Arsenal fans target new scapegoat as Mikel Arteta told who he must play vs Manchester United – Tom Canton

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Arsenal’s win over Newcastle yesterday was the perfect response after the disappointment away at Anfield the week prior. Mikel Arteta needed to see a reaction from his players and made just the one tweak to the line-up.

Martin Odegaard came into the team in place of Alexandre Lacazette in order to give the Arsenal attack more fluidity and creativity. However, despite the overall performance and the positive result, some Gunners supporters took to social media to criticise the Norwegian in particular.

The 22-year-old signed from Real Madrid this summer after a 6-month loan spell at the start of 2021 coincided with the crucial turnaround in form after a dire first half of the campaign.

It was clear that Arteta and technical director Edu wanted to add an attacking midfielder to the group with only Emile Smith-Rowe as an orthodox central creator in the squad.

Despite links with the likes of James Maddison, eventually, the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti and the subsequent lack of minutes afforded to Odegaard at Los Blancos, Arsenal secured his signature for around £30 million.

Selected in the side for the majority of games upon his arrival, it was clear the pressing of Odegaard was an attractive trait which Arteta valued alongside his passing abilities.

However, Lacazette replaced Odegaard in the squad after his last-minute equaliser at home to Crystal Palace in the hope that it would address the lack of goals in the team.

Yet, it wasn’t successful enough and Odegaard returned to the side for yesterday’s win over Newcastle.

After the match, however, a sizeable portion of the online reactions from Gunners fans were not the most savoury in their description of the player.



Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka have both been gaining the plaudits for their displays with Martin Odegaard not considered in the same bracket yet.
Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka have both been gaining the plaudits for their displays with Martin Odegaard not considered in the same bracket yet.

@guled49 wrote: “He’s been here for a year and has been absolutely useless. Signing him was a misstake.”

(There’s an irony in the above tweet, I hope you notice it too).

@NotMyManager said: “Could’ve had a decent winger or big backup striker for that Odegaard money, makes u wonder.”

@cescfemi posted: “That Odegaard is just poor…makes me wonder how spent that much on him.”

@tunarmania wrote: “Odegaard is overrated but no one is ready for this conversation.”

It appears that it is easily forgotten that Odegaard himself is just 22. The player signed for the Spanish giants at the age of 16 and has been well-known for much of his early adult years.



Martin Odegaard left Real Madrid in search of a greater attachment to a side with more stability regarding his role. His 6-month loan spell with the club convinced him Arsenal could provide that.
Martin Odegaard left Real Madrid in search of a greater attachment to a side with more stability regarding his role. His 6-month loan spell with the club convinced him Arsenal could provide that.

Perhaps, despite having just one year on Emile Smith-Rowe, this is what causes the greater level of scrutiny. His raw goal and assist statistics too do not stand out but it is his influence on the games which is what goes under the radar.

Not only was Odegaard involved in Arsenal’s second-highest shot frequency match yesterday (24), the first being against Norwich (30) in which Odegaard also started, but his aggressiveness ranks up there amongst the highest in the league.

Out of the action from the start for a number of weeks, he returned to the side, granted not at his max level, but was a crucial part of the team’s victory and should start again at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Supporters can often be so quick to look for an individual to criticise. Especially when the manager is such a divisive figure amongst the fanbase and the attacking midfielder was one of his signings. Considering the five other summer signings have been excellent, this has also not helped the perception of Odegaard.

Perhaps instead of persistently searching for a scapegoat, we should appreciate a solid performance and look ahead to a pivotal match with Manchester United with optimism?

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Source by Football London

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