Darren Bent compares Martin Odegaard to Mesut Ozil “in terms of consistency”

He’s not Ozil, but he’s Captain Fantastic.

Martin Odegaard: isn’t the Norwegian midfield wizard a fantastic captain? Last season, at this point of the season, Arsenal were without a captain after Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng fell out with Arteta. It was up to the senior players to lead by example.

Arteta had to make the bold decision of who his “prefect on the pitch” would be in the summer of 2022, in addition to reviewing his tactics and considering his recruits.

Many were surprised when he chose Odegaard as his captain, but how right was it for him to give the 23-year-old the armband despite the fact that he had only signed a year before?

Odegaard has been the “I lead you as you follow” captain, and his actions on the field have spoken for themselves. Odegaard has been the kind of player Arsenal players can look at when they want something to happen in the attacking department.

This was on full display in the North London Derby last weekend (he scored a superb goal from a hit outside the goal in the 2-0 win over Spurs). Darren Bent, a vocal Gooner, recently admitted on Talksport that he had to change his mind about Odegaard, who has gradually won him over.

“Ozil was unbelievable. I know it ended awfully, but him and Alexis Sanchez used to do things which were frightening,” said Bent when responding to whether Odegaard is as good as Ozil was.

“Odegaard, I wouldn’t say he is better in terms of talent but in terms of consistency, he has been head and shoulders (above). Turns up in big games, scores in big games, always contributes something.

“His goal was a fantastic strike. When you look at importance of players, Partey would be at the top, and Odegaard is close right now.

“A lot of people raised eyebrows when they brought him back after his loan spell; a lot of eyebrows were raised, myself included. I was a bit underwhelmed, and I thought, really? But this is why Arteta deserves a lot of credit. He’s brought him back, and he’s been fantastic.”

For the first half of the season, many didn’t see Odegaard for what he is to Arsenal, but you’d have to be biassed not to appreciate the playmaker the former Real Madrid man is turning out to be.

Thus far this season, in 18 games, he has 8 goals and 5 assists. His strong play earned him the Premier League player of the month award in December, and given his performances already in 2023, we shouldn’t be surprised if he wins it again this month, making it two in a row.

Sam P


  1. What a diabolical insult to Odegaard to compare him to that wastrel who spent years coasting through games, when not faking backaches.

    For me, Ozil was the single most damaging(to our team) player we have had in my many decades watching Arsenal,

    1. easily Jon. There’s a reason Arteta froze him out hard. He got one more chance, but was clearly a bad influence. Him and his entire clique booted by Mikel as fast as possible. Ever since, I feel like the team has been Arsenal again. Even during Mikel’s rough moments where I lost faith in him I knew he did the right thing getting toxic players out the dressing room. That is essential.

  2. Ozil, whilst being a talented player – supremely some might say, thought he was bigger than the club in his later, less productive years. That is why the blinking dinosaur nonsense clouded any good feelings I had for him- in amongst one or two other misgivings.

    What a nerve to think that giving dear old Gunneraurus his weekly pay (only whilst still on the payroll as a player) when the much maligned owner, but now revered one, had decided to cut the wage bill by making some employees redundant on proper financial packages. This does happen in other walks of life as well

    Odegaard seems to be a very different kettle of fish, seemingly without an obvious over reliance on social media and no other obvious signs of wonderfulness. Long may that continue, and I hope that Arteta, and any manager that follows afterwards, avoids fawning over any member of the team. I am sure Arteta learned a very strong lesson in the wake of Aubameyang’s behaviour as well

    And thank you Palace for scraping a draw!

  3. Odegaard has had a great year so far and we hope he can continue to deliver. If he continues this form through to the end of the season it will be more reasonable to compare.
    From many comments here an obvious issue is that people are comparing the later lesser Ozil with current Odegaard.
    2015/2016 Ozil was a great player, even though we could not win the league.

  4. Real Madrid Ozil is better than Odegaard.
    Arsenal Odegaard has already surpassed Arsenal Ozil though. Easily. Besides Ozil’s one season where he should’ve shattered the assist record if it weren’t for a certain Frenchman being useless for half an entire season.

  5. I love that Ode has such a strong influence in our games away from home. He’s been our top away performer on Whoscored, for a good while now.

    Every time I do a top three or a top five category Arsenal player this season …it keeps changing every couple of weeks or on a monthly basis. I can’t do it anymore, there are always players I feel don’t deserve to be left out. I’m gonna stop trying lists and instead, I’m gonna appreciate our team-play

  6. Ozil came and change arsenal back from trophless to win trophies after almost a decade, his first touch against Sunderland was an assist to giroud. Let stop bad mouthing this guy he was a king of assists in his own prime. Ozil later play with some clumsy players toward the end of is carrier in arsenal. If ozil young prime play with partey behind him and Ben Saliba Gabriel you guys would hv see the best of ozil. Ozil to me is a good baller one of the best that ever play for Arsenalfc at list he has some thing in our cabinet that make his name not to vanish for life has most fan here do

  7. Ozil pre Arsenal was fantastic, and was very good for us, but only in flashes.

    Odegaard is so consistent, that you just cannot compare the two of them. Not only does he do his main job of scoring, assisting, and controlling games, his off the ball work, especially from a defensive perspective, is amazing!

    Ozil offered absolutely nothing defensively, which obviously isn’t his game, but when he was not doing anything in the attacking third, it was like we were a man down.

  8. Ozil’s problems weren’t just his own. In his final few seasons at Arsenal, the traditional #10 role was being phased out of the modern game. Especially in the EPL, almost every team began to adopt the pressing game which made it very difficult to flourish as a #10 playmaker.

    Ozil at his prime was undoubtedly one of the best #10 in the world, but look at all the other #10 playmakers whose career also started to fade away as the tactics in modern football changed – James Rodriguez, Isco, Gotze, Mata, Coutinho, etc.

    If Ozil was born 10 years earlier, he would probably be regarded as one of the best playmakers to ever play the game.

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