Ødegaard signs but this media victory over Arsenal costing the club dear

By Tony Attwood

The current story in the Guardian is that Arsenal are about to sign Martin Ødegaard from Real Mad for £34m, on a five year contract.

Of course none of us at Untold know anymore than you probably do, but the way the more serious drainpipes, sorry “outlets” are writing it would appear that this one might actually happen.  That would make our inbox look like this:

  • Martin Ødegaard, attacking midfield, from Real Madrid for £34m
  • Daniel Oyegoke, defender from Brentford for an undisclosed fee, probably dependent on success.
  • Nuno Tavares, defender from Benfica for £6.8m
  • Albert Sambi Lokonga, midfielder from Anderlecht for £17.2m
  • Ben White, defender from Brighton for £50m

And that takes our expenditure to £108.  The only sale to set against that is Joe Willock for £22m, and if all comes to pass this transfer of Ødegaard explains Joe’s departure.

Also there’s no doubt that Joe’s current value is inflated in the case of Newcastle because the fans are crying out for him to return, and by the fact that he is “Home Grown” at a time when there is something of a shortage of such men in some clubs.

Arsenal however are ok on the home grown front (it is replacement forwards we lack) hence this changeover to a foreign grown player is not a concern.  It is reported that Ødegaard was not in the Real Madrid squad for their game against Alavés last weekend, which again suggests something might be happening.

Here’s Ødegaard’s record as a player

Season Team Games Goals
2014–2015 Strømsgodset 23 5
2015–2017 Real Madrid 2nd team 58 5
2015– Real Madrid 8 0
2017–2018 Heerenveen (loan) 38 3
2018–2019 Vitesse (loan) 31 8
2019–2020 Real Sociedad (loan) 31 4
2021 Arsenal (loan) 14 1

On the international front there is a bonus for while he is an international of course, he plays for Norway, which a) is closer than (for example) Brazil, and b) is a team that often doesn’t make it through to be international parties and kick abouts.

He has played for Norway all the way up from under 15 level, making 18 appearances for their under 21s and since then 30 appearances for the first team, since 2014, which means we lose him for about four or five games a year.  This obviously reduces the chance of him coming back wrecked with, (as Arsene Wenger famously put it), the player being returned with instructions to have him repaired ready for the next international.

He was part of the revival in the latter part of last season (that’s the revival that the media insist did not happen), starting with  the 4-2 win against Leeds.  He scored from 20 yards against Olympiacos in March which got the goal of the month vote.  He also scored against Tottenham in our win over them. 

The reporting is saying that personal terms are also agreed, and the move also seemingly stops any of the chit chat about James Maddison coming to Arsenal. 

Meanwhile, despite protests from people who can’t read statistics, and featuring as part of the media’s now incessant campaign, Granit Xhaka has signed a new contract.

Latest in the other chatter is the notion that we are still chasing Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United, but now with the added clarification, that he will be backup for a year or two before Leno moves on.

All this is, of course, dampened by the victory of the media in its campaign to claim that Arsenal did very badly last season (or in the words of the Express, started well before it all went downhill!)   Clearly the anti-Arsenal media campaign has been successful and not only does almost every blogger and journalist seem to believe that is true, most people are now convinced by the propaganda that the turn around in the last two thirds of the season didn’t happen.   (The Key Data Tables remain on this site if you want to verify reality.)

Following this most people now also seem to believe that the only way of saving Arsenal is through

a) a massive injection of new players 

b) criticising the manager so much that eventually he goes.

What of course this misses is the fact that pushing out a manager under media led fan pressure is what happened with Mr Wenger, Mr Emery and now quite possibly Mr Arteta.   And the result of this action is that each time we sink further down the league.

I did have the chance to put it to a few media-believers this week, and asked why they wanted the process that, in their eyes, had failed three times to bring Arsenal success, to be repeated a fourth.  The general answer seemed to be “well if we do it enough, we must get it right in the end”.

But it is strange.  There is a lot of negativity focused against the board and senior staff, and yet these are the very people who are making the decisions about players to buy and managerial teams to sack.   It is a bit like saying, “the senior staff and directors are useless, but here’s an important bit of work, let’s get them to do it.”

A certain lack of logic in this at all levels, it seems.  But it was ever thus.


5 Replies to “Ødegaard signs but this media victory over Arsenal costing the club dear”

  1. Could agree more with you, some Arsenal fans are like Trump supporters or Anti Vaxxers. Ignore real facts stats and statistics and believe what tabloids and what some bloke said in Facebook. I hope even though incompetent the club management stick and back Arteta rather than twist cause there alot of positives happening at Arsenal at the moment.

    I mean we’re playing better football with the same poor personel that have let us down for 5 years since the Wenger years. Auba deciding to stop scoring cost us massively. Where would he have been I’d he’d had another 30 goal season. Get rid of the dust left at the club back Arteta and give him the squad he wants. I have no faith in Edu to do that though well probably end up with more Brazilian 30+yo again giving Arteta a head ache

  2. i think it’s the other way round, tony: oyegoke has left us to join brentford
    from the little i saw of him, he looked like a very promising right-back (i’m terribly biased when it comes down to assessing our youngsters, tbh), a position where we’re in a bit of a mess right now
    i hope MA will pick ainsley there, protected by a back-3 “chambers (holding)-white-holding (gabriel)”, come sunday …

  3. Tony, Le Gall is quite right. Oyegoke was an outgoing transfer.

    I think you missed this one though

    Mika Biereth has joined the club and signed his first professional contract.

    The 18 year-old forward scored 21 goals in as many games with Fulham last season, as they won the U-18 Premier League south.

    At academy level Fulham are good so Mika’s Progress will be interesting.

    I’ve put a couple of updates on the Women’s Champions League match preview. Kickoff at 11:00 and live coverage on Arsenal.com which should be easier than the Russian stream I found earlier. Strong team selected so I expect goals. I’ll add progress updates on that thread as the game progresses.

  4. Quite a number of alleged Arsenal fans it seems bereft of logical thinking , or worse of not thinking at all. They seem to have all the answers , but regularly proven that all these answers are wrong. Just hoping that they put their money where their mouth is , and lose everything !
    But am hoping that we start to get it right soon.
    Up the Gunners !

  5. Its the opposite with suplorters I interact with who all want Arteta to stay. Personally, I think this job is too big for him and his character doesn’t fit Arsenal’s values.

    The football style has gotten much worse compared to even Emery’s time and he appears to have problems in relation to man management. Particularly managing certain young players like Saliba, Guendouzi, Maitland-Niles to a less extent.

    Loved him as a player and Captain for us but he just doesn’t the ‘Arsenal way’.

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