Is it time for Arteta to unleash Martinelli against Tottenham?

The Brazilian youngster Gabriel Martinelli burst onto the scene at Arsenal next year, and was terrorizing defences and scoring goals for fun, despite his tender years. But a long-term knee injury stopped him in his tracks and we didn’t see him return until December.

But he only made three starts before returning to the treatment table, and despite recovering and being back in training, Martinelli has had to watch the last six Arsenal games from the bench.

Arteta doesn’t seem to want to take chances with him, and the ex-gunner Kevin Campbell thinks that Arteta is playing the long game with the Brazilian. He told FootballInsider: “Martinelli must be chomping at the bit, he will want some minutes,”

“It has been a long season and he has had a big injury. Every time he comes in for a few games there seems to be an issue.

“Arteta is taking his time with him, training him and building up his strength. He has a big part to play between now and the end of the season.

“There is still a lot of games to be played. He will get his starts very soon.”

To be fair, Arteta has had some good choices in the attacking positions, with Saka winning the last three Player Of The Month awards, and Pepe putting in some good performances lately, and Aubameyang and Lacazette getting less minutes than they are used to.

But against Burnley and Olympiakos, Saka has looked out of sorts and he may be in need of a rest himself. I certainly can’t think of a better player to replace his speed, skill and explosive talent than Martinelli.

Surely it is time to unleash the beast!

Tags Kevin Campbell Martinelli Saka


  1. It does not make sense to me that he hasn’t even had the odd 10 mins here and there ,we was crying out for him on Wednesday but Arteta brings on Elneny (yes it worked )who surely wasn’t bought on to win us the game but to shore things up ,Martinelli must be wondering why he hasn’t been given the nod from Arteta .
    I’ve said it before that he is the real deal and last season he was ahead of Saka IMO (who has been amazing this season ) it obviously the injury set him back ,but if he is on the bench he is fit else he is just taken up a spot from someone else .
    Best youngster I have seen at this club in donkeys years bar none.
    I just hope we get to see his best years playing here and not at some other club

    1. Considering our club’s historical injury problems, add to that: Party returning too early from injury this season and then breaking down, and same with Martinelli, I get the impression Arteta is being super cautious with him.

      Martinelli has also been unlucky that Saka has been amazing, and Willian and Pepe have recently found some form. It’s harder for him to break into the team at the moment. Now we’re pretty much through, hopefully he will get some game time in the 2nd leg.

      1. When Saliba was not playing and people wondered why, we were told we don’t know he is protected from psychology because he lost his mother and things like that only for Saliba to come out and say he was not given any chance.

        Same story of protection we are told about Martinelli even though Martinelli himself has said he is fit and he is making the bench but we are told we and Martinelli himself do not know that he is not fit.

        Oh my god!

      2. ThirdManJW, your comments don’t make sense. If you read on sky sports Arteta him self has acknowledged that Partey was not brought back in soon after injury. Full precautions were taken and he was fit to play. Why do some fans feel it’s a must to defend Arteta’s every move even when he has made a mistake. Stop putting spin on things. The same was said about Saliba and things came out in open which was completely opposite to what some fans were telling everyone like they were told personally by Arteta. Now same with Martenelli, you guys are assuming things yourself and trying to manipulate it in the way it fits the manager. I also support Arteta but only when I see his decisions which are benefiting the club, I don’t support him blindly and support even the mistakes he makes by sugar coating them to fellow fans. Team is playing well with good attacking football, I can see our identity coming back so if that means Martenelli has to sit out then fine. At the end no one is bigger then the club.

    2. Alternatively he understands his place in the team, and if he doesn’t then fine. A lot of people talk about no player being bigger than the team, so if he is patient and forces the manager’s hand then we know we have a truly great player, which i suspect, and hope, he will do and is.

    3. I bet my left nut that Willian has playing time in his contract and with Auba, Pepe, ESR and Odegaard there’s no space for Martinelli even though I rate him as more worthy of playing time than most on that list.

      Reality is that MA is damaging the development of Martinelli by playing Willian.

      FYI for those saying he is being protected. He is more likely to get an injury now playing out of the blue than if he was getting some game time to keep a bit match fit.

      1. No one even know when he injured because that didn’t happen in a match
        Who said he can’t get injured not playing

  2. As Martinelli has not started a game since god knows when he has no chance of being thrown into a north london derby why hes had no playing time is a real mystery something must have happened behind the scenes as Arteta does not even bring him on off the bench when in certain games it’s been crying out for him to come on and change the game with his undoubted qualities he possesses!

  3. Well the guys not match fit so no….MA has essentially rendered him useless to the team, could maybe use him for 10 mins maybe

  4. Had a major injury so just taking their time with him.
    We have 55 million Lacazette
    60 million Aubameyang
    72 million Pepe.
    That ought to be enough.

    1. it’s not enough though. None of these players have been that great the entire season. Our best player this season has been an academy player. Price has got nothing to do with who will turn up.

  5. Martinelli has higher stamina, is faster and better in aerial duels than Willian, but Willian has more experience, better tactical awareness and more accurate deliveries. Willian has been making assists from set-pieces/ open play with his pinpoint passes and Martinelli is more of a forward than a creator, so we shouldn’t change the winning team

    Martinelli’s energy and pace could be used in the second half, if we can’t score in the first sixty minutes. We need to win the ball possession in the first half and Willian’s close control is perfect for that

    1. A winning team? Are you seriously calling 11 wins out of 27 games a winning team???? I’ve heard it all now

      1. We won three of our last four games and dominated the oppositions in all those games. Willian has been starting in the last three games

  6. I am feeling that Arteta is slowly destroying this excellent talent.
    I am beginning to feel that Arteta does not like all faces in the team. Hope I’m wrong.

  7. Martineli wasn’t sharp in the last two appearances he made. He is probably not inform. So why suggest him for a NLD?

    1. i mean, if you ignore the fact he was out for months obviously he wasn’t sharp. Saka wouldn’t be sharp after being months out either. Messi wouldn’t be sharp after months out. But you play them to get them back up to speed. Even if its the last 20 minutes of a match. Willian hasn’t been sharp the entire season and still gets starts.

  8. Let’s just hope it’s not Arteta’s vanity that’s keeping any Emery signing as far from the 1st team as possible. It certainly seems so.

    And don’t hit me with the Pepe argument because Pepe is a 72 million investment and he’s currently half his price. He has to have game time in order for the club to improve his price before they sell him.

    1. Luiz is an Emery signing….and i think Martinelli is more an Edu signing than an Emery one…

      I think arteta should give a start tu Martinelli vs olympiakos at the Emirates.

  9. he wont. It will be Willian. Pepe if were a bit luckier. Not Martinelli. Not one of his favorites.

  10. We can keep pretending that all is fine with arteta and martineli the same way with saliba
    A player seats at the bench game after game without getting any minute and you say that is protection.
    Keep lining up excuses when no one from the club ever said anything about martineli fitness
    He personally said he was fit and ready to play a fact confirmed by his inclusion in the team for more than a month now….

  11. Starting Martinelli will take Spurs by surprise. Maybe Arteta has been saving him for this game 😉

  12. Martinelli is just another young player who seems to have gone backwards or not rated by the manager. His situation is a real mystery why he is not being used at all.

      1. Pepe, the kid was getting in the team and performing, why is he not getting a sniff now? That is going backwards too me.

  13. It’s really not that difficult to figure out, Arteta has given contractual assurances to several players, like Willian and Ode, and he clearly didn’t like that Marts sent out a tweet stating he was match fit…such pettiness and short-sightedness is going to cost us moving forward and eventually Arteta is going to have to answer for it…unfortunately it might be too late to save the club’s relationship with the young, talented Brazilian

    1. Martinelli will outlast Arteta. Dont give Mikel much of a chance of getting beyond Nov/Dec of next season when he inevitably has us in another bad position in the table. Things are so obviously not coming together but he’s getting such a huge pass for no good reason.

  14. Arteta fans will come out with any reason just to defend their own
    The way our young guns are treated is criminal and we deserve answers to the question of why?
    Guendouzi,saliba and now martineli

  15. Just because you want a player to be great it doesn’t mean they will be. I just read some older articles and I wonder why some of you defend Leno and Xhaka like they are world class footballers. Many here would swear Martinez was average yet he’s gone to Villa and any objective fan can see that he’s been the best goalkeeper in the league this season. You just knew that he would leave Arsenal and do great. As for Xhaka how our club hasn’t thought of selling him for good money shows how incompetent Arsenal is. Low how is he even rated??

  16. The last time I saw Martinelli on the pitch, I remember Arteta shouting his name even when he didn’t have the ball. He was really mad for some reason. That’s when I knew something was wrong. Now I am sure Arteta has a problem with Gabriel Martinelli. The only question is why?

    1. So then you are sure there is a problem but you don’t know why. Have you any idea how silly that statement is? If you are SURE there is a problem, then you would know why!

      That is what would make you sure. As you don’t know why, then you cannot possibly be sure there is a problem. You can in fact only surmise it; a very different statement from what you said! Simple logical thinking which has tripped you up!

  17. Arteta is a conservative coach and will always stick by his veterans. ESR was lucky to get his chance and Saka had to prove himself as a fullback first. Just find his selections so frustrating. Hate Manure but they are never been afraid to give youngsters a chance. Did anyone see the goal that their kid scored on his first touch, on debut against AC Milan? It looks like they’ve discover their own Saka. Someone who plays with a smile, covers defence and attack and is not afraid to try the unorthodox. I’m really envious. As if the didn’t already have enough talent. As an
    Australian Italian though , there is hope because he also carries an Italian passport, so who knows.

  18. Anyone that has excuses as to why Arteta keeps Martinelli out is delusional. Arteta has and continue to have not only questionable tactics and player selections but a bigger issue with player management. HE IS QUITE POOR AT THIS. When Klop states Martinelli is the best player he has seen in a while and then the kid disappears in obscurity while Willian plays whether he deserves it or not you have to stop and wonder but defending Arteta on this is a criminal as Arteta leaving him on the bench. The kid will be another Gnabry if not better.

  19. I’ve read all the 38 comments posted on Martinelli debacle at Arsenal preceding my own comment posting that I’m now making to post it.

    From the above 38 comments made by the Gooners on Martinelli’s issue of now not getting playing time in the team. I can see that there is no consensus reached among the Gooners that says he should now start be given playing time, as options made on the issue are divided.

    But nevertheless, I would have thought that Mikel Arteta being a listening Arsenal manager who once listened to the generality of the Gooners opinions when it comes to serious issue that concerns the Arsenal team has heard the Gooners. For, I remember when us Gooners strongly advocated for a centreback and defensive holding midfielder reinforcements last summer window, and the club obliged us by signing Maglhaes and Partey. The latter who us specifically requested for by name to be signed and the club signed him.

    But Arteta refused to listen to the Gooners when they opined that he should give William Saliba playing time. But he was surprisingly loaned to Lille FC last Jan window instead. But Arteta made his decision making to loan him out known to us but us didn’t argue with his decision making on the matter.

    But in the case of Martinelli not getting playing time in the team as of now. I think only Arteta can say the true true on the issue if he decided to say it. But the Gooners are insinuating an opinion that Arteta has taken a decision to condemne the talented Martinelli to the bench because the lad has spoken out on the instagran that contradicted his own opinion on the player.

    But despite that it is a serious negligent action taken by Martinelli to have publicly contradicted his manager. I will suggest to Arteta to swallow the bitterness he has toward the player on the issue for the sake of the club advancement and that of exuberance Martinelli progress at Arsenal who is looking eager to want to be playing for the club. And forgives him of his disrespect to his manager publicly.

    If this be the reason for Arteta banishing Martinelli, I strongly appeal to him to reconsider his stance on the matter. For, It’s doesnt look to be a serious issue that Arteta can’t overlook to return the lad to be playing for the team.

  20. Samuel, for better or worse Arteta is his own man and is not a listening manager. The only things that matter to him are results. So far they have been unspectacularly respectable. If there were a string of two or three successive losses I’m sure Martinellii would come back into the picture. Does that make Arteta a good manager? Well he’ll have to do better than respectable if he intends to keep his job and convince the fan base.

      1. Well they’re not results I would sit around other top 6 fans and brag about. But a win is a win, so I can respect that. There you go, ‘respectable’

  21. Let the coach do his job……being in the team takes a lot more than we know……the club has a contractual agreement with the players ……who gets to play and how many games too……why do you think Arsenal and other teams struggle to sign some of their own academy players…..:I read somewhere arsenal pays $1million every time Mari plays 10 games with a capped limit…..Martinez left reluctant because arsenal probably guaranteed Leno as the number goalie on some criteria…….Arteta is the coach….let him do his job……Martinelli has to convince the coach with his chances……

    1. And such an awful job he’s doing! We’re losing talented players because of him! Saliba.. Balogun and now Martenelli

  22. My only comment on Martinelli is that he signed a four year contract extension last July. Read into that what you will

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