As Arsenal secures its position at the summit of the Premier League after 13 matchdays, former Gunners star Emmanuel Petit has raised concerns about captain Martin Odegaard‘s recent performances, reported by GOAL. Petit, in an interview, expressed the view that Odegaard hasn't been the same player as he was last season, pointing to a potential decline in form.
Despite Arsenal replicating their league position from the previous season and advancing to the Champions League round of 16, Petit believes Odegaard's impact on the team has diminished. The Norwegian midfielder has been part of Arsenal's revamped midfield alongside new signings Declan Rice and Kai Havertz. Petit characterized Odegaard's recent displays as sloppy and suggested signs of mental and physical fatigue due to a demanding schedule.
Speaking about Arsenal's season, Petit voiced concerns about player burnout, emphasizing the toll of frequent matches and international commitments. He specifically highlighted Odegaard's apparent dip in form, remarking on his mental and physical weariness. Petit also expressed worry about Bukayo Saka, noting the young player's consistent participation and a perceived drop in performance compared to the previous season.
Petit stressed the importance of adding more quality to the squad to enable rotation of key players and mitigate the risk of burnout. Arsenal experienced a late-season collapse in the 2022/23 campaign, and Petit's concerns echo the need for strategic player management to avoid a similar fate.
What's next for Arsenal and Martin Odegaard?
Arsenal, under manager Mikel Arteta, is set to face Wolves in the Premier League on December 2, aiming to maintain their one-point lead over City. As the club contends for top honors, Arteta will be mindful of squad fitness, seeking to prevent injuries that plagued the team earlier in the season. The match against Wolves presents an opportunity for Arsenal to showcase team spirit amid concerns about player fatigue and uphold their position at the league's pinnacle.