“His movement created a lot of problems” Ljungberg praises youngster despite limited minutes

Freddie Ljungberg has praised Gabriel Martinelli for his cameo role in Arsenal’s 2-1 loss to Villarreal last night.

The Brazilian was benched as Mikel Arteta bizarrely played with Emile Smith Rowe in a false nine role.

That decision didn’t pay off with the midfielder left isolated upfront on many occasions.

Arsenal made a poor start to the game and they paid for that by conceding two first-half goals.

With no experienced striker leading the line, the Gunners struggled to get goals in the game.

They scored through the penalty spot, but their attacking play got better when Martinelli was introduced into the game in the second half.

Ljungberg noticed it and said the Brazilian caused a lot of problems for Villarreal when he was subbed on in the game.

“Martinelli, when he came on he would go in behind, his movement created a lot of problems, and he helped Granit [Xhaka] a lot defensively,” Ljungberg told BT Sport via TBR Football.

“I thought he was amazing when he came on. The energy he gives, he runs everywhere, he is really awkward to play against. He trains really, really well.”

Martinelli hasn’t found much favour with Mikel Arteta in this campaign, but he will hope to start the return leg next week.

Tags Gabriel Martinelli


  1. Arteta definately doesnt like Martinelli for some wiered reason, i dont know. playing ESR in a position that’s alien to him and inconsistent team picks after 1 year is a symptom of inexperience..and it’s really smelling bad on him

  2. We suspected it all along, but it became glaringly clear when Martinelli tweeted out about his “full fitness”, a couple months back, as he knew that his actions would incur the wrath of his manager, yet he felt that it was more infinitely more important to provide the fanbase with some insight into what was going on behind the scenes…just another short-sighted decision by our manager, especially considering the fact that our dire tactics don’t naturally provide an overabundance of top-notch scoring chances so moments of individual magic are so pivotal from a results standpoint

    so on top of employing negative tactics that has severely stifled our goal-scoring talisman, we’ve not only allowed our young star, Saka, to take a beating in the face of constant double-teams due to our inability to properly utilize the tactical importance of the overlapping run, we’ve likewise failed to take advantage of special skills that both ESR and Martinelli bring to the table…think about it, ESR was a revelation when he was “forced’ into action, but within a month Arteta had brought in another “loan” project, with little to no chance of remaining at the club beyond this season, then handed him ESR’s preferred position and shoehorned our guy out wide…whereas Martinelli hasn’t even been given a “real” opportunity to prove his worth, in large part because either Willian or ESR were playing instead, albeit out of their normal positions, whenever Auba wasn’t available or was being deployed up top

    talk about making life infinitely more difficult for oneself by avoiding the path of least resistance at all costs…just look Mikel, it’s been right under your nose the whole fing time

  3. I have to assume that MARTINELLI must have committed a crime against the Arteta family. Robbed his home perhaps! There can be no other rational explanation why this talented hard working budding young star is so neglected for so long.

    IT HAS TO CHANGE, NOW! Or some fans who til now have supported MA will very soon not be doing so. Guess who I mean, as it should not be difficult!

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