Good luck to Emi Martinez – He has earned his Arsenal legacy

Thank You Martinez by Dan Smith

So, we all waited impatiently for the team news from Craven Cottage and it kind of made us sad. No disrespect to Matt Macey, but we really didn’t want to see his name in the squad as it pretty much confirms Emiliano Martinez is leaving the club after a decade.

Left out to either finalise negotiations or because his head was deemed distracted, It’s an underwhelming way for the Argentine to depart given his contribution to us winning the FA Cup.

It appears his last game as a Gunner was lifting the Community Shield. For someone who spent the last 10 years mostly loaned out, his Arsenal career has ended better than he could have imagined.

Arteta was clearly content to have two keepers battling to be number 1, as competition would have brought out the best in Martinez and Leno.

It was the player who has made this choice, turning down a new contract even though his wages would have improved dramatically.

The decision isn’t a financial one. The incentive at 28, is to be playing every week and he just couldn’t get that guarantee from our manager.

You can see it from all sides. Maybe you can argue he should have the confidence to back himself, the self-belief that he would carry on earning the role.

Yet I can see it from his point of view. From March onwards, he performed beyond expectations. In life you can only ever give your best version of yourself and that’s what he did. If that’s still not enough to be assured minutes in the Premiership, it might never happen.

Football is a fickle business. If he had gone back to being our cup keeper and made a couple of mistakes, would the next summer have the likes of Aston Villa reportedly willing to offer you a big deal? This could be his one chance to be a first-choice keeper in the ‘best League in the world’ increasing his chances of being his country’s first choice.

There’s every chance of course this was just a purple patch. You know the saying, form is temporary, class is permanent. After all, the likes of Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery never saw him good enough to even be back up. If you had said this time last year, we could get 15-20 million for Martinez you would have taken it.

He could flop at Villa Park and it will look like great business for Arsenal, or continue to excel, and he would be the one who got away (I hope we have a buyback clause).

I rarely agree with our transfer strategy, but you always felt at a time when you don’t know when you’re getting match-day revenue it was logical to cash in on one of the Keepers.

Whatever the intentions, can you morally ask players to take salary cuts, make staff redundant, then turn down 15-20 million on an asset you don’t plan to feature most weeks?

I say ‘whatever the intentions’ as I continue to question the motivation behind sacking 55 people just to save a couple of million pounds.

Many have mocked me for it and called me negative, but I maintain let’s wait till the end of the deadline to see what net spend we have compared to say a Chelsea.

The squad were told taking a pay cut would save the jobs of non-playing staff. That was a lie.
Now though we are told that was needed so the funds would be there to strengthen the Arsenal squad (the only squad asked to do this by the way).

As I write this, we ripped up Mkhitarayan’s contract to give his wages to Willian, Ceballos’ salary was already budgeted for, as we are paying him what we were giving Ramsey.

We bought Gabriel for approx. 23 million (rising to 27) but are about to get 15-20 million back in for Martinez. I thought we were sacking people for the sake of improving the squad – not for a net spend of what, 7 million? Chelsea meanwhile are spending over 200 million, but we are going to challenge for the title. Not with this owner. Which is a shame as we have the right manager.

Again, I’ll wait till October.

For the last decade it didn’t seem Martinez would leave any kind of legacy in North London. Loaned out to 6 clubs, the man himself wouldn’t have believed he would be remembered in our history. Yet no one will forget his tears at Wembley in August. Gooners will fondly remember just how much the moment meant to him and will tell their grandchildren how he was in tears.

When he had left home, he promised his parents one day he would return to South America with a winners medal. It’s like a movie.

History tells us Arsenal have won 14 FA Cups. He can tell his children he massively contributed to one of them, no one can take that honour away from him.

So, if Emiliano Martinez is leaving …. and our team news at Fulham suggest that is the case, he leaves with a place in our hearts…

Be Kind In The Comments



  1. Too bad Villa didn’t try to pry Leno away from us instead of Martinez. They need a keeper that can handle 30 shots a game and sustained pressure on the defense. Martinez is a good keeper, imposing, commanding, great in the air but without a solid defense infront of him he’ll get found out. All the best to him but he’ll regret this decision and will probably get relegated as well

    1. Leno on the other hand has Arteta adding juggernauts in defense to minimize his aerial weaknesses. And we already know what a good goalkeeper he is aside from that. He’ll be talked about as on of the best gk’s in the near future imo

      1. I feel really sorry for Emiliano…. he’s helped us at a time we were in dire straits…more than 10 years he spent with Arsenal doing whatever he was asked to, and now we can’t guarantee him a starting place even after he’s proved himself as a good goalie….it’s just not just!!!
        #Respect Emiliano
        #All the best Emiliano
        #Change the Owner

    2. How do you know he will regret his decision, are you God. Please just wish him well and if you can’t do that then shut up.

      1. I know because it’s my opinion! Never said it’s set in stone facts. Villa is a huge step down and even though he might become Argentinian number 1 initially because he’ll get more minutes, when villa start to struggle and linger in the bottom half what do you think will happen? Worse if he gets relegated with them.
        And FYI I did wish him well, I don’t know what you’re on about. And never tell me to shut up unless you can shut up yourself with your own halfassed opinions

          1. Apology accepted Leno. I’m also upset we’re losing Martinez and I wish him all the best. But in my heart I just feel he deserved a bigger club and more chance of trophies or an opportunity at a champions league club.

            1. Martinez downgrading himself by leaving Arsenal to Newcastle at this time. Unless he went to a bigger club, I would be happy for him. Nevertheless, Thank you Martinez.

    3. Your comment sounds more like Sour crapes the fact is he is going to Villa to play games and not be parked on a bench , Villa relegated? what makes you think that, the season has not started yet for some clubs

  2. Rome wasn’t build in a day. Everything we have done so far has been positive. Clearing the deadwood will take longer than one window and it’s clear we are replacing quantity with quality. Yes Chelsea have spent 200 million but they didn’t bring a single player in last season whilst we spent 100 million on Saliba and Pepe who will become a top player this season. Most players take a full season or more to adapt to the premier league hopefully pepe will become a good example of this, so there is no guarantee that Chelsea players will hit the ground running. Saliba, Gabriel and William are already 3 players that improve our 11 and another top midfielder will make it 4. We are the inform team we beat Liverpoolx2 Chelsea City and United under Arteta last season and with the short break we will take that momentum forward and finish in the top 4.

  3. I love Martinez in fact I prefer him to Leno, both are good though. But I understand the situation, it is difficult to keep two number 1 keeper, Martinez doesn’t want to sit on bench again.

    1. Ade you are not alone, am sure if we are to put it into vote, Martinez will come out on top, but I understand why he’s leaving, he wants to play every week and he might not get a better opportunity than this and the salary is being reported to be more than what arsenal offered him, am just sad arsenal couldn’t get more money for him.

      1. I also hear its the case of wanting the number one spot outrightly and not fighting for it. Arteta wants Leno and martinez to fight for the shirt. That won’t be easy since the goal keeper position isn’t like other outfield position. Well, I understand Martinez but I wish he went to a better team in the league or abroad…

  4. Smith Rowe, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson to be loaned out to go get first team experience👊👊
    We’re still trying to move bodies out permanently before closing incoming deals

    1. Eddie I really have big doubts on Nelson am not sure the boy will make it at Arsenal, he seems to have skills and talent but I really don’t know what’s wrong with him. But I don’t want us to loan Smith Rowe I feel that he can have positive impacts this season with us.

      1. While he was with the U21. He was the most talented kid in the squad.. I watched him.
        Then he got a few chances under Wenger, out in average performance, went on loan to Hoffeinham.
        Was scoring goals but was a poor player. I kept watching him there, when fans were quick to point out how massive he’ll be for us because he was scoring, I kept pointing out how he’s been an average footballer who just get to score, a lot of people ignored me.
        His coach came out to say he needs to improve and mature in his games.
        I remember quickly pointing out how the most talented kid I’m seeing is coming out: Saka, more talented than Nelson.
        Kev and I got into a debate bout it, he stood with Nelson, I stuck with Saka till he started playing constantly in the EUL.
        Till today I’m yet to see Nelson believe in himself and take the bull by the horn.
        I’m yet to see Nelson learn from Saka’s mentality.
        Nelson is definitely talented, Nelson was more technical than Mason Mount is right now. I just don’t know what went wrong for the boy.
        He should get loaned out, believe in himself more, take risks, make use of his skills and technicality more instead of being scared of losing the ball.
        He doesn’t have balls to do the stuff he used to do.
        He should be loaned out.

        Regarding Smith Rowe, he needs the loan.
        I bet you he won’t see game time if he stays. The flanks are filled with wingers. Arteta is hell bent on bringing more midfielders. We all know his priority is Aouar then Partey.
        With a midfield option of Aouar, Partey, Ceballos, Xhaka, and Elneny staying for rotation.
        I doubt Smith Rowe would see game time, same with Willock.
        It’s why Arteta wants to send them out on loan

        1. Just to add on Nelson, as I agree with your views – he was touted as being a technically better footballer then Sancho by their youth coach. It might be an element of seeing sancho go on and be worth 100m and his career being stop start. Wenger didnt utilise establishing young talent like he once did with Anelka Henry and Cesc when nelson was in the squad…hence gnarby leaving, ox leaving…
          I think nelson needs to be playing. He should already be playing EPL games
          So if he cant get that here then a loan would be a good idea.
          Everton or Villa but probably a villa kinda club. West Brom, Sheff United
          He needs to do it for himself, like Martinez wanting to play. He needs to believe long term if he wants an arsenal career, the kind like we had with parlour even because the Saka and Martinelli will be most starters, then he needs game time now.

          Dont become a lingard or possibility a Dele Alli

          Willock too because it might be we sell martinez loan a few sell another and buy either of aouar or partey. It might be we get the other a year or in jan.
          I would get in partey for now because torriera I dont think will be able to play 90 epl mins week in week out.

          Plus il love saying arsenal are having a partey!!

    2. Whoever is making loan decisions must be one very smart guy. These three need first team football every week to grow

  5. Honest truth I prefer emi behind the post coz he is so assuring… His ball distribution and cross handling is world class… I would not want to lose him to a premier league opponents and hope that this will not come back to haunt us… Just imagine save after saves and jack grealish scores a 90th minute winner…. And we end losing our champion league spot or 1 better the epl tittle to any of the 5 rivals… But Whateva good luck to emi I don’t see how we could have missed him being our number 1 in this 10 seasons… Wenger has to take most of the blames for loaning him out so much…. Wateva I wana see him lift the world Cup with Messi and be Argentina numbero onu

    1. Maybe he would have been number one at some point, especially when we had ospina and cech. Well that’s in the past now.

      We wish him well….

      1. Yeah, I really don’t get how Ospina was preferred to Emi. I mean Emi is better in every respect. Even if he was a little worse a few years go, would still imagine he was better than Ospina.

  6. Eddie ,how does Aouar fit into the current 3-4-3 system?Where exactly would be play given that we have plenty of wide players including Auba and the injured Martinelli.

    1. You’ve forgotten Arteta’s preferred formation is 4-3-3? And not with the 5 defenders?
      Remember he switched to 3-4-3 just to bring the best out of the team for now.
      Arteta’s not the defensive minded type, and Aouar fits in a 4-3-3 or even 4-2-3-1, but Arteta’s formation is 4-3-3.
      Also you should know Aouar is not a No 10. He’s more of an 8. Very progressive and similar to Nasri.
      So our midfield trio would probably be Aouar-Partey-Xhaka(If we get them) with Ceballos and Elneny rotating with them

  7. Dan, good article and I too thank Emi Martinez for his loyal service and his efforts when he got the opportunity to shine. It would be interesting to know how much Arsenal offered him to stay given he was on a wage of £20k per week. Word on the street is that Aston Villa is offering £60k per week.
    Dan, by the way Arsenal didn’t “rip up” Mhikatarians contract, his agent bought out the contract for £1 million.
    It will be interesting to see what happens to Matt Macey 26 and 2.01m (6’7″) tall, who has recently signed a contract extension and a probable wage increase from his 5k per week. On 10 September 2050 he told the Telegraph that he would leave Arsenal to become #1 elsewhere. It is apparent that the pay increase he got wasn’t enough to make him want to stay, as back up to Leno. Any alternate keeper will cost a lot more.

    1. It’s not about the money for Martinez Ozzie. It’s about the playing time. His target is to be Argentina’s number one, that’s way he wants the number one spot.
      If he was guaranteed that, he would’ve accepted his new contract

      1. Eddie, while I don’t disagree that money may not be the principal driver, Martinez is ostensibly replacing Aston Villa’s injured first choice keeper, so he may have to fight for his place at Villa Park anyway.

  8. I think Villa are getting an absolute bargain but i think he is better than Villa which could work against him. I am very surprised Chelsea never came in and we get nearer what i think he is worth now. The guy has been successful so far with every opportunity he has been given, Villa are stealing him, good luck too all.

  9. Yet another excellent article DAN, full of context and well explained thought processes. On the 55 sackings I will not further comment, as I have much done so already, save only to say I am with you all the way on that.
    Martinez’s dilemma was one that starkly shows how in top sport one needs to take the main chance when it finally comes. So many young players blow their big chance by non professional living style(Jack Wilshere hardly helped himself in THAT respect and is now paying the penalty!) but Emi Martinez has been the polar opposite and finally taken, at 28, his big chance to be a first choice keeper.

    Much regretted by us all I think, but good for him and he goes, sadly for us, but with our best wishes and I’d love to see him shine at Villa(where it seems he is going ). Best of luck Emi! We will miss you!

  10. I just hope we do not get Raya, the guy had a knee ligament issue for the last 3 months, and they gave him an injection to train.

  11. Best of luck with Villa…
    They’ve been lacking a decent gk for a long time, they now have one! Ollie Watkins is a good buy – just ask United 😂 – I think they’ll do alright.. plus Emi will play every week, which is all he ever wanted… gives me a reason to watch Villa more often now!!
    Goodbye and thanks for the memories

  12. I couldn’t agree more with your views.
    Arsenal desperately needs a new owner, for me that sums it all and all other things will fall in place.

  13. Good luck to him (except against us of course 😀), I’d have preferred for him to move abroad, or better yet, for him to stay and fight Leno for the no. 1 spot. He was already in the lead in my opinion, but Leno has saved us time and again since he arrived (especially under Emery, where the defence was in shambles, and he had to face an insane amount of shots per game). Let’s hope Leno doesn’t get too comfortable or complacent now that Martinez is gone, because he definitely would have to stay on his toes if he had stayed. I hope whoever is replacing him would at least be a reliable backup to Leno.

  14. When I saw what Emil can do and his quality in goal my heart went for. And considering that he has spent ten years without hope, I felt we have stolen the young man’s career. How would a player of that quality be on 20k a week? Did we enslave him or what really happened. Hope will pay all his outstanding bonuses and an apology.

    We really treated that guy bad.

  15. Charles Watts:
    Emi Martinez has completed his £20m move to Aston Villa this afternoon. He has signed a four-year contract.

  16. Good luck to Emi at Villa and I don’t blame him for leaving because he wants to be playing every week but he might find the same situation at Villa once Heaton ( a very good keeper ) is fit. What will he do then, leave or try to keep his place in the team ( which I hoped he would have done with us ).

      1. Hard pass on both those keepers we are linked to Raya and Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson, both were rated poorly on some stats site that someone posted here or on another site. Small keepers too, 6ft and 75 kgs..

  17. We are always gifted with good goal keepers… Imagine sczeny, fabiansik, now Martinez….. We will get another back up very soon….. But all in all good luck to Martinez…

  18. We shall miss him, he brought delight to us, some confidence at well. He commanded the box well.

    He was good at crosses, I don’t know how many goals he conceded in corners but somehow I was confident when he was in the goal, seems also the defenders were more comfortable with him.

    He was good playing from the back, …..all the best martin

  19. The right decision, albeit a heartbreaking one. It’s hard to get both sides of the story but it seems that Arteta’s attitude towards Martinez was more of, “You did your job as a back-up, we’re not giving you any guarantees.”
    It wasn’t just the saves he made but the way he made the defence feel. HE was calm and authoritative and the team looked so much more solid. It’s so easy to credit Leno for his brilliant saves but many have been the times when the defence has just looked shoddy, and it’s his job to organise them which he didn’t do on many occasions. Some of his mistakes were also ugly to say the least. Martinez did so brilliantly in those games, NEVER put a foot wrong, that he deserved the trust of the manager. It’s always normal for players to demand more game time, Emi isn’t the first, and if Arteta had told him that he would start against Fulham and that Leno would have had to win his spot back, then things would have been different. But news is that Arteta wasn’t even willing to let him have the cups to himself. Under those circumstances, Emi was right to put his career first, and 20 million quid for him is top business.
    A final perspective: Leno sent us out of the Europa League with his clanger, but Martinez helped bring us back into it AND ensured Aubameyang would stay, while also preventing us ending the season in the bottom half of the table. We owe him a HUGE debt.
    Una vez Gunner, siempre Gunner! Gracias y buena suerte Emi!

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