Every home game, Martin Odegaard gives you his thoughts on the goings-on around the club in his captain’s notes for the matchday programme.
Ahead of our return to the Champions League tonight against PSV Eindhoven, he discusses the excitement within the camp, his experiences and memories of the tournament and his reaction to his new song from the stands!
For the club, for the team, for all the supporters – it’s massive for us to be back in the Champions League. On a personal, individual level too, for all the players, it means so much.
It’s where we want to be, where we want to be competing. We worked hard to get here, so now we have to make the most of it. I can tell you that everyone has been so excited this week for this game. We were back at the training ground for a recovery session on Monday, and the atmosphere and buzz among the players was brilliant, because we can’t wait to play in this competition. There’s a great feeling right now.
I have played only a few games in the Champions League, in fact I played a qualifier for Stromsgodset way back when I was 15. That was as a late sub in a home game against Steaua Bucharest. I was on the bench for the away game, and we went out, but I can’t remember much about the games – they were a long time ago!
Then just before I joined Arsenal I played a couple of times for Real Madrid in the Champions League, but that was during Covid times, so there were no fans in the stadium. I played at the San Siro against Inter and away to Shakhtar, but with nobody there to watch, it’s not the same at all. That’s why I’m so excited about tonight.
I watched all the games growing up. I was allowed to stay up late to watch those matches, and I can still remember that special feeling of watching the games, hearing the anthem and dreaming about being there. I watched a lot of games, but a couple I really remember well are Theo Walcott’s amazing run against Liverpool at Anfield, and Cesc Fabregas’ performance against Barcelona at the Emirates when he was so good that night.
We expect PSV Eindhoven to be really strong tonight. They are a well-coached team, Peter Bosz is their manager and he’s a great coach, all of his teams are always hard to beat. They have won all their games this season so I expect them to come here and try to play their usual game against us. We have to be on it from the start.
What made Sunday very special for me was hearing my song from the supporters at the end of the game. To be honest I had heard from somebody before the game that the fans had been working on a new song, so when I heard it, I knew it was that one. I love it! It’s such an amazing feeling to hear you sing my name, it’s difficult to describe. Hopefully I’ll hear it lots of times in the future!
The Champions League is a special tournament, and I’m looking forward to a great atmosphere here tonight. I know you will all be looking for something from us, and we will do everything we can to make sure we deliver.
Read the rest of Odegaard’s notes, as well as a host of other fantastic content, by buying a copy of the Arsenal v PSV Eindhoven programme either around the stadium or online.
You can also subscribe to get every issue this season delivered straight to your door each matchday.