On-loan midfielder Martin Odegaard earned huge plaudits for his display in Arsenal’s dramatic fightback to salvage a draw against West Ham.
Having gone 3-0 down at the London Stadium, the Gunners fought back to steal a point, thanks largely to Odegaard in the middle of the park.
The Real Madrid loanee played the decisive pass for Calum Chambers to fire in a cross for Alexandre Lacazette’s deflected shot to start the comeback and repeated the trick in the second half as Chambers’ cross was put through his own net by Craig Dawson.
As Arsenal sought a late equaliser it was another Odegaard through ball to Nicolas Pepe which allowed the substitute to hang up a cross for Lacazette to head home.
Speaking after the game, Arteta commended the 22-year-old after his influence on the game.
“The way he steps on the pitch, he always wants the ball,” said the Arsenal boss.
“The way he commands the pressing. He’s been really influential.
“When everyone was a little trembling he gave us that stability and that composure on the ball and he created chance after chance.”
Arteta’s effusive praise for the player turned out to be no exaggeration after the club released additional footage of the player during the game for their ‘Open Mic’ series, showing details that may otherwise not be picked up on TV or those not in the ground.
The video shows a very vocal Odegaard constantly encouraging his teammates, as well as directing them to make the appropriate runs and passes throughout the 90 minutes.
Odegaard appears to have already adopted a leadership role, calling on his teammates to ‘keep going’ after their early setback in the match, and demanding they play ‘faster’.
There is also evidence to suggest the player has seemingly settled in well at the north London club, despite only arriving two months ago, as he frequently addresses his teammates by nicknames as he instructs them on the pitch.
At one stage he is filmed telling ‘Laca’ to ‘go left’, taking command on a free kick with ‘B’ – Bukayo Saka – telling his teammate: ‘I’ll take it indirect’, as well as praising the England youngster with a ‘well done’ later on.
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The player is also not shy in showing his frustrations at conceding but equally, explodes with joy when the Gunners eventually find their equaliser.
Arteta admitted that this side of Odegaard’s game wasn’t something he expected but is ultimately pleased to see.
He added: “I think we’ve all been a bit surprised because he looks really shy and humble, but when he steps on that pitch he’s a real character and he loves to play football.”