Odegaard relishing big games coming twice a week

Martin Odegaard in action against PSV Eindhoven

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 first north London derby of the season, Martin gives his views on how much our opponents have changed his last year, our Champions League return in midweek and how he juggles playing twice a week in big matches.

From what I have seen of Tottenham so far this season they look better than last year. They are playing differently, maybe having more possession and they have a different manager, and some new players, so you expect a new style from them. They have a lot of quality players, and they have started the season well, so we have to be ready and be at our best this afternoon.

We’ve got some new players too of course, but everyone knows what this fixture is about. Even if you’ve been playing for a different team, you know how special this game is and how important it is. They will feel it straight away, going into a game like this. For me, I felt it from the first time. I remember the week before the first derby I played was a little bit different. The atmosphere at the training ground and everyone around was a little bit more excited, a few nerves too maybe, but it was a great feeling.

The good thing for us as well is that we can come into this game feeling very good after our win on Wednesday, and the way we performed against PSV was really pleasing. We had the motivation and energy to put in a good display right from the start. To be back in that competition is huge for us as a club and you could see how much we enjoyed it out on the pitch. We are in the Champions League this year to compete, we are in it to fight to go all the way, so we have set the standards now with that first game, and now we need to keep working hard. 

Now the challenge is to do it again today. From now on, we will be playing two games a week for most of the season hopefully, and I think the squad is set up and ready for that. We have the depth, so many players fighting for each position, and for me personally, I prefer to play a lot of games anyway. I love playing every three or four days, it’s great so I will never complain too much about that!

It changes your routines of course, the sessions are different, and more focused on recovery. Again, that’s something I enjoy – taking care of my body and doing all the right things to get ready.
In training we have to be a bit smarter. It might be a lower intensity, but we have to do all the usual things in terms of tactics and making sure we are fully prepared for each game.

Read the rest of Martin's notes, as well as a host of other fantastic content, by buying a copy of the Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur programme either around the stadium or online

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