Every home game, Martin Odegaard gives his thoughts on recent matches and events at the club in his captain’s notes for the matchday programme.
Ahead of tonight's game against Sporting, you can read an extract of his latest column which includes his thoughts on the first leg - which he missed through illness – and refocussing on European competition…
I watched that first game against Sporting of course, and I thought it was much more open than we would have liked.
We did some things in the game that we normally don’t, and we know they have quality so they will punish you for any mistakes. We gave away some simple balls and we can’t afford to do that.
So I think it was a bit too open and we didn't play with the control that we normally do.
On the other side, we showed a lot of good things as well, so if we learn from what we did wrong, put that right tonight, then we can fix it here at home.
Another positive from the first leg for us was Jakub Kiwior making his debut. It was great for him to get his first minutes with us because he's been training really well since he joined.
So for him to play his first game from the start, in a big occasion like that, was a great opportunity for him and you could see his qualities. I'm sure he will just get better and better now, especially when he understands more of what we're doing, builds those relationships on the pitch with the rest of the team and develops the language too.
A draw away from home in Europe against a good team is never a bad result, and the mentality has changed as well now that the away goals rule has ended.
For me, that has definitely made these games a bit different. Before in the knockout stages, it was very tactical, there were a lot more scenarios to think about during the game.
Now it’s much more straightforward, so maybe that’s good in that way, but to be honest I’m not sure whether I prefer it yet or not.
All we know is that we play at home tonight, and if we win, we’re through, so that’s our target.
It’s our first European tie since the start of November, and although I don’t think it’s difficult to switch focus from the Premier League to Europe, it’s true that the routines are different.
We are back travelling, and it’s a different kind of football to what we face every week in the league. So it feels a bit different, but I don't think it's really difficult to change the focus, because you want to win every game you play. You want to win every competition tournament you participate in, so it’s just a new challenge for us, and a different type of football as well.
Read the rest of Odegaard’s notes, as well as a host of other fantastic content, by buying a copy of the Arsenal v Bournemouth 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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