The decision to hand a 23-year-old who has not been in the Premier League that long the captains’ armband was fairly risky and one that was criticised by many, including Rio Ferdinand, who suggested the armband was weighing heavy on the midfielder.
However, following those comments, Odegaard has excelled for Arsenal. He scored twice as Arsenal flattened Bournemouth and started the Gunners’ comeback on Saturday vs Fulham.
It was not just his goal contributions that caught the eye, however, with Odegaard also stepping up and leading his side well, especially when they went a goal down.
As per football.london: “While the rest of the Arsenal side were tepid in the first half, the former Real Madrid man could be seen barking at William Saliba to stride out of defence and marshalling his troops into position after Kieran Tierney overhit a freekick.
“Even when the Gunners dropped a goal down the Norwegian was impressively defiant. His sprint over to Gabriel after his equaliser in order to exorcise the Brazilian of the demons of his earlier mistake was proof of what a team player Odegaard is.”
Mikel Arteta also praised his side’s attitude on the day:
“Really happy with the performance, with the attitude and the mentality that the team showed. I think we were on top of the game,” Arteta said. “It was about being patient because and the goal would come because we were deserving that
“After the goal the stadium’s reaction was just to give support to the player. Then the player has to show courage to continue playing. This is part of football, mistakes are part of it and it’s going to continue to happen. It’s about how you respond to that and I’m really pleased.”