Was the Porto win Odegaard’s best ever performance for Arsenal?

Amazon’s All or Nothing Documentary showed that Xhaka was one of the few vocal members of the Arsenal dressing room, so it is no surprise that I worried in the summer that a young squad already short of mental strength were losing one of the few big characters they had.

It’s why I questioned Odegaard’s suitability to be captain. Not a reflection on the player but the club at the time, that the armband would be handed to someone just a season after joining us full time.

Since then, the 25-year-old has simply led by example, his actions speaking a thousand words.

That’s what makes Tuesday one of his best performances. In both legs Porto controlled the tie, having a clear game plan which we allowed them to exploit. The predicted bombardment on their goal never materialized and in truth some players went missing. Worrying for the run in as every game will now have this kind of intense pressure.

Yet our skipper took us by the palm of his hand and led us to the last eight. He took control of a tense situation and controlled everything. Wanting more atmosphere from Gooners? Odegaard!

Pressing the keeper? …. Odegaard!

Taking set pieces when Saka was struggling with his delivery?……Odegaard!

Taking our first spot kick? ……Odegaard!

Bravery can be confused for physicality or tackling.

Bravery is actually what the Norwegian did.

Do you demand the ball when others shy away from possession?

Do you have the gumption to play the risky ball while your peers play the safe pass?

Do you fear making a mistake?

Do you use your imagination while others freeze?

Can you still be creative while others lack composure?

Despite the pressure or the occasion, do you believe you have the talent to be the difference?

That’s what happened this week, the midfielder demanded the ball, didn’t play the safe option, relying on his vision to sport the run of Trossard, the reward for believing he had the ability to break down Porto’s defence.

He spent the rest of the evening, chasing the ball while teammates were tiring, being the Emirates cheerleaders when the crowd got nervous, was positive when others body language wasn’t … he even won the coin toss for the first ever shoot out at our ground in the history of the Champions League!

He then took our first spot kick to show the rest how it was done.

Was that Odegaard’s best performance yet for Arsenal?


Life is good for us Arsenal fans right nowCheck out DublinArsenal’s latest podcast – ARSENAL BACK ON TOP!
Do you want to read our whole collection of history articles? Check out our Just Arsenal History section

CALLING ALL ARSENAL FANS! Anyone who would like to contribute an Article or Video opinion piece on JustArsenal, please contact us through this link

Tags Arsenal v Porto odegaard


  1. The Porto win is certainly one of Odegaard best performances, he seems to be moving from strength to strength, hand picked by the gaffer he has made tremendous progress in North London.

  2. Yes. Maybe one could mention some games where he was better as a player, but as a captain? This match was it!

  3. Had he not missed one open goal then this would have his most significant performance for Arsenal and much less nail biting for us during the match. Other than that after 90mims of play he was the only one running and pressing with energy while others looked tired and jaded, Saka almost stopped playing by then. So we have to appreciate his mentality and energy.

  4. For me the match cemented him as our captain. The leadership he displayed on the pitch was the most significant thing for me.

    Demanding the ball, leading his teammates, relentless play when others were tired and laid off, he led by example and showed how a captain handles business.

    One of the best all around complete players on our squad on both sides of the ball.

  5. He WAS definitely our best player in that game, but what a LOW bar all, save only Kiwior, White and Raya, showed us all.
    So in the context of the Porto game ,yes, ODEGAARD was outstanding.

    But even so, he has had ,better still games than that in our shirt.
    Most others looking so awful definitely made HIM, by comparison, look better

    Better than he actually was too IMO.


  6. Odegaard was relentless, even in extra time he was still pressing….he is the reason we are In the last 8…..he led by example….the assist for Trosaard was unbelievable

  7. Without Trosard finishing that half chance we won’t go through.
    The pass from the captain was great but Trosard still had a lot of work to score.
    No other player looked capable of scoring.
    His teammates expected him to play like Martineli, wanting him to make runs, but he is a different player with intelligence preferring the ball to his feet. Before he scored he looked out of sort, but he is the most dangerous finisher in the current squad.

  8. Could it be a ‘seed’ planted in him during his time at Real Madrid, where the UCL is seen as theirs by right, pursued relentlessly? Perhaps Arteta should consider recruiting a spy to uncover this winning secret for our team.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors