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New Gunners captain Martin Odegaard has spoken of his pride in captaining the club following the 6-0 demolition of Sevilla.
This synergy between the two was apparent for Arsenal’s opening goal, as the 23-year-old lofted a delicate ball over the Sevilla defence, before Saka was carelessly brought down by Sevillistas Rojiblancos’ defender Rekik.
Martin Ødegaard’s lovely ball over to top to Bukayo Saka, which causes Karim Rekik to bulldoze him over, giving away a penalty, much to the protest of the Sevilla players. #afc pic.twitter.com/Tc2abMEE1F— afcstuff (@afcstuff) July 30, 2022
However, these performances need to become par for the course as the Norwegian takes on the role as leader, a role he is looking to embrace:
“Of course I was happy, proud and grateful for the trust and for him wanting me to be the captain.”
“That’s a big achievement for me and it’s nice to be part of such a good team, so I’m going to enjoy that.”
Odegaard is no stranger to the role of captaincy, already having ownership of the armband for his national team.
Despite the natural inclination to lead, the Gunners no.8 is conscious of the fact football is a team game.
A team needs multiple leaders, not a singular one:
“Yeah of course it’s important that we all take leadership.”
“It's not just about me or a few people but I think everyone needs to take the leadership and do what’s best for the team, so everyone has to do that.”
From Arteta’s perspective, he was never in doubt as to who should take on such an honour, with Odegaard exhibiting all the traits desirable in a captain:
“What I’ve seen over the past 18 months since he’s been with us, he’s represented the values of this football club, the team, the teammates and the staff in the best possible way.”
“He’s displayed an ambition to take this club to a different level, to push this team and contribute within it, and as well the way he is respected by everyone inside the organisation.”
“He’s also the captain of his national team and I think it was the right call, and I’m proud to announce that because I think he’s a really good person to deliver that commitment to the club.”
Arsenal results in pre-season this summer:— afcstuff (@afcstuff) July 30, 2022
Arsenal 5-1 Ipswich ✅
Nürnberg 3-5 Arsenal ✅
Arsenal 2-0 Everton ✅
Orlando City 1-3 Arsenal ✅
Arsenal 4-0 Chelsea ✅
Arsenal 6-0 Sevilla ✅#afc pic.twitter.com/KROpTLBeAn
In a season that will define the ‘Arteta project’, the Spaniard has nominated a man who relishes in orchestrating Arteta’s symphony on the pitch.
It is a testament to the Norwegian’s character that in 18 months at the Emirates he has already acquired the captaincy.
If the Gunners can carry on their pre-season form into the season, with Odegaard steering the ship, then the coming season may well see Arsenal riding the wave to Champions League football.
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