Kjetil Rekdal reacts to Martin Odegaard display in Norway win
Former Norway international Kjetil Rekdal has told VG that Martin Odegaard was much better in their win on Tuesday, insisting that the Arsenal man is capable of things others in the national side simply cannot produce.
Odegaard has had a difficult time of late. Obviously, his return to the Emirates has come at a time when Mikel Arteta’s men are struggling.
And he had come in for some criticism after the 1-1 draw with the Netherlands last week. VG rated his performance at just 5/10, with suggestions that he looked lost in the first-half.
But Norway beat Latvia 2-0 at the weekend. And they have rounded off this break with an impressive 5-1 win over Gibraltar.
Remarkably, Odegaard did not score or provide an assist in the emphatic victory. But he certainly made an impact.
As shown by Whoscored, he provided 12 key passes. To put that into context, Erling Haaland managed just seven accurate passes of any kind on his way to a hat-trick.
Meanwhile, only three members of the opposition made more than 12 accurate passes in total.
And Rekdal insisted that he saw a much better display from Odegaard following the win.
“Much better. You see his creativity. That’s what I said, we need to get him more involved. He can do some of these things that the others cannot do,” he told VG.
“I wish he had some goals himself, because he had a couple of good shots. If Norway is to take further steps, then we need him a lot with the ball.”
Odegaard returning to Arsenal full of confidence after Norway display
Arsenal fans know how good Odegaard can be. He was outstanding on his second debut for the club in their win over West Brom.
And there were a number of times last season when he looked every bit a player that Real Madrid would want to hold onto.
His challenge now is to change games on a consistent basis.
The international break probably came at the right time for Arteta. And Odegaard looks to be one of the players who will return to North London with fresh confidence.