Laura Woods admits she 'hates herself' for questioning Arsenal star

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Laura Woods has been speaking about Arsenal (Image: Getty Images)
Laura Woods has been speaking about Arsenal (Image: Getty Images)

Laura Woods has admitted she 'hates herself' after questioning Arsenal's decision to sign Martin Odegaard last summer - and believes it was an 'inspired' move to make him club captain.

The Norwegian has been in red-hot form for the Gunners of late, having scored seven goals and grabbed five assists in 17 Premier League appearances this season - a combined total that is already better than last term (11). Odegaard has been a lot more productive and has since been praised by many fans and pundits for his performances.

However, the Gunners were criticised for signing the 24-year-old playmaker on a permanent deal last summer in a deal worth around £30million. Odegaard spent the second-half of the 2020/21 season loan loan at Arsenal but flattered to deceive, netting a solidary goal in 14 matches as they finished up in eighth place.

Mikel Arteta decided to hand Odegaard on a four-year deal and he has been much improved since being given the free role behind the front three, with the midfielder a fans' favourite at the Emirates Stadium. And Woods is now a huge fan of Odegaard and regrets her comments as he previously slammed the move almost 18 months ago.

When asked about if Odegaard is the only player that has surprised her this season, she told talkSPORT : "I think a lot of people were sleeping on Arsenal in general. I think while that was happening Mikel Arteta was knitting together this amazing plan that he had.

Mikel Arteta's dream Arsenal line up as last-gasp January transfers are secured eidehiqdqikinvMikel Arteta's dream Arsenal line up as last-gasp January transfers are secured

"I think a lot of credit needs to go to hierarchy for backing Arteta and backing his vision. When you look at the players he brought in and you look at the price tag, I said ‘Martin Odegaard for £30million?'

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Laura Woods admits she 'hates herself' for questioning Arsenal starMartin Odegaard has been sensational for Arsenal this season (Getty Images)

"I hate myself for questioning that, I hate myself for that,” she laughed. “But I love this Arsenal side. I think the vision as well from Arteta to give Odegaard the captaincy as well, they see things we don’t, how this guy operates around the club and I think that was an inspired move to give him the captaincy.

"I’ve not seen an Arsenal team this connected to each other for years! For years and years. Not for my lifetime, obviously there was the 2004 team who were incredible and that kind of spirit that came all the way through the ’90s as well was wonderful. But then there was this huge gap and an absolute fall off, a real void and division between Arsenal fans. What we’re seeing at the moment is absolutely marvellous."

Arsenal missed the chance to go 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League table as they were held to a goalless draw against Newcastle on Tuesday. The Gunners face Tottenham in their next top-flight fixture next weekend but the gap at the summit could be just two points if Manchester City beat Chelsea and Manchester United.

Kieran King

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