Gabriel Martinelli, the difference.
Gabriel Martinelli hasn’t started for Arsenal for weeks, after picking up a hamstring injury in our 1-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park almost a month ago. Originally it didn’t look too serious but has kept him out of a few important games this season and left Arsenal fans wondering when he would make his next appearance.
But we didn’t have to wait too long to see our winger back to his best, after Leandro Trossard was forced off in the first half due to his own hamstring problems, Arteta turned straight to Gabriel Martinelli and boy did he make a difference.
Coming on with so much energy, it looked like he’d never left. In the first half all our our attacks were hugging the right side, probably because Bukayo Saka is normally our main pathway to goal, which saw Trossard not really get many chances on the left side and when he did, he was quickly closed down by Kyle Walker, but as soon as Martinelli came on the whole mood of the game changed, and we started to launch attack after attack down that left wing. Martinelli, who is known for his pace and movement on the ball, looked to catch Walker off guard.
Walker is one of the best fullbacks in the Premier League and Martinelli and Trossard may play in the same position sometimes, but are completely different types of players. Martinelli bursts down the wing with his pace, tries to beat and go past his man down the touchline, whereas Trossard takes a little more time on the ball and looks for little tiki taki and I think that caught Walker off guard, for 45 minutes he was defending against a player who doesn’t really use his pace like Martinelli does and then Martinelli just exploded onto the pitch.
Arteta was asked after the game about Martinelli’s impact off the bench in his post-match press conference and said this “He’s been saying for a few week that I was going to be there for City.
“Obviously we were saying to Gabi it would be too early for you, and yesterday he said “boss I told you, I’m going to be ready for this”. And it happened – after 30 minutes Leo felt something in his hamstring. So, when I turned around, he was already ready, to go with his kit, and saying “boss, I’m ready to go”. He’s just got the joy of a kid, his mentality is incredible at his age, and it’s just a joy to have him because today he could change the game and he was really helpful for us to win”.
Clearly impressed with our winger’s cameo and come back to the squad. Scoring the winner in the dying second of the game, sending The Emirates crowd into madness. Martinelli made a huge difference to how we played and was probably my MOTM.
What’s your thoughts on Martinelli’s performance Gooners?
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