Every home game, Martin Odegaard gives you his thoughts on the goings-on around the club in his captain’s notes for the matchday programme.
Ahead of our top of the table clash against Manchester City this afternoon, Martin gives his views on how our opponents have looked this season, Tuesday’s defeat in Lens and the need to build up our Champions League experience.
There are some changes to the City squad this season, but it’s still a strong team like always. The quality, the experience they have – it’s a really well-drilled team and system. They have been with their manager for a long time now, so they all know the system really well.
I think they have improved a lot defensively in the past few years, they look really solid. They are a bit more physical now as well compared to some years back, but still they have great quality on the ball as well. With Erling up front as well, they will always be dangerous. So it’s a very strong team and it’s a great challenge for us. It’s a game we’re really looking forward to, being here at our home, and knowing that you – our supporters – will be on fire for it.
It’s a huge game too when you look at the table. They lost last weekend, and it’s obviously nice when the teams around you drop points, but it’s much more important to focus on ourselves and what we can do. We don’t want to look too much at what other teams are doing, because that’s when you lose your focus.
We go away on international break after today as well, and you always want to go with your country after getting a win for your club – especially as I will be with Erling for the next week or so!
On Tuesday we had a disappointing result away to Lens in the Champions League. It’s always different, playing away in Europe. You face different styles and different players, so it’s a great challenge.
We started well, got the lead, but we didn’t play that well on the ball I thought. In Europe – like we needed to against Tottenham – sometimes you are going to need to battle out wins when you aren’t playing well. It’s about taking your key moments, and staying organised. We didn’t do that well enough on the night, so it was annoying to lose. But I know we will improve and learn from every game we play in the Champions League. I’m sure we will get stronger there.