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Odegaard Dangerous On The Counter Against Heracles; Grabs An Assist

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Some notes on Martin’s performance against Heracles this afternoon

Norway v Cyprus - UEFA Nations League C Photo by Trond Tandberg/Getty Images

Martin Odegaard played the full 90 in Vitesse’s 4 - 0 win over Heracles this afternoon.

Odegaard — who was lauded as ‘a 10 which the team needs’ by Vitesse head coach Leonid Slutsky — has been deployed in his more traditional right-wing role this season, where he can cut-in and carve-out key passes or dribbles. Today, he played that same role, and per usual with Vitesse, played narrow defensively and stayed in high positions where he can hound players and act as an outlet. If he drops deep, it’s usually to pick up possession and act as a ball-carrier to get the team into the final third as possible.

He grabbed an assist today doing exactly that:

I couldn’t grab clips from this match. The stream quality for Eredivisie games just isn’t good enough to post. But what Odegaard did in the above sequence is not uncommon given his role in the team, especially if there are counter-attacking opportunities.

Those opportunities were rare in the first half, were Heracles sat deep and packed the flanks to make sure Odegaard doesn’t have space. That worked, early on, as Martin’s first few touches weren’t good, and he ended up dribbling into three or four defenders. He grew into the game, though, looked comfortable in those tight spaces, and was able to sling in a couple right-footed crosses.

When Heracles — a team, in every sense of the word, inferior to Vitesse — had to open up, Odegaard had a lot of fun with the extra space. He did have one poor pass on the counter in the first half, but found his feet in the second, won possession in the opposition’s half a couple times, and was a nice creative spark for his team.

Odegaard finished this match with 59 touches, two key passes, and two completed dribbles.

Odegaard’s heat map vs Heracles. Via WhoScored.