Arteta explains why he took off Martin Odegard in Arsenal’s shock loss to Aston Villa

Why did Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta substitute Martin Ødegaard against Aston Villa, despite his great performance?

Despite the Norwegian’s remarkable contributions, Arteta removed him in the second half, claiming, “He had a little issue, that’s why.

“He was feeling something. He could not continue.”

Arsenal ultimately lost the game 2-0, jeopardising their title chances. With 71 points, they’re now second on the Premier League log, two points behind Manchester City.

Our Gunners had a golden opportunity to capitalise on Liverpool’s slip in the early Sunday kickoff. Crystal Palace frustrated the Reds 1-0, and an Arsenal win over Villa would have put them three points ahead.

Once again, Arsenal’s lack of clinicality held them back; despite creating 1.62 expected goals to Villa’s 1.13, they failed to score.

Generally, the first half of the encounter featured numerous missed opportunities, with Watkins hitting the post and Martinez denying Trossard. In the second half, it was anyone’s game; it was about who maintained composure in front of the goal for the win.

Unfortunately for us, just a couple of minutes after Odegaard was taken off, Villa took advantage of their chances, as Bailey and then Watkins punished our Gunners by scoring goals that an attentive Arsenal would usually have avoided.

Arsenal must recover quickly from this setback. In the first half, our captain was unplayable against the Villans, producing chance after chance. It was disappointing to see his influence in the second half fade out.

Odegaard’s substitution was unfortunate because Arsenal always have a better chance of winning with him on the field.

However, the Arsenal captain’s substitution demonstrated the delicate balance between tactical decisions and player wellbeing in professional football, which is fine, but let us all hope it is nothing serious and he will be okay to face Bayern on Wednesday…

Daniel O

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Tags Arsenal v Aston Villa Arteta odegaard
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