"I have not been at my best" - Arsenal star admits he could have played better for his country

Arsenal's Martin Odegaard is unhappy with his performances for Norway this month.

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard has admitted that he could have played better for Norway in their two UEFA Nations League group stage matches this month.

Odegaard played in all seven of the north London outfit's matches this season prior to their Premier League outing against Brentford. He did not make the Gunners' matchday squad due to an injury in a game they won 3-0 away from home.

The midfielder was expected to sit out of Norway's international games owing to his injury but recovered in time to feature in their losses against Slovenia and Serbia. He was taken off by manager Ståle Solbakken 19 minutes from time in their 2-0 loss against the Slovenians on September 24.

Odegaard played the full 90 minutes in their 2-0 loss against the Serbians at home three days later. This result ensured that the visitors finished top of League B Group 4 at Norway's expense.

The attacking midfielder was asked after the game if recovering from his latest injury had a part to play in his uninspiring performances. The former Real Madrid midfielder replied via Dagbladet (h/t JustArsenal):

"That’s not good to say. I haven’t practiced as much football as I usually do. But I don’t blame it. I could do better anyway. In the same way as the team, I have not been at my best. It’s a bit disappointing.

The UEFA Nations League is one tournament Norway fans would have been looking forward to after failing to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Odegaard, meanwhile, returns to Arsenal with a massive north London derby on the horizon.

The Norwegian was announced as Arsenal's captain at the start of the season, which highlights his role under manager Mikel Arteta. Odegaard has scored three goals in seven appearances for his club across competitions this season.

Arsenal could extend their lead this weekend if results go their way

If Arsenal can continue the form they have started this season in, then Odegaard could be the first Gunners captain to lift the Premier League trophy since Patrick Vieira in 2004.

The Gunners sit atop the league table with 18 points from seven games but Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur aren't far behind. The Cityzens, like Spurs, are unbeaten in the league with 17 points from seven games but with a better goal difference than both north London teams.

However, the 3-1 loss against Manchester United earlier this month raised question marks over the Gunners' title credentials. A win against Spurs on October 1 at the Emirates will set the record straight in that regard.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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