Every home game, Martin Odegaard gives you his thoughts on the goings-on around the club in his captain’s notes column for the matchday programme.
Ahead of tonight's game against West Ham United, you can read a snippet of his latest column which includes how he found the World Cup break, and his thoughts on Gabriel Jesus' injury:
After a break of nearly two months, we’re so happy to finally be back at the Emirates in the Premier League. I have to say I think the past few weeks have been really good for us, we’ve had the chance to recover, to rest and then to start working again really hard and to refocus our minds on the second part of the season.
For me personally, I’ve been able to do a lot in these last six weeks or so. First of all, straight after the Wolves game, I joined up with my national team for a couple of friendly games, and then I had a week off. It was a bit tough for us guys who stayed at home to watch the others at the World Cup. That was difficult at first, it made you really want to be there and be part of it. To be honest, that was tough, but the positive side was to have a week off and then get back into work.
Training for us lately has been really good. We went to Dubai during the World Cup, and the players we had out there did a great job of being focused and motivated. We trained hard and I think our attitude has been great. It was a strange time of the season; there could be disappointed people from not going to the World Cup, or from being knocked out, but all I saw was a perfect attitude from everyone. In the games we played as well, the level was really high, so overall it was a great camp for us.
Of course the bad news for us during the break was the injury to Gabby Jesus. It’s disappointing especially for him of course, but also for the whole team, because he’s really important to us. The way he came in and lifted the standard and the quality from day one was huge for us. We are all here supporting Gabby to get back as soon as possible.
So this is tough to take, but I know Eddie is more than ready to step in. I think he will do that in a great way. He showed it towards the end of last season as well, when he started playing more regularly up front and he did really well. I have to tell you in training Eddie’s looking really sharp, he’s always there for us and I’m sure he’s ready to step in, to help the team and keep us going in a good way, so I’m not too worried about that.
It’s a big game for us to come back to. West Ham have even more quality than before. You see players like Paqueta in the squad, and their wingers are very dangerous too. They have a lot of attacking options and then Declan Rice is in the centre of midfield. So we know what we face from them, we’ve had tough games against them before, they are physical too, so we’ll need to be at our best again.
Read the rest of Odegaard’s notes, as well as a host of other fantastic content, by buying a copy of the Arsenal v West Ham programme either around the stadium or online, and you can also purchase a seasonal subscription to get every issue through your door.
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.