Former Arsenal star questions club’s transfer decision

Martin Keown has questioned whether Arsenal made the right decision to allow Emiliano Martinez to leave the club.

The Argentine shot-stopper deputised for Bernd Leno after he picked up an injury against Brighton, and led the club to FA Cup glory, as well thoroughly impressing in the league, before helping Arsenal to win the Community Shield at Wembley also.

Emi was later allowed to join Aston Villa, and currently holds the best defensive record in the division, conceding only twice thus far, both against Liverpool in a 7-2 win.

Leno on the other hand has shipped six goals, the second-best tally in the division, but his performance last night was a scary one.

The German was at fault for the opening goal, before nearly allowing his side to go two behind by rushing well out of his box to the ball, only for his clearance to clatter into his own defender and into the path of the Vienna striker, who failed to keep his composure to find the open goal.

Keown was on BT Sport to discuss the match afterwards, and stated that the club may regret their decision to keep Leno and not Martinez.

“Having let Martinez go, who was magnificent, to see Leno making these types of mistakes, you wonder whether it was the right call,” Martin said (via the Daily Mirror).

“It was a difficult night for Leno. The team had their backs to the wall but showed very good character to get back into it.

“A couple of changes were made. I thought when they changed it actually and went to a back five, the pictures then became more familiar to the players and they found a way to win this match.”

It’s also rather worrying that new signing Alex Runarsson hasn’t been deemed worthy enough to play a single minute in the League Cup or Europa League thus far, having arrived as Emi Martinez’s replacement, which tells me we could well be relying on Leno throughout the remainder of the season.

Will Arteta be ruing the decision to allow Emi to leave without a proper replacement, or will he even be regretting hat he doesn’t have him as his number one?


Tags Bernd Leno Emi Martinez Martin Keown


  1. If Leno was in the Villa goal this season and Emi in the Arsenal goal, can anyone hazard a guess as to how many goals each would’ve conceded so far?

    1. Maxis I will answer your question In a very simple way, Before Leno injury we were conceding goals in the league but in the Europa cup we were winning and conceding less goals, after Leno got injured, we started keeping clean sheets, Martinez kept 9 clean sheets in 13 matches, we played Liverpool in the league and won , we played then in the community Shield without 2 of our senior players but still we only conceded once and win the cup, but now that Leno is back we played the same Liverpool team and conceded 3 goals. I can’t remember any season that Leno kept 10 clean sheets.

      1. @ Lenohappy, please let go of Martinez and support Leno, because we can not bring him back to the club… Are you saying that we would have beat Liverpool at anfield if Martinez was our keeper or we would have beat city at Etihad stadium had it been we use Martinez? About your clean sheet, our opening game was clean sheet and the same Liverpool at anfield , we won with clean sheet and Leno was the keeper… In fact it was the same Liverpool (carabao cup) that we played 5-5 and eventually lost in the penalty shoot out and guess who was our keeper, sure Martinez (conceded 5 goals). Last season, we lost against Brighton, spurs and Aston villa (sure no clean sheet) but won Liverpool, Sheffield, Watford,(again without clean sheet)…. Look, am not saying Martinez is bad but what am saying is that even with Martinez this season, we might still conceed those goals so get over this obsession with Martinez and stop the hatred of Leno because of the love you have for Martinez and let’s support our own player/keeper because Martinez is no more ours and the guy has moved on already and don’t be surprised if Aston villa should score us, they guy will celebrate against us, so please let bygone be bygone…. Support the club, support the mgt and trust in the coach…. MARTINEZ IS NO MORE OURS…….

  2. I am already regretting it, we can continue to pretend and deceive ourselves. Emi is a better keeper, period.

    1. You’re “probably” correct, but what’s the point in moaning about it over and over again when the decision has already been made.

      1. Yes. Spilt milk really and Leno’s main mistake was reckless passing/distribution. He did it in two passes from way toobmany. He will improve.

      2. So that if Leno and the keeper coach can hear or read about our moaning will know he is not what he thought he is and therefore try improve his weaknesses.

      3. The point is we keep making wrong decisions with regards to transfers.. I believe Emi wasn’t treated rightly. He waited patiently for 10 years, moving gradually up the ladder and finally got his chance. Without sentiments, we all saw he earned the No 1 spot. If Leno was truly no 1, then he should have fought back and won it. Football at that level should be about performance and not sentiments (as also with the Ozil situation). But not with Arsenal. Sentiments seems to be a tradition at Arsenal these days.

  3. There has been a consensus that the team has improved defensively post-lockdown.

    We have played 16 EPL games since then. Emi in goal for 11 while Leno in goal for 5. Emi conceded 13 goals during that time while Leno has conceded 6. The goals conceded per game for Emi was 1.18 while that for Leno is 1.2. Not sure that’s such a significant difference to justify the constant comparisons between both keepers.

    You can’t discuss Emi’s performance at Villa without putting Leno in that same situation to see how he would perform.

    1. This just shows where stats lie. Goals conceded per game are not a true reflection of a keepers merits. Opposition, how goals were conceded, shots, headers, corners, free kicks, penalties, etc all have an influence. We can see with our own eyes that Martinez controls his box better, catches rather than punches and is far better at playing out from the back. Leno is a good keeper, an excellent shot stopper but perhaps it’s the tactics that need tweaking to use his best attributes.
      Yes we all raved about Leno when he arrived as he proved to be so much better than what we were used to but unfortunately we have now seen someone better than him.

      1. Spot on Declan! Emi is better overall. We played out from the back effortlessly and better with Emi. With regards to command of area, Emi is also better. In terms of positioning, he’s arguably the best in the league. I’m not saying Leno is not a good keeper but Arsenal could have allowed the competition, which I think Emi could have won easily.

    2. This is why I don’t use stats in judging player and why I always disagree with all this ozil and Mustafi stats, you don’t need a glasses to know van dyke is better than Mustafi even if stats says otherwise. If only Arteta kept faith with Martinez maybe just maybe we would have won the Europa cup, anytime I think about that Arteta decision to replace something that has been working it gets me upset, Martinez was doing well in the Europa cup till Arteta came in and decided to use Leno, we all know what happened, maybe just maybe if we had used Leno against man city in the fa cup we might have lost because of his short passes.

    3. If you cannot witness an event you use stats to help you begin to understand and make comparisons..

      This situation is different.. We are witnessing the event..We see Leno is goal..

    4. .If EMI was our keeper we wouldn’t have lost Man city game because he has a stronger hand and composure to punch the ball away from opponent. I pray Arteta choice will not back fire at the end of the season

  4. Thank goodness I am not the only fan who is not influenced by the dreaded stats.How on earth did we manage to judge players before they were introduced.Oh yes, we used our brain and eyes.

  5. For those of you who are obssess with Martinez and thinking he is Mr perfect and that he can never conceed goals or everything will be okay all that time, guess what you are all wrong, as am typing this now, its Aston villa 0 – Leeds united 3( you see, Martinez just conceded 3 goals. Please I never say the guy is bad or not good enough but please forget about Leno vs Martinez debate and let’s move on…..

    1. you are absolutely right, but picking up on the match report Leeds had 27 shots against Villa and by all accounts the goals were outstanding. What a crazy season so far!

      I’m not going to say that I wasn’t a fan of Emi, because I was. But that is where it ends. He is a Villa player not an Arsenal one and Leno needs the fans behind him

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