Ray Parlour has slammed Mikel Arteta for how he has been treating Gabriel Martinelli even though the Brazilian has shown that he is one of the best attackers at the club.
Martinelli is one of the club’s fans’ favourite and he always impresses them on the pitch.
He, however, doesn’t seem to enjoy any preference from Arteta who showed yesterday again that he prefers to set up his team without the Brazilian in it.
Arsenal was missing Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wasn’t fit enough for their game against Villarreal, fans expected to see Martinelli in the starting XI.
But Arteta curiously started Emile Smith Rowe as a false nine instead and it backfired with the Englishman struggling to make the required impact in an unfamiliar position.
Parlour was discussing Arteta’s decision to start Granit Xhaka as a left-back with Trevor Sinclair and he said he was baffled by what is happening with Martinelli after suggesting that Bukayo Saka should have played as a left-back, giving the Brazilian the chance to play in the Arsenal attack.
Parlour said on TalkSPORT: “You’ve got to play Granit Xhaka [who kept his place as a makeshift left-back] in midfield. Bukayo Saka’s got to go left-back, he’s very athletic and get forward too. Smith Rowe is better in a deeper area and Martinelli, I don’t get what’s going on with Martinelli.
“He changed the game for Arsenal, but he must be terrible in training because he never starts! He’s a very exciting player.
“Those are obvious choices and I thought they were really poor in central midfield, and that is where you dictate the tempo of the game. Thomas Partey didn’t have a good game, he was giving the ball away!”