Saturday, May 28, 2022

Arsenal star Martin Odegaard still has plenty to prove if he wants to be Mikel Arteta’s next permanent captain

ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE’S absence due to Covid-19 saw Mikel Arteta throw the Arsenal captain’s armband to Martin Odegaard.

Billed as one of the main candidates for the permanent role next season, the 23-year-old left the pitch leaving more questions than answers on his ability to lead the team.

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The burden of captaincy perhaps took it’s toll on Odegaard’s performance on the pitchCredit: Getty
The playmaker failed to make his mark with his performance, while also being unable to motivate his side to victory

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The playmaker failed to make his mark with his performance, while also being unable to motivate his side to victoryCredit: AFP

Perhaps the added pressure got to him, but then again the Norwegian does captain his national side.

Although leading Arsenal week in, week out in the Premier League is a very different prospect.

One thing he does possess is more creativity than the rest of the squad combined.

At times though his desperation to play the killer pass was his downfall.

But these are the type of games where Arteta needs a leader on the pitch to motivate his squad when they go a goal down.

Spurs slipping up at home was the perfect chance for the Gunners to pile the pressure on Antonio Conte and Co, but they just couldn’t find a way through a stubborn Saints side.

Odegaard to his credit tried to lead by example, but all too often saw deft lobbed passes into the box easily headed away by the home side.

And his failure to really make his mark saw frustration get the better of him.

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The skipper ended up resorting to efforts from range, the first of which blazed miles over the bar, much to the delight of the home fans.

Perhaps the burden of being captain got the better of him and restricted him from being his usual self.

But it must be said that judging the youngster on one game as captain is unfair.

Although on the evidence of today’s performance, Kieran Tierney perhaps is a more ready-made candidate to step into the role of skipper.

Handing Tierney the captaincy would allow Odegaard to solely focus on being the one to pick apart opposition defences, and free the shackles that seemed to be on him at times today.

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