Do Arsenal fans now believe that Odegaard is ‘the Real Deal’?

Is Odegaard the real deal?  by Guy
Having followed the career of Martin Odegaard since his prodigal teenage days with Real Madrid and Norway, I like many was excited when he joined on loan deal in January last season.  Although technically superb and a useful contributor to the team he was not by any means the star man over that period. Too easily brushed off the ball, reluctant to use his right foot, relatively slow, not a natural tackler or finisher – all of these weaknesses were summarised in the oft-used comment that he was a lower level luxury player who did not contribute enough to the team.
In the summer window Arteta paid just under £30 million to buy him. Some were delighted but there were a sizeable minority who disagreed – citing players such as Maddison, with a bigger goals tally (at more than twice the price) or a more defensive minded player (ESR was all we needed) as better buys. Mentioned were Neves, Bissouma and others.
Fast forward to this February. Odegaard frequently covers the most yards in the team, almost as a box to box player. He is no longer easily shoved of the ball, is not particularly slow or sluggish. He tackles well, is the fulcrum of our offensive play and has a telepathic understanding with Saka. He organises the midfield and attack as well as being Arteta’s voice on the pitch. He is poetry to watch and is the oil in our engine. He is Norway’s captain with almost 40 caps at 23 years old, and along with Saka is the key to our successful future. He is a super-talented, intelligent and conscientious player who, now that he has at last found his home, is blossoming and will only get better.
But whereas Saka is universally acknowledged as being priceless, as recently as a week ago Odegaard was still being called overrated and unproductive by some on this site. I would be interested to hear who thinks we should have spent the £30 million on another player and why, who is still undecided, and who like me is convinced that Odegaard is “the real deal”?


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  1. He’s the real deal,he really combines well with saka but not with martinelli.most times operates from the right which when an opportunity to strike arises i am sure he will nail it,i really like him he can split defence in tight spaces.

    1. Ozil was much better then compared to Odegard now.Loss of 30 Million when Ozil could have done a similar job if only he was well treated and taken good care.

      1. Absurd…Ozil, even with the German national team refused to press. He said that it interferes with his vision. It’s why Bayern Munich passed on signing him and he went to Arsenal in the first place. Great offense + bad defense = average at best

      2. Ozil became a player on his own, meaning, he became to big for his own good. MA in building, are using new material and now? All the naysayers are quiet. Odi, yes at this stage are not much better than Ozil, but, cost, time and resale value? Under MA these youngsters will be our next world beaters and then only then will some see the good in them. We so much want instant results, we

      3. How distance does Ozil cover? Does he tackle? Why not we see the truth and believe it for once?

  2. He gets my vote. A real worker and a classy player. Yes, Guy, he has found his home at The Arsenal.

    1. I watched the city game today and I know this might sound presumptuous…. but i must say Odegaard plays very much like De Bruyne. If he can keep getting the odd goals then we might just have an absolute unreal player.

  3. I think Odegaard is finally showing what he can bring to the club.

    Work rate second to none, looks to drive the attack, and has the flair we all enjoying watching from the creators.

    Once he adds goals consistently he will be unplayable. Think some expected too much from him when he joined.

    Some expected the magic Santi used to deliver, plus the late runs Ramsey used to make, while being the creator like Ozil when he first joined.

    Personally he is doing fantastic being both a CAM and CM at the same time, like Partey playing DM and CM simultaneously.

    It’s not easy playing 2 roles at the same time in this system, and easy to see why midfielders struggle to be consistent.

    I think Odegaard will be one of our best players in this squad, and my only concern is that the team may depend on one player too much to create and drive the team.

    Last year Saka seemingly had to defend, create, transition, and score for the team to do well, everything went through him.

    I’m concerned that everything is now going through Odegaard, and if his form deeps, so may our team. Partey is growing in influence, but we need the midfield as a unit to do more, rather than rely on just Odegaard.

    Just my take on things, my humble opinion.

  4. Martin over Madison all day. He was already technically gifted,but he just added grit and passion to his game. I see the reason why he’s starting over EMR.

  5. I think Arsenal are reverting to a time where they recruited players with the right sort of work ethic that could fit into a basic but functional playing side. Wenger, with the aid of David Dein and the scouting staff identified players of little note such as Vieria, Petit, Ljunberg et al. Players with no big reputation, no big price tag and manage to construct a team playing style that suited their own individual talents. Which collectively, brought success to our club. I think in Oedegard and other players, Arsenal are doing that again. We’re willing to go back to basics and assemble a team of non superstars but, who have that superstar potential.

    I don’t read or hear much with regards to arsenal from the general sporting media and would hazard a guess that they might still, be poo pooing Arsenal and many of their players. I think that by going back to basics and unearthing hidden talents and improve them individually and collectively. Taking time to give up short term success, for long term progression is the way to go.

    Oedegard is definitely one for the future and could really excel Arsenal. Most teams want to assemble an instantaneous Galácticos, should buying power be of little consequence. Arsenal are taking their time identifying and planning long term, and Oedegard is an example of that strategy.

    Whilst he is a talent and still has qualities that can be improved with a good coaching staff around him. He will only excel as long as he can fit into a ‘Team’ not become the ‘Team’. He seems quite humble and willing to be part of a ‘project’ rather than a show pony in a footballing circus!

    I hope that unlike many others Nasri, Van Persí, Hleb, Adebayor, Clichy etc . He doesn’t overlook what Arsenal can do for him in the long term and get attracted by the lights and glitter of the traveling football circus.

    We have a group of humbled players right now. All willing to accept the ridicule of playing for arsenal in its present form and willing to put in the hard work for collective success which will them lead to individual success. Not a team of egos that require ‘bought’ success.

    Oedegard appears to me to be that type of player! I hope that as long as Arsenal are able to expose his talents. He doesn’t end up thinking the reverse and that he was was the catalyst of Arsenal’s success !

    1. 👍 Develop an “esprit to couer” at Arsenal by bringing players through the Academy augmented by players with the right skill set, potential and character. This is how the Arsenal achieved success in the past.

    2. Nice comments Dan. There is so much to be gained from recruiting the right young players – loyalty, humility, hunger, camaraderie, longevity, eagerness and ability to learn, huge cost savings. All you need is patience, a good scouting and recruiting policy, and an excellent coach.
      Despite his high profile, Ode remains humble and grounded like the rest of our recent recruits. He has had the publicity and bright lights already and been unaffected and I think relatively unimpressed – all he wants is to play regularly, keep improving under a good coach, call a club home at last, and help bring that club success. Although he takes responsibility in his stride, superstardom is not a pre-requisite for him, and like the afore-mentioned Bergkamp, I can’t see other clubs turning his head. I honestly think that he feels he is home now.

  6. I was happy when he signed for us but would lying if I thought he would be this good this soon. Given the position he plays and his apparent understanding with Arteta, I expect him to be captain next year.

  7. Maybe wait till we see him
    Against proper teams not some relegation candidates,yes he played well today but FFS a whole article telling us what we already knew
    We all know that he looks fantastic on the ball (we didn’t need to know from the article poster that he as watched him from the early days ) (a lot of us had )
    What some fans know is that he won’t ever get that time and space against the big boys ,yes he’s done well the last few months but we have had a really easy run .
    For me we Could have got a lot better but ATM he’s living upto his transfer fee just .

    Reading who wrote this though doesn’t surprise me why he felt the need to even put ink to paper .
    Way overboard praise .
    Obviously just my opinion

    1. agreed DK, which is why I posted the following remarks on an earlier article thread:

      I’ll preface my comment by simply stating that there’s no doubt that Ode was our best player on the pitch today, but this shouldn’t come as such a big shock considering the rather underwhelming opposition…we’ve seen this before though, when given some space/time and when he’s afforded the luxury of carving out a more direct path, he can put his stamp on things, but I’ll reserve judgement until he “shows out” in a similar fashion against much more notable opposition

      for those who’re a little too quick with their anointing of this player, heed the words of your similarly prematurely adorned manager, who said this in regards to Ode, “he needs to create more goals, he needs to score more goals, he needs to make more runs in behind, he needs to be closer to the strikers to give them support (and) he needs to score more free kicks”…to be fair, he did some of those very things today, but that hasn’t been the case against the higher end squads


    2. Dan remember Odegaard was in the team when we last played Man City on New years day some said it was the best they had ever seen Arsenal played, maybe I need to look back on that game

    3. It also doesn’t surprise me Dan kit, that such a comment was posted by you. Strange for you to bother to write such a long rebuttal of an article that in your “realist’s” view was not worth writing in the first place. But then again, disagreeing with all positive comments at all made about Arsenal has always been your metier.
      And no ink, no paper used.
      Unnecessarily vindictive reply, but not for the first time.
      Possibly just my opinion. But I doubt it.

      1. Well-done for the article well written.
        As for all those masquerades here, they condemn us real fans for being too quick in praising and acknowledging our team and players, but they themselves have already condemned them ( whether they do well or not). They don’t give credit to the Manager or the players for winning matches other top contenders falter in. Their excuse always is that our competitors are inconsistent, instead of admitting the truth that the league is tough, and only the tough ones are scraping through. This is just pathetic.

        1. Well said
          There have been times when it hasn’t been great so I’m more than happy to be happy when results go our way. There is a collective resolve on display at present. All for one and one for all.

      2. 👍👍👍 Guy.

        We are moving in the right direction and the project isn’t finished. Our young squad will get better and new players will be added.

        From my point of view we haven’t been in a better position for several years, and there’s more to come 🔴⚪️

    4. Dan if I remember correctly odegard was one of our best player against man city on new year’s day, and please stop all this big boys you keep saying, this same Watford gained 4points from United. I know you don’t rate him but please let those of us that do praise him. HAPPY NEW WEEK

    5. stop 🛑 hating on our players and stop contributing if you don’t have any sensible words to say….

      1. Where is the hating ,open you’re eyes and read what I wrote,instead of jumping on the bandwagon buddy ,just take alittle time to digest .
        It’s not hard .

  8. The usual suspects in the two posts immediately above mine, who keep their closed eyes tightly shut to ALL the many improvements MA has brought to our club. Odegaard being simply the latest one rightly recognised by those of us with OPEN eyes.

    It is interesting though that even those blinkered posters with their utter refusal to ever utter anything positive or exciting about this fast emerging team, are subtle in starting to alter their constant negativity, JUST enough to allow for their own late possible dawning of the bright sunlit uplands that we SUPPORTERS, not merely grudging fans, have seen for some considerable time already.

    1. We give credit where credit is due and yes Arteta have made improvement. We are only playing premier league til seasons end and the only real trophy at hand is 4th place or as some say top 6. Ode played well today and he is good. What we need is consistency to do it week in week out. Come next season will arsenal revert with there sluggish passing and predictable game play under arteta. Who knows. However if the team continue to win and improve even beyond today and this season then arteta will have my backing. At present I’m still to be convinced wholeheartedly. Til then where ever arsenal finish this season happy for them. More consistency needed from Arteta,Ode and team. But as I said hope arteta do succeed. If he succeed then arsenal succeed.

      1. I understand your point entirely.

        There is, however, no divine right to win the league. How long has it been since we did? Look at how few clubs actually have. How many truly top managers are there? Those few tend to be cherry picked by the top clubs in the CL.
        Considering that our best ever manager failed in the end to deliver top4 and his successor couldn’t either then the 2 testing years that have followed under Arteta’s apprenticeship and now beginning to bear fruit are very welcome. It may just be all down to the teams around us being cr*p but if we do finish 4th it means that we were slightly less cr*p than them and that Arteta is doing better than all that managerial experience below him. He may be a one or two season wonder going forward but I’m not going to pillory him until that time comes. The apprentice is no longer.

    2. I know a masquerade when I see one (there are lots of them on this forum).
      They are trying very hard to give us the impression that they are Arsenal fans. But they are simply masquerades, Mr Jon Fox.

    3. Spot on John…..they’re hoping We loss soon so they can bring out all the negative against MA….pathetic

  9. Those who slated Arsenal for not signing Buendia should put their heads in shame.

    Is Buendia even part of the Villa 1st team?

  10. not surprised whatsoever JF that you would crawl out from under your rock to offer up your 2 cents worth…Gunsmoke’s comment was a perfect example of the incessant need by your ilk to “cherry-pick” stats to bolster your agenda of the day, regardless of there relevancy in the grand scheme of things…the issue at hand was if Ode could provide such performances on a regular basis, especially against teams of some merit…the fact that in over a year’s worth of opportunities against top sides he could “kind of” point to one performance against City speaks volumes…furthermore, if you had read my comment I gave Ode credit for his efforts today, but I doubt that the “facts” matter to you at this juncture of your personal crusade

    1. I dont agree with everything you say TRVL but in all of your post but i see know problem with that as you dont revert to bullying and insults, when you give your opinion. Thats called respect. There are some individuals on here who i dont respect what they say at all because of their loutish jibes rather than debate or banter. Only a few, as most on here like to debate opinion and make it a good site.

  11. I’m with you Jon on this. It looks like those two individuals you just mentioned are refusing to see the improvement of our young team. I have noticed their unwillingness to see anything positive about the manager and the players. I thought their hatred was only geared towards the manager and Xhaka, but little did I know it was Martin as well. “the manager is a rookie, the players are headless chickens”! These are some of the words I see their comments most of the time.
    Even the pundits on BBC sports and Sky sports are praising the young guns. They’re even rooting for arsenal to finish in top 4.

    1. quite a disingenuous account of what was on offer by those two individuals…talk about an “unwillingness to see anything positive”…how apropos for someone who identifies themselves as a “soccer boy”

  12. Since the start of the new year Odergaard has really improved and doesn’t get shoved off the ball quite so much now. It will be interesting to see how he performs against Liverpool because the times we have played them he has hidden. I expect a lot more from him now and it will be a good gauge to see if he can step up for us in bigger games.

    1. You mean the team went missing against Liverpool not just one player. I know I should not bite, but no wonder you get savaged by you silly comments………

      1. DOH!!!!!! didn’t know i did. Unless you mean by you but i dont even know who you are, quite new aren’t you. And i wasn’t talking about the team, the article was about Odergaard. DOH!

  13. Clearly this win was down to Odegaard driving the team forward. I’ll be a believer when I see him doing this more often especially against the top teams and not just Watford. Batman,( John Fox), and Robin (Soccer Boy), are demonstrating their usual narrow minded lack of foresight.

  14. With regard to Martin Odegaard, “class is permanent”. Real Madrid recognised it, but were unable to develop the player to a level they required in their judgement. Odegaard was loaned out to various clubs, became a nomad and was unable to establish himself at a club, under consistent management and a system of play.
    Now he has hopefully found a home at the Arsenal and is surrounded by young players, similarly on the rise with careers to develop. To persevere shows character, something which he must have to captain his Country Norway at 23 years of age.
    Martin Odegaard is on his way to prove his transfer fee of £30 million was money very well spent.

  15. I can see see the two negative guys point of view. They are entitled to it just like everyone else. It’s a personality 5hing. We choose whether to sip from a half empty glass or a half full glass, whatever… I really hope you 2 find some joy
    in life. Ode is an awesome player and. At Arsenal he has been given the opportunity to display his class and will continue to thrive. Credit to recruitment and managerial staff. We are heading in the right direction. Our team is young. We have time. It was always about time and patience, hence why we are investing in youth. Some people.e are just sad sacks that only focus on weaknesses not strengths. They would have also criticised the Invincibles for drawing too many games.
    Gunner Forever.

    1. very well-balanced response “positive” guy…I’m assuming “see see” is the functional equivalent of two positives make a negative…it’s interesting that you would suggest it’s “always about time and patience”, yet when someone states that they will take a similar perspective when it comes to their evaluation of a particular player, you refer to them as “sad sacks” and even imply that they must live a joyless existence…catch you on the flipside Mr. Pot

    2. Agree with your assessment of odegaard even last season when his future was unclear it was clear that he had qualities missing from other parts of the team … the improvement at the back has allowed him this season to be a more forward looking player and that shows in performances with partey looking ahead for him and him linking with saka … the left side is different where xhaka continues to stunt our forward play … if we can find the right kind of striker then he could become an even more decisive player … the half full half empty glass metaphor tells us nothing of course .. if we are to progress as a team a full glass is essential !!

  16. All the fans can have the same opinion on a player. Need less to drag it with anyone who feels Ode doesn’t do it for him or her. I love Ode and what he brings to the table. He is different and gives us that penetrative middle pass which the team missed last season as we became too sideways and always crossing the ball.
    With Ode in the team, it can only get better. We ain’t there yet but I think we are better than what we used to be. And the table confirms that.

  17. Yes, Ødegaard will be better for us than Ôzil.
    In a way he is Özil with the add-on of defensive work rate.

    1. I agree, Özil was very much a one-way player, but that was before August 2018.

      It would have been perfect with Erling Braut in our team as well. I’m sure Ødegaard can convince his friend to sign 😉

  18. If you have been watching arsenal this season stall you would understand a lot of things, arsenal has been unlocking new levelsvto their performance first after the man city game we lost 5 nil, second against crystal palace we drew 2 2, all these times arsenal were improving as a team as by this time odegaard was even starting from the bench then we unblocked another level when we lost to both man u and eve but just before those loss odegaard started finding his feet and after those losses arsenal found a new level and since then both odegaard and arsenal have been phenomenal….. You kept saying he should do it against the top boys and I stand here to tell you that he will as long as the team in whole can perform against the top boys .you can’t see it now but the level arsenal play now is almost the same level Liverpool play.

  19. I said he was a star the day he arrived on loan just needed a home to play his football, when he was supposed to go back to Madrid and even said so himself he was going to give it go in Spain I was gutted. When we actually bought him for £30m I was delighted, on here I have said this multiple times on posts he is the real deal.

    Now fast forward 6months he is shining and taking the burden off Saka, as is Smithrowe. Øde has been gliding seamlessly through the games the last 3months and has that quality that Mesut has but with the high press & Strength to go with it.

    He’s 23 in the Premier league, basically here 1year and is showing why he was dubbed the superstar when he as 16 signing for Madrid. We will reap the rewards as he is soon to be one of our Captains for next season.

    OT. Who else thinks Laca deserves a new 2year deal on the same wage? I really think losing him will effect the boys play as he is the guy that makes it all tick offensively to let these young guns shine. If we get UCL it’s a mo brained to keep Laca. He may not be scoring but his build up play and assists are pretty damn good.

    1. Sean – I think I even remember your comment at the time he came on loan. There were a few of us getting (probably over-)excited about him. A little inconsistent while on loan, but that was understandable. Played often too deep at the start of the season, but has skyrocketed further forward alongside Saka since February. I forget the precise figures but Arsenal have scored at something like 3 times the goals per game when he starts against games when he hasn’t.

      1. Odegaard just needed the stability and surety that a permanent transfer to the Arsenal brought to develop and thrive.

  20. I must be truthful that I did not rate him highly during his loan season with us. The fact being, he was slow, would not track back if and when required, did not use his right foot often and was lacking in overall creativity. However, hats off to MA for first getting his man on a permanent signing and than developing him to such an extent that he is now the fulcrum of Arsenal, the link between midfield and attack, goes forward and tracks back, found his creative touch and is a leader on the pitch. He seems to have found his lost mojo back and is more stable now, since he has now found a permanent home. Great future for him at Arsenal.

  21. I really don’t know why people are so bitter about the guys. Can people ever see improvement in people or be positive? If Odegaard can perform well in 25 games out of probably 35 he plays of the 38 of the season, he would have given us a good return.
    Thankfully, we have other players that can step up and give us something different when required.
    If Martin Odegaard gives us 10goals and 15assists a season in subsequent years, some will complain and say he should have doubled the figures.
    Most of his haters must be those who wanted Emi Beundia or Houseem Auorar or something.
    He’s happy, he’s improving, he’s starting to deliver, he will even get better and deliver more. Be happy for us please.

  22. Ode is developing nicely and was outstanding yesterday but he needs to add something to his game

    He needs to have a chat with his mate Erling and convince him to have his kickabouts with him at Ashburton Grove next season

    1. 👍 Plus the Kroenkes to back up Odegaard’s approach to his best mate Haarland with the required funding for him to join “the Arsenal project”.

  23. I think Ode has been terrific for us this season.. Yes he reminds us all of Mesut Ozil, but I think the comparison with Ozil is a bit hasty…

    At 23 Ozil was a world beater.. Atleast he got into a similarly competitive Madrid team where Ode couldn’t.. And I don’t think Ozil was always that lazy when he played under Mourihno at Madrid… One doesn’t get liked and praised by Mourinho if u are a lazy type.. I feel he was less motivated coupled with our poor system and personnels he had to work with.

    I believe Ode can be better but for now even with his added work rate which am not surprised cos he is still young and energetic.. He is not close to Ozil at all… though I recognize he has the abilities to be even better

    My opinion

    1. Good comments Buddy – Ozil appears very much to be a “mood” player. He can start like a train but enthusiasm for tracking back ultimately drops off. If you have the luxury of 10 other runners in a great team he will hang in there. I’ve read that he was sold cheap and quick by Real for two reasons – high wage demands and flat refusal to work harder. Of course offensively Ode can’t do yet what Ozil could, but in every other respect he is already an upgrade.

  24. You are right Buddy, Ode is not as good as Ozil was but he doesn’t have to be, he needs to keep on developing and improving and be the best version of Martin Odegaard he can be, let’s see where that takes him, for himself and hopefully for Arsenal

    We fans do it all the time don’t we, the new Vieira, Henry, Adams etc, it’s natural for football fans to do that, to make those comparisons, want players now to be like the great players we remember but it’s rarely the case in reality

    Apart from the “Romford Pele” obviously

    Happy Birthday Ray

    1. He must be in his 70’s already! Love his radio comments.
      Ditto – Have a great day Mr Parlour, and we all expect an invite for next year’s big one!

  25. Martin’s the reason I fell in love with Real Sociedad. Once I heard he was coming on loan I felt the gaffer(Mikel) would only convince me of his tactical ability if he made sure to make the loan a permanent transfer.
    Most fans really don’t know how great a talent we have got in Martin.

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