Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard has been speaking about Amazon's highly-anticipated All Or Nothing documentary following the Gunners – and the much-documented relationship between the club and the fans.
The north Londoners have had a divide in the fanbase over recent years, stemming from the end of Arsene Wenger's time as manager. Mikel Arteta's time in the hot seat has likewise been marmite, with the noise that Gooners make on social media now infamous in footballing circles.
FourFourTwo went down to the training ground to speak to some of the Gunners stars at the heart of the club's journey last season, with recently-appointed skipper Odegaard telling us about how he and his team-mates react to all the noise that goes on outside the club. Does he personally listen to the fans?
“Yeah, I think today it’s impossible not to get anything,” the Norwegian schemer tells us. “For a player especially and coaches also, it’s important to protect yourself a little. In football, you’re either the best or the worst – and if you listen to the media or social media every time you play a game, you would be very unstable emotionally.
“You’re always somewhere in the middle. I think a lot of people, when they talk about me, they’re too positive when I play well and too negative when I play badly. I think it’s important to block it out a little bit, to keep your focus and listen to the right people. I feel it’s been important to connect more to the fans. To understand them, be a little more open. We play on the same team, we want to win every game, we want the best for the club and we need their support.
“I think last year was brilliant in the stadium and that helped us a lot. You need to listen but you need to protect yourself.”
Despite how vocal and passionate the supporters can be, however, Odegaard said that All Or Nothing: Arsenal is a fantastic opportunity for fans to see deeper into the players' lives – and that he's personally a fan of the show… even if he hates the camera.
“I’ve seen the Man City and a little bit of the Tottenham one,” he says. “I enjoy those shows, especially when I was younger, I used to love off-the-pitch stuff from players, about what they do and how they behave.
“I think it will be great to see, especially for young players, I think they will enjoy seeing more of our lives and feel a little bit closer to us. So that’s good.
“But yeah, I think sometimes you were not too happy with the cameras! Speaking for myself, I’m not the biggest fan of cameras and attention but I think they did it in a good way, cameras on the wall so you didn’t think too much about it.
“When you got used to it, it was completely fine and they did it in a good way. I felt like we could be ourselves and it was very natural.”
Of course, Odegaard isn't the only Norwegian in the league this season – that's one change for the new campaign, aside from no longer having the cameras pointed in his face. Countryman Erling Haaland is now at Manchester City… but if Odegaard had his way, Haaland could have joined the Gunners instead.
“We speak every day, we have a group on Snapchat with some of the guys in the national team,” “He’s a great guy, great player. Unfortunately for us, he’ll be a great player for them and score some goals!
“I wish him all the best… except for when we play them. Yeah, I tried [to convince him to join Arsenal]!
“When Arsenal fans were posting pictures of him and me in the shirt, I sent it to him, you know? I was working but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough! He just laughed. He’s a funny guy.”
More on Arsenal's All Or Nothing: Arsenal documentary
Arsenal's All Or Nothing series drops on August 4 – and we already know some of the details about the show.
In preparation for the release of the documentary, FourFourTwo went along to the Gunners' training ground to speak to some of the stars at the centre of it all. Cedric Soares spoke about what the season was like as an older head in the group and what his perspective of the last year or so has been.
Hale End starlet Emile Smith Rowe was also on hand to chat about the experience, how great it is having his own chant and what it's like to work closely with the coaches at the club.
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