Losing to Man City made Arsenal better

Martin Odegaard said he believes last month’s defeat to Manchester City has made Arsenal a better side as they seek Premier League and Europa League glory.

Arsenal were beaten 3-1 at home by City on February 15 as Pep Guardiola’s side moved top of the table for the first time since November despite playing a game more.

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It was a potentially heavy blow for Arsenal but they responded flawlessly and won their next five league games to restore a five-point lead over City.

After a 2-2 first-leg draw, Arsenal meet Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League round of 16 on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals for the second time in three seasons.

When asked about Arsenal’s reaction to that loss at City, Odegaard told ESPN: “We’ve done that all season. They will always be people talking about us.

“When we had some injuries people talked but we had the same focus all the time. It was the same after Man City. I think a lot of the things we did in the game we did well and we didn’t .” we did that the last time we played them, so we showed we’ve improved a lot.

“We just came in the next day and wanted to recover and make sure we could get even better. I think that’s the most important thing about this team, we’re so hungry to improve every day.”

Odegaard said he believes Arsenal have the quality to compete on two fronts, particularly after signing Chelsea’s Jorginho and Brighton’s Leandro Trossard in January for fees totaling £39million.

“The last transfer window was really great,” said the midfielder. “The newcomers have really given the team a lot in terms of different qualities.

“Off the pitch too, Jorginho is an experienced guy who has won a lot of things. They all look great and are great additions to the squad. They saw the other day [in Sunday’s 3-0 win at Fulham] that they are all great players.

“That’s what this club is like. When they joined the team, they felt part of the squad and family from day one. That’s the good thing about this team, we’re so connected and we make sure everyone adapts quickly. That’s what we did with the signings.”

Odegaard was speaking after being named Premier League Player of the Year at Monday’s London Football Awards.

The award marks his remarkable transformation from a player on repeated loan spells from Real Madrid – including stints at Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad – to Arsenal captain.

“I’m very happy, I feel like I’ve finally settled down at a club,” said the 24-year-old, who first joined Arsenal on loan in 2021 before making a permanent move worth an initial £30 later this year made millions of pounds.

“[I’m] I just enjoy my football, enjoy being with the whole team. I don’t think I expected to be captain. It went very quickly, very well. I had a good feeling when I came here, I felt it straight away, even before I came here I had this good feeling for the club. And when I came here, I felt at home from day one.”

Asked if he spoke to former captains for advice on running the team, Odegaard revealed meeting ex-Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas.

“At the club we have Mikel, who was captain, and also Per Mertesacker. I met Cesc Fabregas the other day, so I talk to some of them but the most important thing for me is to do it my way.”

“I want it to be my way and real, and that was important to me: to do it the way I want to do it. Of course I seek advice where I can, but I want to be myself and do what I feel is the right thing at the right time. [I talked with Fabregas about] a little bit of everything really. It was the first time I met him, so just a normal conversation.

“I might not be the loudest or loudest guy, but I’m always looking for what’s best for the team. On the pitch, I really live the game. I think I’m pretty good at seeing tactical things on the pitch and I try just always doing what’s best for the team.”

https://www.espn.com/soccer/arsenal-engarsenal/story/4901939/martin-odegaard-man-city-defeat-made-arsenal-better-as-title-race-continues Losing to Man City made Arsenal better


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