Odegaard – I’m playing my best football | Press conference | News – Arsenal.com

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It was all eyes on Martin Odegaard as he returned to Norway for his first game in club football since leaving Stromgodset for Real Madrid back in 2015.
Still only 23, Martin was just 13 when he made his first team debut in a friendly, and he played a league game against Bodo/Glimt when he was 15.
Now the captain of his country, and one of Europe’s foremost No. 10s, he comes back to Norway as Arsenal skipper too, playing what he believes is the best football of his career.
Before our Europa League game on Thursday, Martin faced the media. Here’s a full transcript of what he said…
On the challenges of playing on an artificial pitch…
I think the biggest mistake we can make is to talk too much about the pitch, the weather or whatever. The most important thing is just to come here and win the game, that’s all that matters. We are not going to focus too much on the pitch, obviously it’s different and we have to adjust a little bit but it’s still football, it’s still the same rules and we are going to go out to win the game.
On the differences on the pitch this year compared to last…
I think it’s just us becoming better as a team. We all understand what Mikel wants from us, even more. We work hard every day to improve and everyone understands the system and the style. We are working hard to improve on the pitch and of course we have brought some new players in who have got a lot of qualities. I think the main thing is the work we do every day at the training pitch, how we improve and how we work.
On his memories of making his club debut 10 years ago in Norway…
Yeah, I remember it well. I was a kid, I feel young today but that was about eight, ten years ago so I was a kid. It was a good time obviously, I was playing football, having fun, enjoying life doing what I love. It was a great time, everything went really quick but I enjoyed it and there’s nothing more to say, it was fun.
On whether he’s played back in Norway since leaving…
I played for the under-21s and the national team but it’s been a while since I played here.
On his reception back in Norway…
There were a lot of kids outside, training on the pitch next to the stadium. I saw a lot of Arsenal shirts, it’s good to see this reception and hopefully we will see them tomorrow and hopefully the atmosphere will be brilliant again. I think the fans here are really good, they did a good job at the Emirates as well so I’m looking forward to the game and the atmosphere.
On what indicators he looks to as a captain for the team to start well…
Same as always really. The same mindset as always, we want to affect the game and start strong. We always want to do that so we’ll try to do that tomorrow again.
On whether it’s the best form of his career so far…
Yes I think so. I think I’ve developed a lot in the last few years. I’ve always been good on the ball but I feel like I’m developing a different side of my game now as well, without the ball. How to improve and affect the game in different ways, so yeah I feel like I’m doing well and of course when the team is doing well it makes things easier for me as well. I’m really happy to be part of this team and happy with where we are at the moment, but we want more of course.
On how being captain has changed him…
I haven’t thought too much about it to be honest. I try to do the same things, help the team as much as possible. I enjoy the responsibility and just try to do the best for the team always and hopefully that’s good.
Copyright 2022 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.
Seven days after beating Bodo/Glimt, we’re back facing the same opposition again on Thursday night as we aim to take another step towards qualification for the knockout stage of the Europa League.
Following the 3-0 win at Emirates Stadium last week, Mikel Arteta admitted that he expects a very different test in this return game, as we head to the Arctic Circle for an encounter that’ll take place on an artificial pitch.
It’s a place teams haven’t enjoyed heading to in recent years, with Bodo/Glimt winning all of their last 14 home matches in European competitions, the longest run by any side since Barcelona’s 15-game stretch which ended in March 2017.

Bodo/Glimt supporters

Bodo/Glimt play at the Aspmyra Stadion, which holds 8,270 spectators. The club is hoping to build a new 10,000-seater stadium to mark Glimt being named European Capital of Culture for 2024, with the aim of making it the most sustainable stadium in the world.
The club’s supporters are known to bring a giant yellow toothbrush to their games, a tradition that started after the item was used by fans to conduct singing in the stands. For many years visiting teams have received a yellow toothbrush ahead of matches.
Despite being based in one of the world’s northernmost towns 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle, conditions aren’t expected to be too cold, with a temperature of around 8 degrees celcius come kick-off time.

06:14

Highlights | Arsenal 3-0 Bodo/Glimt

Highlights | Arsenal 3-0 Bodo/Glimt
Following their trip to Emirates Stadium, Bodo/Glimt were back in league action on Sunday and recorded a 4-1 win at home to Sandefjord to record their first victory on home turf since August.
Kjetil Knutsen made four changes to his starting XI, who trailed at the break when Runar Espejord and Ulrik Saltnes were introduced to the fray. Within 15 minutes, goals from Hugo Vetlesen and Brice Wembangomo had turned the game on its head.
The division’s top scorer Amahl Pellegrino then netted his 21st league goal of the season, before Vetlesen completed his brace to ensure Bodo/Glimt remain second in the table – 15 points behind leaders Molde with only six games left to play.

Mikel Arteta and Kjetil Knutsen

Arteta on Bodo/Glimt: “They are one of the contenders to be at the top of the group for sure at the end of the games. Tomorrow again we will have a difficult test.
“Their supporters were really loud, really passionate and I spoke to Martin about it. He mentioned to expect a great atmosphere here and it’s great. That’s why you travel into Europe as well.” – read or watch every word of Mikel’s press conference
Knutsen on us: “It is perhaps the biggest match we’ll play. At least it is against the best opponent. Not necessarily because they have better individual players than Roma, but there is something about the professionalism and history of the club. All the games in Europe are fantastic for me.
“We will see how much you can learn in a week and get an answer to that tomorrow. What matters is that we dare to be the best version of ourselves. Then we’ll see if we learn along the way, and then at least I’ll be satisfied.”

Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring against Tottenham

 
Mikel Arteta has revealed that Gabriel Jesus did not fly with the team to Norway to allow him to rest, having played in every game so far this season.
Having missed the game against Liverpool, Oleksandr Zinchenko is doubtful, while Emile Smith Rowe and Mohamed Elneny are also set to miss out.
After being brought on at half-time of the weekend’s win against Sandefjord, Saltnes was withdrawn towards the end of the game as a precaution after feeling a muscle strain.

Eddie Nketiah celebrates against Bodo/Glimt

Eddie Nketiah has scored in four consecutive starts in the Europa League. If he starts and scores in this game, he will become the first Englishman to score in five starts in a row in the competition.
After losing in London in the reverse fixture last time out, Bodo/Glimt could lose consecutive games in a single season in major European competition for the first time since September 1996 in the UEFA Cup, both against Trabzonspor.
We are unbeaten away to Norwegian teams in Europe (W2 D1), most recently beating Molde 3-0 in this competition in 2020/21 with goals from Nicolas Pepe, Reiss Nelson and Folarin Balogun.
We have lost just one of our last 14 away games in the Europa League (W10 D3), with that defeat coming against Villarreal in the 2020/21 semi-finals.

Irfan Peljto

Bosnian official Irfan Peljto will take charge of this one, who has been on the FIFA referees list since 2015 and last season refereed his first Champions League game – the first man from his nation to do so.
This will be the second time he has officiated one of our matches, the first of which also came in Norway when we beat Molde 3-0 in November 2020.

01:26

Molde (a) – Bitesize

Molde (a) – Bitesize
We have headed to Norway for competitive action on three previous occasions. The first time saw us win 3-1 against Stromsgodset in the first round of the 1971/72 European Cup, with Peter Simpson, Peter Marinello and Edward Kelly getting on the scoresheet.
It was 33 years until our next trip when we faced Rosenberg in the group stage of the 2004/05 Champions League where a Freddie Ljungberg goal secured a 1-1 draw in the away game, and two years ago against Molde strikes from Pepe, Reiss Nelson and Folarin Balogun sealed a 3-0 success.

Breakdown Live

Tune in from 4.45pm UK time for the best pre-match coverage of the game for any Gooner.
Nicole Holliday and Adrian Clarke are live from the My Arsenal Rewards box, who will look back at the home match against Bodo/Glimt last week and break down how we can claim another three points from our visit to Norway.
Stadium announcer Peter Mujuzi joins us to talk about his role at the club, before we hand over to Max Jones and Nigel Winterburn for live commentary of the game.

Martin Odegaard in his pre-match press conference

You can hear what Martin Odegaard had to say about facing his fellow countrymen in his press conference, and see the squad prepare for the game at London Colney before they jetted off to Scandinavia.
Copyright 2022 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.
 
 
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