Martin Odegaard – Norway International before he hit 16. A massive money move (£80,000 per week) to the best club in the world. But, less four months- is his career with Real Madrid under threat because of his attitude?
The likes of the Mirror, ESPN and EuroSport – and many other media outlets are kicking up a storm about the young Norwegian after he was dropped for the last 2 games after a run of 4 losses in the Segunda B league (one of four divisions). He trains mainly with the first team, and rarely with the Castilla side – which you can understand given his talent, and the fact that if these organisations were to watch the B team – you can see he is miles ahead of anyone on the pitch – so to train with players who are inferior to him would be counter productive.
On to the point of being dropped for 2 games – rubbish! The first he was on international duty, the 2nd he had just completed 90 minutes against Croatia a few days prior to the game, and at 16 to play him would risk burnout, which as you have seen with many a youngster over the years that can cost you a good career! There have been reports of players in the Castilla complaining about his attitude, and that he is not bothered about the Castilla side, the response from myself is the following – if you are too good for the B team, but not good enough to be playing week in, week out for the A team – how would you feel?
He is a foreign player, who has to learn a new language and live in a different country – so he could be forgiven for his return of 1 goal and 0 assists so far, but his general play has been very good. He has been in a couple of senior squads for the Champions League, but as far as I can see has yet to appear. The club are giving him the match day experience, with a view to using him next season if he is ready.
If the Castilla side do not get promoted back to the Segunda this summer, you may well see Odegaard go on loan to someone like Valladolid, Betis or a club of that ilk – top end of the Segunda, and playing against peers that will challenge him technically and physically (apparently the club are not keen on him playing another season in effectively the 3rd tier). Much like Ronaldo as a kid, he needs to bulk up, but not too quickly, as that can ruin also ruin his career. At 16, they need to let him develop at his own pace, and not try and force him through too quickly.
No doubt here – the lad has talent. He must be made to earn a first team place through good, consistent performances in the Castilla and any possible loan. If he is fast-tracked because of the stature of his transfer and any potential tantrums – he will turn into yet another mercenary-type prima-donna that gets his way. At the end of the day – he has played 7 games since his January £3m move from Stromsgodset, he is in a new country, learning a new language – the media love to say “I told you so” and don’t seems to care that their negativity could have a mental affect on a very young boy with a lot of talent.
The reason why the media are picking on him? Because he is earning £80,000 a week at 16 when these writers were on their papers rounds at the same age. Simple jealousy. These papers thrive on players failing after being bigged up, especially in England! I swear the likes of the Mirror would rather England fail miserably than actually do well, because they then have the chance to spread the drivel that you see on the back page each morning.