Premier League hits and misses Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard best midfielder in Premier League right now

Arsenal, Foot Ball, foot ball news, Martin Odegaard, midfielder, News, Premier League, the gunner, Trending

We reflect on Sunday’s Premier League action as Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard is hailed as the Premier League’s best midfielder right now; Casemiro’s red card could see the ‘McFred’ midfield partnership return for Manchester United; is there a changing of the guard up front for Newcastle?

Jamie Redknapp believes Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard is currently the best midfielder in the Premier League following the comprehensive 3-0 win at Fulham

Right now Martin Odegaard is the number one. Normally you’d say Kevin De Bruyne is the best midfield player, not just in the Premier League but in the world. Something isn’t quite right, he’s not playing as many games as he’d like. But Odegaard does this thing which all great players possess: it’s like time stands still when he has the ball.

Most players, especially midfield players, because we’re not used to getting in those [scoring] situations, the calmness he possesses. He’s scored four or five goals like he did against Fulham, with that left foot. He’s the captain, he’s the leader. He’s leading that team. When he hasn’t got the ball he goes and presses it and it catches.
Jamie Redknapp

He’s a different player to De Bruyne but he’s always got a solution. When he comes into a tight space, he finds the right solution and very calmly. He doesn’t have as many assists as De Bruyne because he’s not that kind of player. But other things he does, he’s doing them so elegantly and so well. It’s a pleasure to watch him.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

There was a period of no more than 10 seconds in the second half at Craven Cottage which typified Leandro Trossard’s display. It began with him sprinting back to make a tackle and prevent a counter, and ended with him driving forward with the ball at his feet.

The Belgian started the game as Arsenal’s false nine but in truth he was everywhere, his intensity and energy in and out of possession setting the tone for an excellent team performance.

He was involved in more or less every Arsenal attack before his 78th-minute withdrawal and contributed to each of the three goals directly, registering a hat-trick of assists and deservedly claiming the player-of-the-match award.

Mikel Arteta reflects on Arsenal’s win at Fulham

In the space of around 25 minutes, he set up as many goals as any other Premier League player has managed in two months since his Arsenal debut. In total, he has produced five assists since his move from Brighton and scored one goal himself, against Brentford.

His impact is precisely what Arsenal were hoping for when they paid £27m to sign him in January and is easy to forget, in that context, that he was not their first choice. Right now, it feels like a blessing that Chelsea beat them to Mykhailo Mudryk.

This game was supposed to be about the returning Gabriel Jesus, back in the squad for the first time since November following his knee injury. Instead, it was a reminder that Trossard will not give up his place easily. The 28-year-old is showing his worth.
Nick Wright

Casemiro’s sending off in the goalless draw against Southampton has given Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag a real midfield headache.

The Brazilian is set to miss the next four domestic games amid injuries to fellow midfielders Christian Eriksen, Marcel Sabitzer and Donny van de Beek.

Bruno Fernandes started in central midfield alongside Casemiro against Saints, but the Portugal international struggled in the deeper role as he lost possession 28 times – the most of any player in the match.

It is a performance that will leave Ten Hag unconvinced Fernandes can efficiently operate in a midfield two.

Scott McTominay was preferred ahead of Fred in Casemiro’s absence as Ten Hag brought on the Scot just before half-time – and he performed well.

McTominay won the most duels (10) of any United player, and also made four tackles and four clearances – no United player made more.

So could Ten Hag now be forced to restore the ‘McFred’ midfield partnership?

The Dutchman said he will “consider overnight” how to play without Casemiro for the FA Cup quarter-final against Fulham and the Premier League matches against Newcastle (A), Brentford (H) and Everton (H).

Whatever he goes with, it will be a big test of his side who have been heavily reliant on the experienced 31-year-old this season.

United have a 43 per cent win rate in the seven games they have been without him, compared to a 76 per cent win rate in the 37 games he has played.

His absence is a costly one at a crunch time of the campaign.

Aston Villa head coach Unai Emery had a quick word with Ollie Watkins early in the first half at the London Stadium to tell his striker to stay on the shoulder of the last defender.

The advice soon paid dividends as Watkins found a pocket of space between West Ham’s central defenders to head Villa in front with their first sight of goal

Emery is working with Watkins on these fine margins to elevate him to the next level. “He is very competitive,” Emery said after the game. “He is practising every day trying to learn and doing extra work. This is a good spirit to improve.”

Since the World Cup, only Marcus Rashford (10), Erling Haaland (10) and Harry Kane (8) have scored more than his seven Premier League goals. The Spaniard is making a difference.

Watkins has the basic attributes to excel in the Premier League as a lone striker. To challenge with the elite, though, there are marginal gains to be had. This is where Emery comes in.

“Sometimes I am demanding with him, trying to improve in the small spaces to move better and trying to be more efficient with his movement and contact with the ball.”

But there is also a big drive from Watkins himself. “He is demanding and critical of himself and listening a lot,” added Emery. The 27-year-old wants to keep pushing himself to get into that top bracket.
Zinny Boswell

There was a moment just after half-time when Alexander Isak pressed the Wolves defence and St James’ Park roared when he forced the visitors back to a goal-kick.

It summed up the Newcastle striker’s display. Isak took on the Wolves defence five times, completing more than half of those take-ons and should have ended up with more than his one first-half headed goal that gave the Magpies the lead.

Leave a Reply