Having settled down at Arsenal, Martin Odegaard was recently named club captain and is loving learning from former skipper and current manager Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners boss is entering his third full season in the dugout and is hoping to guide his side to the Champions League for the first time since 2016.
In order to help the team reach their goals, he has adopted some very eccentric tactics and Odegaard insists that Arteta is the most detailed and thorough manager he has worked with.
“Every day I’m learning something new,” he told Football365. “There are so many details, like how you control the ball and body position, individual and for the team.
“Definitely, there are a lot of details and it helps us improve. He is not just telling us what to do but he is teaching us why and I think that helps the team to understand more.”
As seen on Amazon’s All or Nothing: Arsenal, before their 4-0 Premier League defeat to Liverpool, Arteta prepared his side for the intimidating trip to Anfield by blasting ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ through speakers during a training session, so his players could get used to the atmosphere.
When asked his thoughts on this specific strategy from the Spaniard, Odegaard said: “I think were all a little bit shocked in the beginning when there was music on.
“It shows the way he is. He wants to do everything to prepare the team in the best possible way. He is very creative. I thought it was nice and a fun way to prepare for the atmosphere.
“Anfield can be the loudest stadium in the country. I think it was a nice way to prepare.”
Odegaard is expecting there to be plenty of examples of Arteta thinking outside the box during the Amazon documentary.
“I haven’t seen any of the show yet, I don’t know what you can see and what you can not see,” the Norway captain said. “I think you will see a lot of things he does to prepare the team. He is very creative. He will always do what it takes to prepare the team as good as possible.
“It’s always interesting to be in a meeting with him and you can always learn things and pick up new things. There are so many details in the game that he will teach you that you maybe did not think of, so it is really interesting and nice to learn so much about football. I enjoy that.”
Odegaard spent the second half of 2020/21 on loan at the Emirates and knew it was the correct choice to join permanently last summer.
Having taken on the captaincy after one full campaign at the club, the 23-year-old was asked if becoming a leader was something he discussed with Arteta before the start of last season.
“We didn’t speak too much about it,” he explained. “That’s something that happened more natural.
“In the beginning, I wasn’t playing that much and towards the end of the season I played more, I performed better, so it was easier to take that ownership, to be more important for the team. It developed with time. We didn’t have a conversation about it I think.”
As mentioned prior, Arteta captained the north London club during his playing days, and Odegaard believes it is very useful to be managed by someone who captained Arsenal as a midfielder, like himself.
He said: “I think it’s very helpful to have a manager who has played in the club, done a lot of good things and experienced a lot. It helps a lot and he knows a lot about the situation we are in and he can understand it. Of course, he learned a lot from his career and he is using that in a really good way to help us improve.”
Odegaard has played for six different clubs, but Arteta is already the manager he has played for the longest.
He is viewed as a favourite of the manager by fans, though he does not believe that is the case.
“No, I don’t see it in that way,” Odegaard explained. “We see football the same way and I feel like I understand a lot of the things he wants us to do.
“It’s just a natural thing. I don’t see it in that way. I don’t know if people mean it or if it’s a joke but I feel like we have a good connection.”
Odegaard also told reporters what Arteta is like as a man manager and how attentive he is to his players on a personal level.
The former Real Madrid youngster believes the Amazon documentary will be a great opportunity for fans to see what he is like as a person, and what it is like to live your life as a footballer constantly in the spotlight.
“That’s the good thing about the show, you get to see a bit more, not just with him but with the players,” he said.
“The life of the footballer there is so much more to it than just training and playing games. It’s interesting and good for the fans for people to see. I think it’s brilliant.
“He knows a lot about football and all the details and is good with people. I think he knows what to do in different situations to get the best out of every player.”
After struggling to settle with a club, Odegaard has finally found somewhere he can call home, and he admits that it feels great to be settled down and playing every week for a top team.
“I feel really at home. I feel like I have settled down,” he said. “I moved around a bit too much and it was maybe not the best thing.
“At the same time I think I learned a lot from it and I went to Madrid very young and of course, it is hard to play there so I had to go somewhere else and I changed three or four teams.
“It was not the best situation. I always wanted to get that stability and I feel like I’ve found that here. I’m really happy to be here and feel at home.”
On why Arsenal was the right choice for him, Odegaard added: “Before the loan spell I always liked Arsenal; the way they played, the way they want to do things. It’s always been a club I can see myself playing and after the loan spell I was really sure this was the perfect place for me.
“I learned everything about the club, the manager, how he wanted to do things and how he wanted to use me and improve me as a player and the ideas he had for me and the team. It was a good decision to come back.”
A huge part of the All or Nothing documentary that has been advertised is the saga involving Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang.
The Gabonese was stripped of the captaincy last season before being sold to La Liga giants Barcelona.
Many fans are looking forward to seeing how the situation unravelled, and Odegaard has admitted that it was difficult at the time, but the squad had no choice but to move on and concentrate on playing football.
“I think it was a tough situation for everyone,” the midfielder explained. “No one wanted this to happen.
“It was not an ideal situation for the club, for the players, for Auba of course it was tough. For Auba it was hard and for the manager.
“It was a difficult and tough situation but in football, you have to keep going and look forward and I think we did that in a good way. So, it was a sad situation but you have to deal with it and move on.”
You can watch All or Nothing: Arsenal on Amazon Prime Video.
Episodes 1-3 are released on Thursday, August 4.
Episodes 4-6 – Thursday, August 11.
Episodes 7-8 – Thursday, August 18.
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