Martin Odegaard certainly proved he was a real captain against Fulham

Captain Odegaard leads by example  by Dan Smith

In the summer I expressed my surprise that Martin Odegaard was named our new captain.

I hadn’t seen that many performances in high pressure situations that really stood out from the player, nor did he come across the most vocal. Amazon’s All or Nothing Series confirmed as much, the loudest voices being Xhaka and Ramsdale in the dressing room.

Being a great skipper though isn’t defined by how much you shout and throw things around, you can simply lead by example.

Against Fulham the Norwegian produced arguably his greatest performance in an Arsenal shirt.

There were a lot of examples this weekend of why realistically we won’t put up a title challenge.

Gabriel made a mistake which (whisper it quietly) he makes too many of while Eddie Nketiah again demonstrated that we would be in trouble if Jesus suffered a serious injury. Now on 100,000 pound a week, the striker can no longer get away with his heavy touches and lack of reactionary skills.

Jesus got too distracted in his verbal feud with Mitrovic while Saka was guilty of overplaying.

Odegaard realised his side was in trouble and constantly demanded the ball. His control in tight areas and ability to move his feet so quickly has always been evident. That’s why he had such a reputation as a teenager. What’s prevented him from ever fulfilling his potential is his decision making in the final third, often scared to shoot from long range.

Yet against Fulham he was getting better the longer the match went on. He got lucky with a deflection that led to his equalizer, but that should encourage him to shoot from long range more often. If you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win a raffle –  and all that.

Moments later he produced a chipped pass to perfection that other forwards would have hit first time. Even when winning 2-1, he charged back and got his body in the way, again setting the standards to his peers.

He was pictured encouraging the Emirates to be louder and at full time was demanding his teammates acknowledge the crowd.

We missed out on the top 4 last season due to weak mentality, the consequence of having the youngest squad in the division.

The only way that will improve is moments like this weekend. Our players can use this experience to help them the next time they find themselves chasing a game, and will have enhanced belief that they can get over the line.

The next challenge is for the 23-year-old to do it consistently but as far as the Fulham game goes; he truly did lead by example.

Be Kind in The Comments

Dan Smith


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Tags Martin Odegaard


  1. No body is above mistake it’s how you respond after, that matters. no team that has ever won at the highest levels did so without a moment of madness or complacency. This is why a team is a team, not an individual.

    I disagree with you on Nketia, he did tried his best today and will get even better.

    Deflection or not, something must lead to the goal. Odeg. Got himself in the position to take the chance, therefore it wasn’t luck.

    Dan, No team is perfect, yet they get results like we did today, like Man City has been doing recently. Would you say Man City will not win the league as they have been coming from behind?

    A win is a win, all I care about is the win, the energy and the response to come back into the game almost immediately.

    Great team performances today keep up with the win boyz

    1. As we celebrate this recent progress let us be reminded that, it not going to be all sweet like this. I hope we will also aploud the team when they lose after all its not like we will go unbeaten this season

    1. Well, well Od really looked refreshed and quite awake of what was happening on the pitch. I must say impressed me a lot in a longtime as he reminded me of the imperious Arsenal of old aka The Invincible. But one game @ a time and we can go players. No talk of tittle challenges please lest you put the players under pressure. As for Gabriel M he has this tendency of losing concentration a bit.

  2. Man City might eventually have problem scoring goals and winning game say halaand get injured.

    Seems Pep want to try out using an out and out striker system this time.

  3. Well done Odie another great game from my caprain. And i also thought Nketia deserves some praise, his touch wasnt always perfect but he got into a lot of great positions and a reckon we may not have won without his cameo. Give him more consistant minutes at end of games and he will improve further

  4. Despite your opinion on Nketiah,it was his introduction that upped the tempo & drove us forward.On another day he might have had 2 goals.The same with Jesus.
    As for their manager.Glad he was gutted that they didn’t NICK an underserved draw.Salty just like Richard” dick” Keys.Love to see it.

    1. Problem I find with Eddie is it’s always on another day with Eddie
      On another day his sloppiness will cost us
      I’m worried if anything happens to Jesus

      1. Nketiah should be doing more at this point. Seems to be always the same with him
        “Another day he finishes that chance”
        “Next time he’ll score”
        “Bad touch /dribble, next time tho”

        Meanwhile 4 years have passed and still the same old song with him.

        “He needs more game time” some will say, but you have to be productive to get that time, which is the cyclical issue.

        I agree I’d Jesus gets injured I’m not sure Edie can step it up for a prolonged period. He runs and presses, but we need a striker that scores.

        1. I think Nketia tries too hard and unnecessarily puts himself under pressure than be himself and at times makes rushed decisions but his energy & athleticism, wow, we need that. For him it is a matter of coaching and he will come good. Was always worried that Fullham could stretch us in terms of defending.

  5. No “arguably” about it, yesterday was undoubtedly Odegaard’s finest performance in an Arsenal shirt.Like others, I thought Nketiah did very well when he came on, to the extent that he should start against Villa at the expense of Saka or Martinelli.I have never been entirely sold on Gabriel as his errors are so calamitous that they invariably lead to goals.However, to be fair to the guy, he has been very solid until yesterday and hopefully he will respond well against Villa.Competition for his position in central defence is fierce, as White, Tomi and Holding are all capable in that area.There seems to be a perception that the left sided CB must be left footed,but this argument is totally flawed, as virtually all the great CB partnerships of the past have consisted of two right footers.

    1. Agree Grandad, i thought it was Odergaards best performance in an Arsenal shirt. I am waiting for a while to see how his captaincy pans out a bit. He isnt my type of captain but in this era people have different perceptions on what a captain should do. If we smash into top 4 who can argue.

    2. I would say Nketiah should play at the expense of Saka, Grandad. He seems to have lost his mojo. It’s almost as if our right wingers (if you include Pepe) are cursed with losing skill and self belief!

    3. Grandad
      I think you make an interesting point.
      Perhaps Nketiah should start against Villa and Saka start from the bench.

      Saka looks tired, distracted, or something other than in form. He’s been a player the club leaned on past 2 years; tough ask for a 20 year old.

      I think you are right Saka needs to sit a game out. Martinelli so far still has 2 goals and an edge to him at least, sharper than Saka.

      1. I only liked Fabregas’ performance when he was just promoted. He was so energetic, before his work rate gradually dissipate

  6. Odegaard has really started coming into his own, and it is beautiful to watch. I am such a fan of this kid, and I hope he remains on top his game AND Arsenal captain for years to come. He is only young!

    @Dan … Mate, this could have been a joyful article about Odegaard … and you ruined it with your insistence on higighting what you see as Arsenal’s shortcomings.
    I begin to see why you rile the comments section up so much!

    Maybe we won’t win the title this season. Why though do you feel the need to harp about it in every post?

    Let us enjoy the win, mate. Try to enjoy it yourself.
    And if we lose the next one … or the one after, we shall commiserate and then continue to support our beautiful club.

    P.S. I think you fail to see Nketiah’s potential … or perhaps refuse to see it.

    P.P.S. Yes, Gabriel makes the odd mistake but he has also helped transform our defense. All CBs in the world have the odd howler in them … including Van Dijk, Konate, Gomez, Matip, Dias, Stones, Ake, and Laporte.
    Those are your two title-win-capable defenses by the way.

    1. Not really mate , it’s more of a reflection on world we live in
      I see this as a positive article
      If you can’t cope with someone writing we won’t win the title this season that’s your issue

      It’s up to Eddie to prove me wrong isnt it ?
      I don’t get your final comparison mate
      Your comparing Gabriel to VVD because he’s also makes errors ?

      1. It’s not that I can’t cope with it … it’s that it seems this is your argument in every piece you write.
        What I tried to say to you is: I know the chances of us winning the title this season are slim. Probably every Gunner knows it in their heart.
        But also, because of the world we live in and given the present circumstances, what’s the harm in revelling when we win? It brings us a little joy of a weekend when the club we all love performs well.
        Perhaps, in these moments of joy, your constant reality checks are not necessary?
        ‘Live in the moment.’

        I would have thought Eddie proved you wrong when he scored 5 goals in 8 games at the backend of last season. Before Fulham, he had played what … 15 minutes all told in 3 games as a late sub?
        But … that is your opinion, and fair enough. Maybe you’ll come to like him, or maybe he wont fulfill his potential and I’ll admit he doesnt belong at Arsenal.

        I didn’t compare Gabriel to VVD. I said all defenders and defensive units are prone to mistakes. It doesn’t mean the team won’t win titles. Usually, it’s the team who makes the fewest mistakes during a season, and then gets lucky with ref decisions, VAR calls, deflections, injuries, and so on.

        1. Mate I’m buzzing we won
          I just dont see what I wrote as negative
          Saying we won’t in title is simply I dont see as negative , it’s an obvious statement
          As for Eddie , what’s wrong if I simply think if Jesus got injured he’s not at the level we need ?
          This happend last Jan when I said I was worried we were weakening the sqaud , not replacing Auba , that Lacca and Eddie were not good enough
          I was called all kinds and ….was right
          So what’s wrong with me giving my opinion now ?
          Think what I said , Arsenal won’t win title and Eddie isn’t good enough
          Are they actually that negative or outrageous ?

          1. @Dan I don’t think saying it’s obvious that arsenal won’t win the league is a wrong mentality cuz no one can predict the future..

            We are top of the league with a perfect record , so we have to believe and pass that energy to the team..

            We are the Arsenal and should be gunning for titles which sets us apart for our underachieving noisy neighbours..

            After all Leicester won the league, so we can and will..that’s my mindset for the season

            1. Mine isn’t lol
              Mine Is let’s focus on top 4 and build from there
              Brighton technically could win title ….
              they won’t
              Havnt quite got the players to challenge City , certainly not the squad
              I agree we are the Arsenal and that should be our standards hence why I been negative since we started finishing outside top 4
              Would love us in next few days to sign another striker and DM
              Just worried if there were injuries to Jesus or in Cm

  7. Well done to Odegaard. With Jesus and Mitrovic, Jesus should not get involved arguing with opponents if they give a tackle he maybe should get up after he’s been fouled his mind on his on the game focus on what he going to next put the ball in the net to me that is only way to punish the opponent who fouls him. It will save him from getting yellow cards.the same goes for all their players. Wasting your time giving out to the referee.

  8. what game were you watching writing that Saka was overplaying, what I saw was a very selfless player that was fleetfooted with quick exchanges of passes with teammates one of which was the quick pass to ode that resulted into the goal, if he was overplaying he would have taken a blind shot that probably would have been blocked, since he is yet to sparkle this season I suspect that a lot of us fans have shifted our toxic arrows from xhaka and are taking aim at Saka, I say to them return them to your bows because the last time I checked we are topping the premier league table

  9. Nketiah changed the tempo of our game with his pace and positional play. He deserves credit and we will be okay without Jesus cos all our goals are not through him alone. Big ups Eddie!

  10. Our boys really made us proud Gab.shld be trained to be more faster when holding on to the ball his slow decision making almost cost us the match many more to come victory victory all the way

    1. DS
      I don’t think you are wrong on saying we won’t win the title but If we keep progressing as a team, squad and club as be have been then it wouldn’t be silly of us to be in a position come the end of the season to dream the dream and be challenging for a shot of the crown
      As for Gabriel. Will take him all day. ong against current prem defender, past defenders we have had in the past
      Still young, still learning and will be prone to small and big mistakes that might be costly but not many will go up the other end a bag a goal
      SALIBA is far a better defender and.player but the 2 together will grow in to a formidable defensive unit
      ONWARDS AND OOP’S 🤭upwards
      Holding top spot for now

      1. Mate I meant winning the title this season
        I agree we are potentially building something great
        We finish top 4 will say job well done Arteta

  11. . when he scored, he went to Gabriel and had a gesture like « your mistake has been cancelled, forget about it! »
    . When Jesus got involved in physical arguments with Paulinha, he immediately pulled him out and told him to calm down.
    This is the behaviour of a great captain.

  12. Is winning the title not a top four finish? Dont understand the obsession and emotional attachment to top four. Lets aim for the sky. No harm missing it

  13. Really a great example of a Captain. He doesnt say much but his actions on the ground speak for themselves. We are truly lucky to have him in our team and as our Captain.

  14. The young Arsenal Captain on Saturday afternoon change the mentality of his troops and made them believe that the game is winnable. Thank you, young lad, do not stop.

  15. The team atm are doing well. But we must know this won’t continue without depth in squad. The need to buy another DM and wide player cannot be over stretched. Saka needs protection from imminent injury. He need rest. Ofcourse, we know we need a cover for Partey. Nketia tried but need to step up his game. The overall problem with our attacking players is that they shoot when they supposed to pass the ball and passes the ball when they ought to have shot. One touch too many. Coaches should work on this. The season is still fresh. We a enough time to put all these right.

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