly off the pitch, and he does it with such a smile that one cannot help but be won over.

It is also the fact that he never seems to tire, either in terms of his play on the pitch or his relationship with the crowd.   One upward swing of his arms to the north bank and the volume doubles.   What’s more, he gives all of us the feeling that WE are part of the show, something that Arsenal FC itself finds impossible to imagine, let alone achieve.

And he takes every responsibility seriously, including for example taking the first penalty.  How much steel is there in his nerves?

But there is something more.  Because he is the link between the crowd and the team, that leaves younger players like Saka free to be themselves.  If Saka tries something outrageous and it doesn’t come off this time, Saka knows Ødegaard is there to turn any groans that might be heard into wholesale support, with that famous upward swing of his arms.

Of course, by the time he joined Arsenal on loan in 2021 the great revolution that took the club to runners-up last season and top of the league at the moment, was underway, but not visible to most journalists and many supporters.

Arsenal ended January 2021 in tenth below the likes of Leicester City, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, and Everton.  Where exactly are those teams now… 

Leicester are likely to return from the lower league but are being hounded from all sides over their finances, Tottenham endlessly flatter to deceive, while West Ham, and Everton seem to have a penchant for the lower reaches of the league and Chelsea aims to break the record for the most yellow cards in one season ever. 

For Arsenal and their young loanee at the time, the path however has been constantly upward.  With Ødegaard Arsenal finished 8th for the second season running, then fifth the next season (with calls for Arteta to be sacked immediately), then second, and now we are top of the league.

Both Arsenal and the captain are on an upward journey and with the two so closely linked we have all bought into the journey.  Indeed he really does how to make everyone feel that there is progress saying, “The spirit here around the whole club is just unbelievable. It’s the best I’ve ever seen in my life as part of a team.”

Obviously, the media have doubts because being negative about Arsenal is now so ingrained into journalistic psyche they don’t even notice when they are doing it.  But this is a player who has forged a powerful link with the fans, and it is a link that nothing the media put about can harm.   Those of us in the stadium believe in the player, and hence the team.  And that in itself is worth more than a few points each season.

7 Replies to “The link between us fans and Ødegaard is worth 20 points a season”

  1. I hear that the renowned expert pundit Danny Murphy (ex Liverpool, Spurs and Fulham?) has stated that Arsenal lack Champions League credentials.

    How then did we top our group and have now reached the quarter -finals?

  2. I must admit and have no problem in doing so that I was completely wrong on our captain. In the first half season I thought he was good but not that great. I thought he was too light for the PL. How wrong I was!!! I think vision wise he might be just below Ozil and Fabregas, but only just below. If those two had a horizontal vision of 145° (normal = 135°) Odegaard is around 140° I think.
    But when it comes to running (and not blindly running around), putting pressure on the opponents, seeing angles opening up, scoring goals, setting up dangerous attacks, he is level with them.
    I am so happy to be able to say that I was wrong and probably now nothing about football at all 🙂
    And yes his connection to the fans and how he can orchestrate not only the team but also the whole stadium…. I hope he stays with us for the rest of his football days. He might end up with a statue at some time in his life…

  3. Just be ready for another shitload to hit the fan…. Ben White has asked not to be selected for the Three Lions…. and went home.

    Wonder what that is about. At least he won’t be cooked or hurt after the international break.

  4. Chris

    I had a look around the web when the signing of his new contract was announced. One look at the on line comments, (The mails homophobic comments (Posters) are a joke) and you can understand why. Joke.

    Personally I wish all our players would withdraw.

  5. … and Southgate doesn’t understand why White has excluded himself from the team. Really?

    The same Southgate who couldn’t understand why fans were booing Henderson.

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