Brighton v Arsenal: Match in pictures
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Martin Keown has spoken out about Martin Odegaard’s take on the current Arsenal dressing room. The Gunners legend backed Martin Odegaard for branding the atmosphere ‘nice’, whilst also criticising former star Mesut Ozil.
Arsenal fans took to social media to criticise their summer signing for his choice of words on international duty, claiming that a ‘nice’ dressing room doesn’t breed a successful mentality.
Keown knows all about what it takes to have winning credentials, having played a role in the club’s hugely successful spell under Arsene Wenger.
The former tough-tackling defender was a no-nonsense player, but admitted there is nothing wrong with having a ‘nice’ atmosphere in the dressing room after Odegaard opened up on the differences between Arsenal and Real Madrid.
Odegaard went on record to say how tough times were in the Spanish capital, with a bigger preference for Arsenal’s culture.
“There were many tough periods both with the first team and the second team at Madrid, but being around the best made me stronger,’ Odegaard told Norwegian outlet TV2.
“I feel that I have grown thanks to Madrid and I have learned from players like Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“When you are at the highest level, it is not as easy to make friends and that kind of thing. At least not when you are young and come from somewhere else.
“I came from a different dressing room culture and it is not easy to fit into a changing room like the one at Madrid.
“It was difficult but it is something that has made me stronger and I am happy to have experienced it.
“I would say there is a big difference. I am very happy at Arsenal. There is a very nice dressing room.”
Despite receiving some backlash for his comments, Keown has defended the Norwegian and slated ex-Arsenal star Ozil for being a disruptive figure in the squad.
Ozil continuously wanted out of Arsenal in the final ebbing of his tenure and reportedly made the atmosphere uncomfortable.
Speaking about Odegaard’s choice of words, Keown said: “It’s a good start because he’s obviously been in a situation where it wasn’t particularly nice and he didn’t feel that welcome.
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“When Arsene Wenger arrived at Arsenal we were were a bit worried about whether he was going to be too nice, but I think we’d already shaped our personalities and characters by then so we didn’t necessarily need to worry about that.
“Odegaard is just starting out in his career. He hardly played for Real Madrid.
“I do feel the environment needed to improve at Arsenal when you think about what was happening with [Mesut] Ozil, a lot of power there and not the greatest of role models.”
Odegaard has made a decent start to the season for Arsenal, scoring once and laying on one assist in his six games across all competitions so far.
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