Odegaard demands focus for whole 90 minutes

Martin Odegaard during the game against Liverpool

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 this evening's game against Southampton, you can read a snippet of his latest column which includes his thoughts on the draws against Liverpool and West Ham United, and the importance of maintaining our focus throughout the whole game as we aim to get back to winning ways.

We went into our last two games knowing that they would be difficult away matches, but as always with the aim of winning – so the results in themselves are disappointing, but it’s even more frustrating the way they happened of course. 

We started the game really well at Anfield. We played the way we wanted to and were able to dominate them, and we took control of the game early on. After the final whistle we were frustrated with ourselves, but we also knew that maybe it was a hard-earned point in the end. Aaron Ramsdale was brilliant for us and made some unbelievable saves. 

The next day at the training ground we spoke together as a team. We spoke about our response to them scoring and what we should have done better in the second half. We talked about how we could have broken the Liverpool momentum once they had it and what we needed to learn from the game. 

That’s why it was especially frustrating last weekend, because the same thing happened at West Ham. Once again we started really well, controlling everything, we go 2-0 up but from there we let it turn around again. 

We lost the momentum of the game and let it change so much from where it was. It was really annoying and definitely something we need to work on, and have been working on and discussing. I think everybody now completely understands how sharp and how focused you have to be in every single situation, in every single minute of every game in this league. 

It’s all about us though. We virtually gave them the goals and we let them change the game. That’s down to us and we are the only ones who can fix it. You can see from our attacking play that it’s not about us not being good enough – it comes down to our focus throughout the whole game. It’s all on us and that’s the good thing – we can control that, but we have to do it for 90 minutes. 

Our intention is always to keep playing our usual game, to keep looking for goals. So maybe what happened is that we got too comfortable at moments and we started doing things that we don’t normally do. We didn’t respect the structure and the gameplan enough, maybe. 

Two draws from difficult away games is not the end of the world, but the fact we feel disappointed shows how far we have come this season.

Read the rest of Odegaard’s notes, as well as a host of other fantastic content, by buying a copy of the Arsenal v Southampton programme either around the stadium or online

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