With all eyes on this weekend’s massive North London Derby, Arsenal were on the receiving end of two honors, as Mikel Arteta picked up the Barclay’s Manager of the Month award while Martin Ødegaard received his first EA Sports Player of the Month accolade.
Mikel Arteta Nov/Dec Manager of the Month— Arsenal Guns (@TheArsenalGuns) January 13, 2023
Martin Odeggard Nov/Dec player of the month
Despite the last week’s absurd FA-related shenanigans and the conversations in the media about the gaffer’s touchline antics, Arteta claimed his fourth MOTM accolade. The World Cup may have interrupted the top leagues in November, but that did not stop Arsenal’s league-leading form when action resumed in December, with a flawless run of matches between the two months to cement the Gunners’ spot atop the league at the end of the calendar year.
Arteta’s fourth award means he is now tied with the likes of Jose Mourinho and Mauricio Pochetino for individual awards and is 14th all time among PL managers. More impressive is the fact that this he has won three of the last six MOTM awards, a stat befitting the transformational job that Arteta has done.
Martin Ødegaard’s award is his first in an Arsenal kit, and well-deserved. Few midfielders have made such a noticeable impact this season as the Norwegian CAM. Martin has been Arsenal’s heartbeat in the attack with his tidy dribbling and incredible eye for a pass, and his performances have been difference makers. With 12 goal contributions, he is tied with Bukayo Saka for most among the Gunners. There’s just something about CAMs acquired from Real Madrid with the initials MO, I swear...
The accolades are well-deserved for both, but I have the distinct feeling that both would prefer the much more fulfilling accomplishment of doing the double over Spurs this season. I say, why not both? Some folks online have been bemoaning the timing of the award and the MOTM “curse” ahead of the NLD. This is a friendly reminder that Arteta already broke that curse once after the Gunners shellacked Brentford 3-0 after winning it in August.
Curse or no curse, these awards are a testament to the talent on the pitch and the touchline. Congrats, guys! Now go out there and bury those Spurs.