Odegaard on Everton and giving Zinchenko captaincy

Oleksandr Zinchenko wearing a Ukraine captain's armband

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 tonight's game against Everton, you can read a snippet of his latest column which includes his thought process on giving Oleksandr Zinchenko the captaincy at Leicester, and how difficult an opponent the Toffees will be.

I was really happy to give Zinny the armband for the game. I knew that the Premier League were paying respects to Ukraine at the weekend’s matches, with all captains wearing special armbands, so we discussed it a bit in the dressing room with other players, then I went to the manager to ask him if we should give it to Zinny. He thought it was a good idea.

Then on the day of the game, I spoke to Alex to see if he was comfortable doing it. It was just a small thing to show him some support because I know how difficult it’s been for him recently, the whole situation. I know how much he cares about his country and about everything that's happening there at the moment.

So it was just to be there for him, to support him and to show him that the whole team is there for him and behind him. I think he was a bit surprised. I don't think he expected it and he told me also he was captain when it first happened while he was at City. I think he appreciated it and was very happy to have the armband.

Some things are bigger than football and what's been going on there has been terrible. So it's a good thing to show him that this team is here for him and everyone supports him. That’s what you should do when you're a team - you should be there for each other.

It’s less than a month since we last played Everton and what we learned from that game is that every single team in this league is difficult to play against.

They played really well against us in that game, defended very deep and when they attacked our box they put crosses in as soon as possible. They are a very direct team so we have to expect a lot of the same things tonight.

We also learned that we have to be at our very best in each game we play, and the last time we faced them we weren’t, so it’s up to us to put that right this evening.

We don’t look at their league position because we know they got a result against Manchester City recently and they beat us, so that tells you they have a lot of quality. They are effective when they attack, they are good on set pieces as well and if you are not ready for them, they will punish you.

Read the rest of Odegaard’s notes, as well as a host of other fantastic content, by buying a copy of the Arsenal v Everton programme either around the stadium or online, and you can also purchase a seasonal subscription to get every issue through your door. 

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