Arsenal captain, Martin Odegaard has admitted he needed a break after a tough end to last season, where he could disconnect from football. The 2022/23 campaign was a successful one for the Gunners, despite the painful finish. Arsenal qualified for the Champions League for the first time in seven years after finishing second, only behind Manchester City.
However after leading the Premier League by five points with eight games to go, there was an overriding feeling of disappointment and failure from the players and fans after the Gunners let the Premier League title slip away in the final month of the campaign.
On an individual level, Martin Odegaard had an outstanding season, scoring 15 goals and providing eight assists while featuring in 37 Premier League games for the Gunners. The captain was a big reason why Arsenal were able to mount a serious title challenge during the 2022/23 campaign, so he felt even more of a responsibility when they let slip away right at the end.
Odegaard also led Norway as captain on a number of occasions throughout the year, and he provided assists in wins over the Republic of Ireland and Cyprus. However just like with Arsenal, things started to fall apart at the end of the campaign as Norway lost two of their opening four European Championship qualifiers.
Odegaard went into the summer on the back of a double disappointment which he admitted let him needing a break from football as he struggled to come to terms with what had happened.
Martin Odegaard: “The whole ending of last season, first with the club and then with the national team, was difficult. I had a good season, a lot of good things happened, but when you finish like that, it becomes extra heavy.
“I felt I was very tired after the season. I needed a break, needed to disconnect and do completely different things. The sum of both the club season and what happened here [with Norway] made it an even more tired body and a tired head that needed a holiday.
“When I was younger, I felt that I could get very caught up in everything that happens. Battles could affect me for a long time. Now that I’ve gotten a little older, I feel like I’m able to come home, do other things, and shut it out.”
The summer has helped the Arsenal captain get back on track with the Gunners starting the Premier League season very strongly after three wins and a draw in their opening four games.