Odegaard: I am happy for Havertz’s winning goal and strive to secure first place in the group

Arsenal official website. Before every home game, as Arsenal captain, Odegaard will publish a preview through the official website. Before the Champions League game against Lens, he released the latest “Captain’s Diary”:

“It feels bad for me to miss these games in the last few weeks because I don’t like being away from the team and I don’t like staying home to watch games. I was a little unlucky because first I had issues with my hip, and then while I was dealing with my butt injury, I got a concussion that kept me out for a few games. On top of all this, I was sick. So I had a rough few weeks. But most importantly, now that I’m back, I feel better.

I also missed a few games with the national team, even though I didn’t want to, but we were already out of qualifying for the European Championship, so maybe the timing of the injury looked even worse. I’ve been staying here to focus on recovering from injury.

No matter what, I’m back now and ready to compete. It was great to come back to the team with a win last Saturday! Kai (Havertz) scored a very important goal and everyone was happy for him. He deserved that moment. Sometimes things were difficult for him, but he always worked hard. He’s a big part of this team and a great guy. He deserved that goal and I’m happy for him.

Tonight in the Champions League, we have another big goal. We know tonight we will probably secure first place in the group, so there are still a lot of games to play after that. It’s great to be able to do it at home, so hopefully we can have a good night.

​However, we must improve from our previous visit to France against Lens. They are a very physical team, very similar to Brentford in some ways. They defended very well, played a back five and were very organized. They can play man-to-man at times like Brentford when faced with opposition pressure, and they can also play physical. We learned a lot from our first Champions League group match in France and now we have to be able to compete with them physically. We want to play aggressively, get the other team running, and then hopefully we can get the results we want.

If we can secure first place in the group tonight, it will be very meaningful. Basically, this means that our work on the European war can come to an end until it starts again next February. So, this is our goal and another opportunity for us to show our quality at home. We love playing at home and we love every Champions League night at the Emirates Stadium where we have a great connection with the fans. We hope that tonight’s game can create a special atmosphere again.