Jamie Carragher stands by his criticism of Martin Odegaard's excessive celebration after Arsenal's victory against Liverpool.

Did the Norwegians go too far with their celebrations?

April 3rd 2024.

Jamie Carragher stands by his criticism of Martin Odegaard's excessive celebration after Arsenal's victory against Liverpool.
After Arsenal's 3-1 victory over Liverpool, Jamie Carragher criticized Martin Odegaard's celebrations, claiming they were "over the top" and resembled those of a cup final victory. The former Liverpool defender's outspoken remarks drew the ire of Arsenal fans, as he commented on the team's performance in February. The match saw goals from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Leandro Trossard secure a win for the Gunners, bringing them within two points of top-of-the-table Liverpool at the time. At the final whistle, Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta couldn't contain his emotions, sprinting down the touchline and fist-pumping the crowd. Shortly after, captain Odegaard took a camera from the team's official photographer, Stuart MacFarlane, and began taking pictures of himself in front of the elated home crowd.

During the match's co-commentary on Sky Sports, Carragher expressed his disappointment with Odegaard's actions and urged the Norwegian to "get down the tunnel" instead of prolonging the moment on the pitch. "Dear me. Just get down the tunnel. You've won a game. It's three points," Carragher said at the time. "They've been brilliant, they're back in the title race, get down the tunnel." Even when his Sky Sports colleagues joked about his rant later on, Carragher stood by his comments, stating, "I'm serious, honestly."

The situation between Odegaard and Carragher was somewhat awkward when they were reunited a month later during Arsenal's 6-0 victory against Sheffield United. While interviewing the Norwegian on Monday Night Football, Carragher playfully asked why MacFarlane wasn't joining in on the team's celebrations. The two were able to put any potential hostility aside and have a good laugh about the incident. However, during a Q&A session on The Overlap YouTube channel, Carragher defended his initial criticism of Odegaard when an Arsenal supporter brought it up again.

"I've had a laugh about that and Odegaard was brilliant, I think," the ex-Liverpool and England centre-back said. "I don't know if you saw the interview on Monday Night Football a few weeks later when we had a joke about it. And I saw the photographer a couple of times as well. I think whenever that happens, obviously social media goes mad, and everyone gets tribal, and I get all that. But I think it's good that we can have a laugh about it a few weeks later."

Carragher went on to explain his thoughts on Odegaard's celebrations, saying, "I did think it was a little bit over the top from Odegaard. Not Arteta and the celebrating down the line, that's in the moment. I just thought that thing with the camera and the photographer... it reminded me of something you do at the end of a cup final where you've won the cup, and everyone is euphoric and celebrating. I get all that. But I just thought, 'It's a league game, you've won, get down the tunnel!'"

This is not the first time Carragher has commented on Arsenal's emotional control during matches. He noted that while he didn't have a problem with their celebrations this season, there were instances last season where the team seemed to lose control of their emotions, especially towards the end of the season. "If Manchester United, going back 20 years, equalized in the last minute of a game, we wouldn't celebrate. We'd go and get the ball and get back to the halfway line," the ex-Manchester United and England right-back said.

He continued, "If we then won a game in the last minute, we would celebrate and go crazy. But then at the end of the game, we would stay controlled because the job's not done. There's that element of: are you in control of your emotions? It's a feeling sometimes in the stadium. To be fair, this season I haven't had a problem with Arsenal's celebrations, and I didn't have a problem with that day. I thought it was a big win against Liverpool. I had an issue last year where I thought there was a lack of emotional control before the run-in. Arsenal beat Bournemouth with about 12 games to go, and Bournemouth were in the bottom three, and it was almost as if Arsenal were lifting the trophy. I felt that feeling, that emotional control was lost a little bit."

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