Martin Odegaard has revealed the pain the Arsenal squad felt at the end of last season.
Arsenal club captain Martin Odegaard has spoken out about the impact that missing out on the Premier League title last season had. Speaking to The Athletic, the Norwegian playmaker was very honest in his admission of how much losing out on the trophy hurt.
Odegaard said, “the end of the season was tough for us and very painful after leading for so long. That is always going to hurt but we have to use it in a good way…what we have to do is learn from last year, to use the disappointment, the anger and all the bad feelings…it’s important to use it in a good way to come back even stronger and to show we have learned and improved.”
Arsenal suffered a similar fate in the prior campaign, when they narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification. Odegaard addressed this too: “we came back stronger and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
Arsenal need to go one step further again
The Gunners did indeed come back stronger from that disappointment. Mikel Arteta’s side were the front runners in the Premier League for much of last season. Odegaard himself was in magnificent form. The 24-year-old racked up 15 goals and 8 assists over the course of the campaign. Champions League football was secured at a canter, but this time the aim had changed and a loftier target had been set.
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Ultimately, however, a lack of squad depth and the relentlessness of Manchester City caught up with the north London club in the title race. The issue of squad depth looks to have been addressed this summer with the arrivals of Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber, and Declan Rice. There could well be more to come, too.
Odegaard will be aware, though, that Arsenal need to match Manchester City’s ruthless, tireless winning mentality if they’re to go one step further again and bring silverware to the Emirates Stadium this time around. There will be pressure on them to succeed too, with the weight of expectation now bearing down on them.