Paul Merson changes his mind about Martin Odegaard

Paul Merson has revised his thoughts on Martin Odegaard after panning the signing at the start of the season.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - MARCH 06: Martin Odegaard of Arsenal arrives ahead of the Premier League match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road on March 06, 2022 in Watford, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
WATFORD, ENGLAND – MARCH 06: Martin Odegaard of Arsenal arrives ahead of the Premier League match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road on March 06, 2022 in Watford, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

If you didn’t read Paul Merson’s Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale comments at the start of the season, you can see them below.

It’s safe to say they did not hold up well at all.

But, fair play to the former Arsenal man, as Merson has revised his opinion on Odegaard, and admitted his mistake.

We might laugh at some of the things Merson says, but you have to give him credit for acknowledging he was wrong.

We could do with more pundits like that.

“Odegaard has really come to the party now,” Merson told Sky Sports. “He is a very good footballer.

“I didn’t really see that at the start of his time with Arsenal, but I really see it now. He’s a player that sees things very quickly and he has great movement. He is a quality player.

“I think it did take him a while to get going and settle into life at Arsenal. He probably hoped things would work out for him at Real Madrid, but now he’s at Arsenal, and he’s seen what a club it is, and it’s a move that’s worked out for both parties.”

What prompted this? Well, read out piece from 8 March, 2002, to find out…

Paul Merson will no doubt be regretting what he at the start of the season said about Arsenal signing Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale  with the pair two of the standout stars for the club.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - MARCH 06: Martin Odegaard of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the Premier League match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road on March 06, 2022 in Watford, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
WATFORD, ENGLAND – MARCH 06: Martin Odegaard of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their side’s first goal during the Premier League match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road on March 06, 2022 in Watford, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

The Daily Mirror have revived some comments made by Paul Merson during the summer, when Arsenal had signed Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale, and it does not make good reading for the former Arsenal man.

Martin Odegaard scored against Watford on Sunday and put in another display that shows why people are talking about him as a possible Arsenal captain in the future.

Despite impressing during his short loan (although not if you only look at his goal stats which is what it seems Merse has done), Merson described it as a ‘lazy’ signing.

And that wasn’t even the worst bit because he also has a go at Arsenal signing Aaron Ramsdale.

Arsenal's English goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale throws the ball during the English Premier League football match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north-west of London on March 6, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s English goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale throws the ball during the English Premier League football match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north-west of London on March 6, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

“Mikel Arteta is making a mistake signing Martin Odegaard – and his job could soon be on the line,” Merson said in his Daily Star column in August.

“Arsenal have already lost to Brentford and now they have to play Chelsea and Manchester City.

“They could be bottom of the league and I don’t think the board are going to hang around with Arteta for long if he goes on a bad run.

“But what are they doing signing Odegaard?

“If Odegaard really wanted to be at Arsenal he would have signed at the end of his loan.

“But he didn’t want to join them. He wanted to go back to Real Madrid.

“In days gone by that would have been it. Arsenal would have said – sorry, you’ve had your chance. Next!

“He didn’t exactly pull up any trees on loan did he? He only scored two goals!

“I think it’s a mistake. I think it’s another lazy signing. No other Premier League team was going for him.

“No-one else is trying to sign Aaron Ramsdale either – and he’s let in 125 goals in two seasons in the Premier League!

“I don’t know who’s picking these players. I wonder if it really is Arteta. But whoever it is, it will be Arteta paying the price if it all goes wrong.”

If you had to name the best players at Arsenal at the minute, both Odegaard and Ramsdale would be in the top five.

The other Arteta starting signings – Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu – have been similarly impressive.

Odegaard has five goals and four assists this season, having played 44 key passes that led to a shot on goal, more than anyone else at Arsenal (Saka is next with 41).

Ramsdale is third, behind Manchester City’s Ederson (15) and Liverpool’s Alisson (14) in terms of cleansheets (11) – and he missed the first three league games! He is also third when it comes to his shot save percentage – ahead of both those players.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.