Connect with us


Why Arsenal retained Martin Odegaard



Arsenal have brought back Martin Odegaard to the club as an attempt to bolster their attack following a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Brentford in the Premier League opener.

The Norwegian was on loan at Arsenal from Real Madrid in the second half of last season.

To the naked eye, Odegaard’s return of 2 goals and 2 assists in 20 outings might not seem much exhilarating.

But, several underlying metrics explain Mikel Arteta’s desperation to buy Odegaard permanently from Real Madrid.

The real reasons

Arsenal’s lack of creativity has been a common theme under their current manager.

Emil Smith Rowe’s introduction somewhat improved the situation last season, and it got even better when Odegaard arrived during the January transfer window.

Post-Christmas, Arsenal were the second most successful team in the league after league champions Manchester City. 

So, what are Odegaard’s qualities?

He occupies the role of a playmaker behind the striker. Unlike a classic number 10, however, he drops a bit deeper to collect the ball and supplies it to dangerous channels.  

The Athletic’s Tom Worville pointed out Odegaard has the second-best XT (Expected Threat) record in the Premier League after Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne.

That means he is pretty good at getting the ball to his teammates in promising attacking positions.

In doing so, he significantly boosts the attacking threat of his colleagues.

Odegaard excels in unlocking space between the opponent’s midfield and defence.

Therefore, he can provide the ball to advancing forwards during counterattacks and make it way more problematic for the rival team to defend.

Link between mid-field and attack

What has been apparent in Arsenal’s build-up play under Arteta is their inability to connect the midfield and attack swiftly.

Odegaard can be the missing link that addresses this issue immediately.

He can deliver the ball to the wingers, the striker, or the surging left full-back to catch the opposition defence off-guard.

Many Arsenal fans have been complaining that Smith Rowe and Odegaard belong to the same profile.

Since Smith Rowe has been doing so well, why go for Odegaard instead of someone like James Maddison who can score more goals? 

Odegaard vs. Smith Rowe

First of all, Odegaard and Smith Rowe are not exactly the same players.

Odegaard is the modern number ten, while Smith Rowe is a player who loves exploiting the half-space.

He loves to float within the space between the center and the wings.

It’s possible to field both players simultaneously in an effective formation. For example, Arteta played both of them in a 3-4-2-1 when Arsenal 1-0 away at Chelsea.

Also, Smith Rowe is only 21 years old.

Emile Smith Rowe in action against Benfica

It would be unwise to completely rely on him at such a young age.

Odegaard is only a year older, but he has more experience under his belt.

He had his debut for Real Madrid at 16, had been Real Sociedad’s best player during his loan spell with the White and Blues, and he is a regular player for the Norway national team.

James Maddison would have been a fantastic signing for Arsenal, but he would have warranted a much higher fee.

According to reports, any potential deal for the Leicester man would require at least £60m.

Arsenal got the Odegaard deal done for £34m only, which might allow them to invest in other areas, a right-back, for example.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo storms off pitch after throwing his runner’s-up medal into stands




Cristiano Ronaldo and his AL-Nassr side lost the Riyadh Cup to AL Hilal on Saturday. It was a clinical performance from the Al-Hilal side as they won the match 2-0. It was a frustrating night for the Portugal legend as he was heckled by the fans in the crowd.

The cameras panned to Cristiano Ronaldo who was swarmed by his teammates. There were chants cheering on Lionel Messi from the stands. Already peeved after losing the game, Ronaldo lost his cool and threw his medal at the fans.

Watch the video here:

During the game, Ronaldo was seen showing disgraceful actions towards the AL-Hilal fans. A scarf which was thrown his way saw the Portugal superstar rub it in the most inappropriate area. The 39-year-old earned the ire of the fans after this incident came to light.

AL-Hilal down AL-Nassr to win Riyadh Cup 2024 –

The 2024 Riyadh Cup final saw some amazing football being played. Cristiano Ronaldo was all smiles as WWE Superstar The Undertaker came out to place the trophy. Once the action began it was an end-to-end encounter as both teams went hard at goal.

Serbian star Sergej-Milinkovic Savic opened the scoring in the 17th minute of the game. It was two-nil 13 minutes later as Salem Aldaswari scored an amazing goal. That was the end of the contest despite an hour left in the game to be played.

There was no way back for the Al Nassr side as they looked clueless in front of goal. Not many chances were created by Ronaldo and his team. Al Hilal’s defense held their own against a rampaging Al Nassr side in the last few minutes.

There was pandemonium in the stands as the final whistle was sounded and the Al Hilal fans celebrated. There was a chorus of Messi chants which visibly irked Ronaldo at the end of the game.

Ever since his move from Manchester United in late 2022, Cristiano Ronaldo has changed Saudi Football. The likes of Karim Benzema and N Golo Kante are currently playing in the Saudi Pro League. AL Hilal themselves signed noted Brazilian sensation Neymar who sic out injured. With the veteran star in the twilight of his career, this kind of behaviour is least expected from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Continue Reading


Sandeep Lamichhane convicted of molestation, jailed for eight years



Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane has been convicted of raping a 17-year-old in 2022. During the case, he kept playing for the team, notably during the Asia Cup 2023 and ODI World Cup qualifier in June last year. After the case was filed, he was playing for eventual winners, Jamaica Tallawahs. The leg-spinner was released from the team and was taken into custody.

“I know I am facing a difficult time of conspiracy and wrongful allegation and the ramification of its effect is something unimaginable. I am sure there must be some mechanism of compensating to the accused who proven to be innocent in our legal system,” he wrote. “I will soon seek legal support against wrongful prosecution and allegation made against me and I am sure I will get the justice and will return to the cricket ground soon to make the name and fame of my beloved country and I pray for speedy trial.”

After landing home, the former Delhi Capitals player claimed that the allegations made against him were baseless.

“All these things affected me mentally on one hand and on the other hand, I had to go through illness, and due to mental stress and ill health I kept myself in isolation. I have been mentally and physically affected by the portrayal and I have reached a state of imbalance and I have been bringing myself back to a normal state under the advice of doctors. My health is gradually improving, and I am planning to return to Nepal as soon as possible to defend against the false complaint against me,” the leggie wrote on Facebook in September 2022.

Talking about the current status, the bench also slapped him with a fine of Rs 300,000 (USD 2255 approx) and ordered him to pay Rs 200,000 (USD 1500 approx) in compensation to the victim. Lamichhane’s lawyer, Saroj Ghimire, told AFP that he “will appeal the decision in a higher court.”

Sandeep Lamichhane’s career at a glance

He is the first Nepal player to play in IPL, PSL, CPL, and several other leagues. He made his international debut at the age of 18

Continue Reading


WATCH: Gautam Gambhir makes endearing comment while answering question related to Virat Kohli



Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir is believed to have a personal dislike for former India skipper Virat Kohli. Over the years, Gambhir has been critical of the 2008 U19 World Cup-winning captain on a lot of issues. Not to forget, Gambhir has been vocal about not the media should be worshipping individual players.

During a talk show on Star Sports, the two-time World Cup winner was asked about the bowler Kohli faced while completing his 50th ODI hundred. As Gambhir gave the right answer, he also mentioned that his rivalry is with Kohli which stays on the field only.

Watch the video here

He replied:

“Lockie Ferguson.”

Gambhir then smilingly went on to add:

“Ye aap baar baar dikhana, mujhe sab kuch yaad rehta hai. Ladai meri sirf on the field hai (Please show this clip again and again, I remember everything. My fight is only on the field)”

I want Virat Kohli to bat with the same intent he is known for: Gautam Gambhir

In another conversation. Gambhir said that Kohli must bat the same way against South Africa in the two-match Test series the way he does. Notably, the latter won’t play the practice game as he has come back to India for personal reasons. However, the right-hander will be available for the series.

“It will be in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s minds that Shreyas Iyer, who is on his first tour, will be batting after Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul, if he plays, will be playing as a wicketkeeper for the first time. However, I want Virat Kohli to bat with the same intent he is known for.”

India’s squad for Tests: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Prasidh Krishna, KS Bharat (wk)

Tuesday 26-Dec-23 to 30-Dec-23 1st Test Centurion
Wednesday 03-Jan-24 to 07-Jan-24 2nd Test Cape Town
Continue Reading


Copyright © 2024 Wolf777news.