Arsenal mistake called as Bernd Leno not ‘top-four’ quality

Tony Adams has slammed Arsenal’s decision to allow Emi Martinez leave this summer, claiming that Bernd Leno is not good enough for the top-four.

The Argentine shot-stopper came into the first-team in April after Leno suffered an injury against Brighton, and that kept him out of action for five months.

Despite Emi becoming a cult hero in guiding us to glory in the FA Cup and Community Shield, he found himself losing his first-team spot to the German on his return to action, and Adams claims that was wrong.

“Martinez was incredible in their cup run. He was absolutely sensational,” Adams told Astro SuperSport. “What Leno does struggle with, for me, is crosses.

“Arteta’s gone, ‘No, Leno is my number one, I like him’ and he’s put all his faith in him. But I don’t believe that he’s a top-four goalkeeper.

“Martinez, it was coincidence, everything fell into place for Arsenal in the cup competition last year, it was like it was

“This goalkeeper comes in – been at the club for 10 years and not played 10 games – and he stops everything! He was a man possessed, he was absolutely incredible.

“For me he was the number one… but Arteta’s the man and he’s chosen a different goalkeeper.”

Whilst Adams insists that Martinez should have been the number one, our fanbase voted Bernd Leno to be our second-best Player of the Year for last term, ahead of youngster Bukayo Saka, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the clear winner of the award.

The German was very much a key player for us in a torrid campaign, but that isn’t to say that Martinez hadn’t done enough to deserve keeping his spot in goal.

Are Arsenal already regretting their decision to choose Leno over Emi?


Tags Bernd Leno Emiliano Martinez Tony Adams


    1. Martinez is yet to concede a goal in a poorer team. Keep waiting for him to fumble when leno parry’s simple shots that Martinez catches with ease

  1. I disagree with Adams on this. This cheap comparison of Leno and Martinez is uncalled for. Leno was our best player before he got injured against Brighton last season.

    Leno is ours why Martinez belong to Villa. Time to move on and support our team.

    1. Leno is good but I hate seeing all these excuses of Leno was our best player before his injury, because he was our best doesn’t mean someone else can come in to be better.? Imagine aubameyang got injured and we got lewandoski in his prime years and bang in more goals than Auba in a short space of time, would you sell lewandoski just to keep Auba starting?. Usually, you start your best player. Martinez came in and in a very short time showed he was better than Leno’s best. Wouldn’t he need time to prove he can still be better over a long run of games? But because he asked for just that, we were too short-sighted to see it. I hope Leno repays Arteta’s faith in him, so far he has not proved that we made the right decision, selling Martinez

  2. Time will tell!

    I’m not going to question or debate just yet until we can analyse the stats/performances of both keeper over the next season. That’s only fair!?

    I was a massive fan of Emi’s though, I don’t mind admitting 🙂

  3. Well, these comments will further kill Leno’s confidence.
    I said it on here after watching Martinez for 3 games he is better than Leno, I remember clearly Eddie Hoyte my brother laughed at me, Leno is a good GK, he has saved us a lot bla bla…but does that mean Emi is not better than him? I mean we can all see with our eyes how Emi is ALL ROUND a better GK than Leno, If it was Emi, that first Liverpool goal is not a goal.

    Having said that, since Emi is gone, we just need to support him because all these comments will do him/us no good but it is going to be hard to not mention Emi anytime Leno fumbles again, he has to continue proving himself, that is the game! What you did yesterday no longer matters, it is about NOW, there is a lot at stake.

    1. I said it before and I will still still it now, sticking with Leno was and is the right choice.
      I will change my views after a season and he fails to perform like he’s been doing.
      I ain’t buying into None of that reactionary crap.
      A GK that could never break into the team for the past 10 years under Arsene Wenger who shuffled goalkeepers and under Emery is the one you suddenly think is the savior after 3 months.
      I’ve never taken anything away from Martinez, he’s a solid goalkeeper and one of us, but I’d be out of my head to start saying he’s suddenly the better Goalkeeper when compared to Leno.
      Simple logic demands keeping Leno was the right decision and safer decision.
      After a full season, I’ll analyze my stand on both GK again and I’ll say who I think is still better.
      Leno does need to improve on a few things but For now? I ain’t buying whatever you guys are selling

      1. A player could flop for years Eddie and suddenly start to pick form at a certain age after gaining experience. The fact he’s not broken into the team in 10 years doesn’t mean his 3months spell was a fluke, it could as well have been his transformation into the best goalkeeper in the world. He needed more time to show the 3 months wasn’t a fluke, he was sold instead. 80% at the very least of arsenal fans saw in those 3 months what we’ve not seen any arsenal goal keeper do since lehmann for arsenal. We all saw he was clearly better than Leno whom we all thought was our messiah(despite his inadequacies), we had half-bread with Leno, we were satisfied but Martinez showed us what it felt like to have full bread and you are being sentimental by thinking, oh we’ve been fed half bread for 2 years while we were starving, let’s stick with the half bread rather than get really filled with full bread just because you’re insecure about the fact that the full bread can continue being full for years to come. If Leno wasn’t given a chance, you think you’ll get to enjoy that half bread?

  4. Nobody denies Leno needs to improve his handling of the ball and crosses nor not, but to say he’s not topf is a bit much?
    Chelsea fans admire him and would love him in their team.
    De Gea isn’t the De Gea we know anymore, Henderson pretty much like Martinez is unproven for a longer period yet?
    So I don’t see what will stop Leno from starting for Chelsea or United.
    Everyone of us wanted Martinez to stay, but he wanted to leave… Adams will just ignore that?

    1. Eddie,

      Eventhough I know we were not expected to beat Liverpool, it still hurts me the way we lost that game, i am so pained Eddie,ffs we had a chance to level and anything could have happened after that!
      I give up on Lacazette and Pepe, Pepe can’t even lace Saka’s boots Never! If we bought him for 40m he is total waste of money,talk more of paying 72m for such a useless player. Dude has no f impact on the game!

      Our front three have no chemistry whatsoever, we have a very long way to go-people keep saying it’s Liverpool, hmm, can’t wait to see us play Brighton, Leeds and SHE utd

      1. I’d sell Lacazette if I could and just give Brentford 25M to buy Said Benrahma then move PEA to the middle. I was done with Lacazette since, the only thing he brings to the game is his hold up play.
        Those two chances he missed yesterday are the sort that differentiate an elite striker from an average one.
        I feel even Danny ings would actually do better than Lacazette in our team.
        I’m running out of excuses for Pepe.
        Excuses were needed for him since it was his first season, but I’m tired of doing that.
        Saka needs to take his position.
        I’d really like to see Saka take that RW posiy and be given the go ahead to express himself.. That boy can actually do a lot

        1. You’ll continue buying players season in season out.

          But if you can’t dominate games, don’t expect miracles.

          This is not BETTING!!!

          1. No shît Sherlock Holmes.
            Name me a coach that will dominate the top 6 midfield with our midfield options.
            Name me a coach that will dominate half of our league games with our midfield options.
            I don’t know if you’re just being a troll or you’re jut being clueless.
            You keep talking about dominating yet keep avoiding the fact that we actually need quality midfielders

            1. This buying of midfielders nonsense, it was ME who even brought it up,, and all pple began jumping onto the bandwagon…

              But you forget the circumstances…

              I actually said again that it was useless to strengthen an already good defence and more so with”very ordinary” players.

              We had to strengthen the midfield FIRST before anything else,,, Why??? Simply b’se Emery had sold off almost all the technical midfielders and replaced them with mechanical players (Guendouzi, Torreira).

              I don’t know how you don’t get my logical thinking, that everything starts with making good decisions as a coach

                1. Herbz, the current midfield over the past three seasons is among the worst I have seen play for the Arsenal.

        2. I would not normally comment but I could not resist the idea suggested here. Benranhma would be an excellent addition to our team. The is guy could turnout to be the find of the season.
          Why we are not jumping at bits to take this guy from Brentford is beyond me. I think getting him is more important than any if the players we are currently pursuing. And cheaper too.

    2. When Martinez played in those 3 months, could you point to anything Martinez had to “improve”. Answer that honestly for Therein lies your answer as to who is better.

    3. why will some one who help you to reach final and carry cups and still doing well, you denied him apprecation by promoting him, emi is my man, because of him now i am watching his team match, he is a big mistake arsenal made,to sell him,

  5. I am beginning to respect Adams more as a pundit because of his SPOT ON analysis.

    That’s exactly what I said. Arteta, solely is to blame for this conundrum.

    How he came up with idea of choosing Leno as his first choice ahead of Martinez is simply RECKLESS.

    And how is Kroenke supposed to fix that nonsense from our own supposedly “technical” on-pitch decision makers????.

    I don’t trust Leno in big games,I wonder why arteta sell Martinez and he tell as is to funds to hoo partey and bla bla Aouror,we r tied of that non stopable nonsense for arsenal keep their own stupid things,look Chelsea and other team don’t take more time saying we want weee want.But Arsenal will wanting forever and ever..😕😕😴😆

  7. Let’s be honest, Arteta’s choice of back three made me think Unai Emery was back. C’mon it was poor. Holding makes me, the other players nervous and the supporters nervous. Tierney is a full back, wing back and not a back three player. Luiz is…….well not great. With a crap midfield we fell into a self-made trap. Also where was Gabriel? Why have we not done our midfield business yet? Our midfield was shite. We were lucky against West Ham, beat a crap Fulham side with our worst midfield ever, that ever wore an Arsenal shirt. Money Mr Krankie, players Mr Krankie.

  8. Leno lacks the ability to communicate and coordinate his defence. No communication whatsoever to close down Jota for the 3rd goal. Every aerial ball is a threat in our box. The phool doesn’t know when to pass and when to play long.. Just kept putting holding, and Tierney under constant pressure.
    Play Runnarsson on Thursday
    Saliba Luiz Gabriel
    Niles Ceballos Elneny Tierney
    Willian Auba Saka

    At this point i’m afraid, Pepe is a massive flop.. Too one dimensional and contributes absolutely nothing in attack. And I never want to see him take corners again

  9. The whole team performed incredibly towards the end of last season, not just Martinez. But where were all those incredible players yesterday. Martinez wouldn’t have done shit yesterday. The whole team was a mess. You can’t single out players for criticism based on your preferences.

    1. Beats me how some fans can just be clueless, yea we were optimistic to win the game and thats the believe arteta has brought back to our hearts but we should still be conscious that we ain’t there yet by a stretch, some fans keep calling arteta out when things don’t go well forgetting what he’s achieved with limited resources and the same decisions they criticize. We were in that game till the 85th minute and that gave me joy my only disappointment being lacazette not converting them chances plus Martinez ain’t better than Leno y’all should give it a rest and let’s move on.

  10. Clubs make mistakes, Chelsea made big ones on Salah and De Breun. My opinion is Martinez brought a calm to the team that Leno hasn’t. My opinion is Martinez is the better keeper. My opinion is Leno is a good shot stopper but overall he lacks composure and ability to command his area.

    1. Very true Reggie
      Composure and ability to command his area made the difference. Playing out from the back didn’t scare me half to death with Emi but I feared the worst last night with the Liverpool players virtually in the goal mouth at times. Very uncomfortable to watch

  11. Lets be brutally honest and admit Martinez is better and Leno was our 2nd best player last season only because we were so awful everywhere else and Leno faced so many shots, which IS the strongest part of his game. Being commanding in the box is by far the WEAKEST part of his game, and Emi’s strongest. And wow did having a commanding presence in the box make a giant difference. Fact is that we wouldnt have a trophy if we didn’t have Emi in those cup games. Espescially against CIty who put in tons of crosses where we all know Leno wouldve fumbled and not reached and ball wouldve bounced around and got to a City player. THats the thing with Leno. THe ball always bounces around the box when hes in goal and just happens to fall to the opposition. At some point its because you aren’t commanding your box well enough and yelling at your defenders in front of you. David Luiz clearly does not trust Leno and it’s not a coincidence they run into each other consistenly. Leno doesn’t have the arrogance that Emi does to become a top GK and this is another position that will need changing in the near future. Outside of shot stopping, Leno doesn’t cut it.

    1. Leno isn’t bad at all Sue but sticking with him instead of Martinez was a decision i find a strange one. Leno was number one when Arteta came in and Martinez wasn’t given a chance previously. Martinez comes in and wins Arteta a trophy within months of being a manager, with fautless displays. Now for me i would have developed a soft spot for Martinez if i was Arteta but he didnt. Martinez was obviously informed that Leno was number one and he hadn’t done enough to make it the other way round. I think it would have been just as easy to sell Leno for 20 mil and renew Martinezs contract but that was never an option. Arteta now has to live with the decision and hope it doesn’t look a bad one in 6 months time.

      1. Cheers for that, Reggie.. the Leno backlash has been constant from some since Emi’s departure – just made me wonder that’s all. We play Villa soon? Interesting…..

        1. its all opinion Sue and i was/am a leno fan but i became a bigger Martinez fan. I hope both keepers do really well for both their teams respectively.

      1. Depends what they’re doing, Kstix. Playing out certainly Emi. It’s irrelevant what I think anyway…I just wondered what MA was thinking… He watches us play out and how poor it can be on occasions, but still insists we play that way! 🤪

  12. Sad we goofed big time by selling our safest pair of hands. We were to keep Martinez as number one whiles Leno recuperate and compete for the spot.
    Martinez is aggressive and commands his space very well and is good on the feet whereas Leno appears dull and not good on the feet especially when we want to stick to playing out from the back. Leno is not smart at picking his players and always waits for his players to be marked before giving a pass.
    We lost him and it is a spilt milk now. I can only hope that he gain on his form and become more sharper.

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