Martin Odegaard named as Norway captain at just 22 years-old

In an interesting development yesterday, the new Norwegian national team coach Ståle Solbakken has named his first squad, and also broke the news that he has chosen the on-loan Arsenal midfielder Martin Ødegaard as Norway’s new captain to replace the 31 year-old Stefan Johansen.

It would seem a surprise that someone so young is picked as the leader, but despite his age, Odegaard already has 25 caps to his name and is obviously very respected by his countrymen.

Norway have upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Gibraltar (March 24), Turkey (March 27 in Spain) and Montenegro (March 30) and Odegaard is always one of the first names on the teamsheet, and Stolbakken explained that he spoke to all the members of his staff before deciding on his new captain.

“He was chosen by me after a review with the support staff and coaches, and then there was a feeling I had after conversations with players. We think Martin has lived a long life already in European football.” Solbakken said.

Odegaard was very happy to hear the news, and said: “It is big. Being captain of Norway is one of the absolute greatest things you can experience.”

“It’s sad with Stefan giving up. We’ll miss him. He has been a great captain both on and off the field.

“If Ståle has chosen me in that role, it is because he feels that I am doing something right. It comes with an extra responsibility both on and off the field. I’m ready to take that.”

Odegaard received many tributes on the announcement, and the Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer was very clear on his view. “A fantastic guy who really deserves the captaincy role.” he told VG.

The Norway keeper Rune Jarstein also praised the youngster. “Martin is a fantastic player and boy, always gives 100 percent and is very well liked in the group. Top choice.” is the verdict from goalkeeper Rune Jarstein.

“He has shown that he has an ability to be a team player on and off the field, and he has a strong character – and he has all the prerequisites to become a good captain for Norway.”

This is surely good news that Odegaard is mature enough to be so highly-rated by his international team-mates. He certainly seems to be hndling the switch to the Premier League so far.

Long may it continue…

8 Comments

  1. RFrancis says:

    After scoring his first goal for us…now Captain for his national team! Another 10M, at least, added to his market value. RM should be very happy. We should ask them for a better deal on Dani Ceballos.

    1. PJ-SA says:

      Please no, Cellabos can go back. We’ll never make top 4 with Cellabos playing regularly.

  2. Abie says:

    Conguratulation Martin
    wishing you the best is what l can say now

  3. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

    Congrats to Ode, but I can’t see why this would make sense as he doesn’t seem very vocal on the pitch and he certainly doesn’t have the aggressive traits of an old school “leader by example” type…likely just a savvy move by a manager hoping to hitch his wagon to the next generation of Norwegian players…regardless, it matters little except that Madrid will surely use this as another point of leverage when it comes time to sell him off, which is somewhat problematic for any potential suitors as he’s already being overvalued by Real

    1. ozziegunner says:

      TRVL, would you really expect a player to be very vocal on the field at a new club? Surely one has to develop credibility with your team mates, before you start yelling on the field.
      Obviously others with more knowledge of Odegaard’s capabilities see leadership and other positive traits that you don’t at the moment.
      One thing Arsenal lacks at the moment is n field leadership. Aubameyang isn’t the answer. The elevation of Odegaard may spur Arsenal into looking at Tierney should he be able to stay fit and have a prolonged run of games.

      1. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

        I certainly wasn’t basing my critique solely on his brief time in North London, as I watched many of his performances at Sociedad…he’s clearly a player that has some skills on the ball, but he’s certainly doesn’t like to stick his foot in when it’s a 50/50 proposition, which is why I said he doesn’t appear to possess those old school traits

        as for his vocal presence on the field, I only noticed one time, in all the games that I watched, when he even said boo on the pitch…I could be wrong and he could be far less subdued in the locker room and on the training ground, but from what I’ve seen personally this seems more like a marriage of convenience that simply allows them to both solidify their roles on an international squad that’s hoping to turn the page

        as for our present squad, I would rather us wait until at least the start of next season before revisiting this issue, as I feel the whole captaincy gig was sadly devalued during the latter Wenger years, for a variety of reasons of which I’m sure you’re well-aware of…hopefully by that time we will have rid ourselves of several veteran players who have undeservedly worn that armband during their respective tenures at the club, like Xhaka and Luiz, which should make the process more pragmatic and less political

    2. John Ibrahim says:

      Due to Covid, their large debt and funding to sign Mbappe, Pogba and etc…

      Madrid will be offloading a number of players including Cabellos, Ramos, Kroos and a few others

    3. Lenohappy says:

      That’s the issue with some arsenal fans, they believe because aubamayang doesn’t shout on the pitch it means he’s a bad captain. Being a leader means more than shouting on the pitch.

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