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Odegaard reveals why he took Arsenal’s penalty against Crystal Palace instead of Saka

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Odegaard reveals why he took Arsenal's penalty against Crystal Palace instead of Saka 

Arsenal’s triumph over Crystal Palace in their latest Premier League fixture came with a pivotal moment that shed light on the dynamics of penalty-taking within the team.

Martin Odegaard’s decision to step up for the crucial spot-kick, instead of usual penalty taker Bukayo Saka, raised eyebrows and warranted an explanation that hinted at the evolving strategies and responsibilities within the squad.

As the Gunners strive to maintain their unblemished record at the start of the new Premier League season, Odegaard’s poise and conviction from the penalty spot played a decisive role in securing victory.

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The Norwegian midfielder calmly converted the penalty in the 53rd minute, artfully sending Sam Johnstone the wrong way after Eddie Nketiah was brought down by the Palace goalkeeper.

The decision to entrust Odegaard with the penalty-taking duties marked a shift from the status quo. Saka, known for his skill and ability, had held the responsibility for Arsenal’s Premier League penalties in the previous season.

However, a missed penalty during a crucial encounter against West Ham last season left a significant impact on the young England international.

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This miss, combined with a less accurate effort in a pre-season friendly against Barcelona, seemingly prompted Odegaard’s momentous decision.

Odegaard’s reasoning for his choice emerged from a solid track record during pre-season matches. The midfielder had successfully converted all of his penalties during the preparatory phase, building a sense of confidence and accuracy from the spot.

This performance gave him the assurance to make the request to Saka, who readily relinquished the responsibility to his teammate.

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The Arsenal skipper expressed his gratitude towards Saka for accepting his request, highlighting the camaraderie and mutual understanding among the players.

“We have been taking in pre-season a lot, and I’ve scored all of mine, so I just asked him (Saka) and he gave it to me, so I have to thank him for that one,” stated Odegaard, revealing the collaborative nature of the decision.

Manager Mikel Arteta acknowledged the unpredictability of such situations, emphasizing the importance of player leadership on the field.

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Arteta’s surprise at Saka’s decision was surpassed by his satisfaction with the end result. “I have no clue, it’s about leadership of players, and if they felt it was the right thing to do, for me I’m fine,” commented Arteta.

He also noted that Saka’s choice proved effective as Odegaard successfully found the back of the net, securing the victory for the team.

Odegaard‘s calculated move not only displayed his confidence from the penalty spot but also showcased a strategic approach to decision-making within the team.

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This episode highlighted the evolving dynamics and responsibilities among Arsenal’s players, as they adapt to new challenges and aim for a successful season ahead.

As the Gunners continue to navigate the Premier League landscape, their ability to adapt and optimize their strengths will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in their journey to success.

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