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Odegaard on Gerrard as a player and manager

Martin Odegaard celebrates against Fulham

Every home game, Martin Odegaard gives you his thoughts on the latest goings-on around the club in his captain’s notes column for the matchday programme. 

Ahead of tonight's meeting with Aston Villa, you can read a snippet of his latest piece which includes his memories of watching Steven Gerrard, his respect for Philippe Coutinho and the difference between Spanish and English football:

It’s a quick turnaround for us before facing Villa back here at the Emirates, so that late winner was crucial to keep the confidence up.

Their manager Steven Gerrard was somebody I watched play a lot growing up, he was one of the biggest stars when I was younger. My dad was a Liverpool fan so I didn’t have much of a choice when I was a kid! So I always watched his games, and there’s no doubt he was one of the best around at that time.

I’ve watched him a lot, and the same as Mikel Arteta, he’s now become a manager, and you can see that they both really understand the game because they learned so much in their playing careers. I think he’s showing already that he’s a talented coach. Villa have had some good results since he took over, he’s brought in good players as well so he is building a strong side there. It will be another tough game for us for sure.

Philippe Coutinho is another player I watched a lot of, especially when he was in La Liga. He’s been a success in the Premier League and in Spain, and although I think it’s hard to compare the level of the two leagues, for sure there are differences in style between the two countries. In Spain, the games seem more controlled than the Premier League. There’s a bit more chaos to the games over here, a bit more up and down, there’s more running and it’s a bit more physical too.

Having played in Spain, the game is maybe a bit slower, with teams looking to control it more, but both leagues have a lot of quality. La Liga has a high technical level too, with lots of players who are good on the ball. The biggest difference for me though is that here in England, all the teams can basically beat anyone in the league. All the teams have a lot of individual qualities, or something special that can decide any game. That, with the physicality and speed of the game, are the biggest differences.

Read the rest of Odegaard’s notes, as well as a host of other fantastic content, by buying a copy of the Arsenal v Aston Villa 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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