Norwegian star midfielder Martin Ødegaard is comfortably positioned as a central figure for both club and country on the back of outstanding performances for both Arsenal and in service of his country in recent years. But despite his unquestionable influence, the former wonderkid continues to struggle in front of goal for Ståle Solbakken’s Løvene.
Despite Norway’s 6-0 drubbing of Jordan yesterday, Ødegaard failed to find the back of the net during his sixty-one minutes of action at Ullevaal Stadion, having found the back of the net just once in the last four years. Despite once again failing to hit the back of the net, Ødegaard was nevertheless at his influential best in the run-up to their Euro 2024 qualifying clash with Georgia in four day’s time.
When speaking with Danish-based media outlet TV2, the Gunners captain opened up regarding the relationship between goals, performance, and how one’s confidence can become affected.
“Nope. It’s confidence and fluency and everything like that. If you score a couple of goals, you go into games feeling like you can score at any time. If you don’t, it’s a little different.
“But I feel that goals are a bit too black and white. I can play a bad game, but score and be praised everywhere. Then I can play a very good match and not have a goal and an assist, and then it’s not good enough.”
Arsenal fans will know a different side to the Norwegian’s game since his arrival from Real Madrid in the summer of 2020 on loan before making his move permanent the following season, with the Drammen-born midfielder already hitting 25 Premier League goals under Mikel Arteta, with a career-high 15 last term to push the club to its first second-place finish in over a half-decade.
Goals are sure to come, but no doubt there is increased pressure on Ødegaard at current given the goalscoring state of Norway’s senior squad, with Haaland the only player to have scored more than Ødegaard’s two goals, with everyone else in the side sitting at a paltry one due to injuries to both Alexander Sørloth and Joshua King.
If anyone can rise to the occasion in the coming months, however, it certainly is Ødegaard.