Martin Odegaard has heap praise on the character of his Arsenal teammates after Mikel Arteta’s side came out victorious against Burnley at the Hawthorns Turf Moor on Saturday.
The Norway international’s first goal of the season – a beautifully struck free-kick on the half-hour mark – was enough to seal the points on an afternoon when the Gunners’ defence was repeatedly tested by the home side’s physical approach.
While Odegaard accepts Arsenal ceded possession of the ball more than he’d like, he’s optimistic about the way things are developing at the Emirates after a difficult opening month of the campaign.
“I feel good here and at home and I am really excited to be part of this club and part of the project, excited by the future,” he told the Evening Standard.
“I believe in this team. Even though we lost some games in the beginning, I had the same faith and belief.
“We are a young team, but we showed character [against Burnley]. It is not easy to play this kind of game. I think we did really well.
“It was kind of a war in the end. We know their strength and we played their game a little bit more than our own game.
“We controlled the game a bit better, but in the second half they played their game and they are good at it.
“We had to be a bit smarter and keep the ball when we won it, but again we fought well and won. It was not beautiful, but a crucial game and important to get the win.”
Arsenal take on AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday before attention turns to the north London derby at the Emirates on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta is expected to ring the changes for the visit of the League One club. The likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Alex Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah and Flo Balogun are all itching for minutes and there is a chance Academy youngsters, including exciting prospect Charlie Patino, could also be involved in the squad.