Leno needs to repay Arteta’s faith in him against Villa tomorrow

So, tomorrow will see the return of Emi Martinez to the Emirates and I am sure he will be warmly received by the Arsenal players and fans alike, considering the great contribution he made to the Gunners winning the FA Cup and the Community Shield before being sold to Aston Villa.

During the many articles about the Argentinean stopper on JustArsenal, I seriously wish that I had a pound for every comment that said that Martinez could come back to bite Arsenal in the future, well tomorrow will be our first chance to see if this is true or not.

Of course during the build up to the game on Arsenal.com, it was certain that Arteta would be asked to comment on Martinez, and the boss said: “Obviously, it wasn’t in my plans to sell him,” Arteta said. “But we gave him the chance because he deserved it.

“He performed really, really well but we have to balance the books. We have to make the right choices in the market and obviously, I couldn’t guarantee him to be the number one.

“He’s a very ambitious person, he has been working really hard and he can see now that the opportunity is there. He’s got the opportunity to play with Argentina and when a player asks you to do that, I think you have to be open enough and tell him what you think about him.

“If he makes the decision to leave, you should try to support him because he deserves it for the way he has served the club over the years.”

As we know, Emi’s Premier League career at Villa got off to a flying start, with 3 clean sheets from the first 4 games, and the other was the incredible 7-2 hammering that Villa gave the Champions Liverpool, but since then he has now conceded 7 himself, 3 against Leeds and 4 against Southampton.

But Bernd Leno has hardly been in top form himself since his return to the side, with the inevitable comparisons with Martinez, and has looked less than happy playing out from the back again. The German will be keen to make a big impression tomorrow to show Arteta that he was right to let his rival leave, but is there the danger that he will be more under pressure than he would be normally.

I know if Martinez plays like he did for us in his few months as Number One, our stuttering strikers could have trouble getting past him.

It should be an intriguing battle tomorrow. Could both keepers play so well that it ends up 0-0?

Tags Bernd Leno Emi Martinez


  1. Bloody hope he doesn’t drop a clanger tomorrow ,we won’t hear the end of it till the season finishes 😂
    Anyway best defence in the league so he must be doing something right .
    Martinez I believe as let in 7 goals in his last 2 games so I think it’s him who needs to prove something tomorrow not Leno .

  2. Unfortunately with Leno it’s nearly guaranteed he’ll make a blunder at some point during the match.

  3. I don’t see Leno keeping a clean sheet tomorrow cause of Villa’s young vibrant attack.
    But if the players selected perform well we can beat Villa with a 2-1 score line.

  4. Best of luck to Leno and AFC to gather the 3 points, best of luck to Emi for the remaining 30 games (except the two against us when I would be delighted at him picking up the ball from the nets 3 to 4 times)
    Leno is an AFC player so he “HAS” to repay the club and not emulate his countryman by catching butterflies at home while drawing millions of wages . I know Leno would not be so cheap to do such a thing.
    And hopefully no Leno – Emi debates.

  5. I thought the playing out was very good against United… more of the same tomorrow please!

    Thinking back to this fixture last season – Pepe’s first goal, what a goal from Chambers 👌 And that free kick from Auba!! The Emirates was rocking… and I lost my voice hahaha!!
    Let’s hope it’s as good tomorrow, minus the red card of course!! COYG

  6. Three points is the most important thing tomorrow, if Leno is brilliant and we lose, it doesn’t matter. If he is error prone andxwe win it doesn’t matter. It matters that going forward he sorts himself out. He has been gifted the Jersey and he has to perform week in week out now but winning is the single most important thing tomorrow.

  7. A complete non story. I don’t care about Aston Villa’s goalkeeper. If Leno underperforms this season(and I see no sign he will, hes been a fabulous keeper for AFC), we will be looking to Athletico Madrid or AC Milan, not Aston Villa. Tomorrow is about 3pts …the game is the story, not some imagined rivalry or regrets about the opposition keeper.

    Anyone who is whinging needs to realise it wasn’t between Martinez or Leno, it was a choice between keeping emi as a class back up keeper, or signing Thomas Partey. Hard one, that! NOT!

    1. Sleeping giant, Welcome realism! So many fans who want this, that and all sorts of things, and demand them all, right now, live in a fantasy world of their own where the magic money tree exists and Scrooge Kroenke does not exist.

      When will they finally get real and learn that we never get all we want in a “just like that” way! You build for success and a magic wand only exists in fairy tales and is believed by very young children.

      But adults are expected to be grown ups. Some never do sadly!

    2. In addition to what you have said it was Emi who cleverly forced the coach to sell him if he can’t make him no1 which the coach rightly rejected. Arteta said in the interview this week ……..he had to let go of Emiliano, even though he was happy to keep the goalkeeper had he wanted to stay.

  8. My instinct is that we should see a fair number of goals in the AV game. I rate both keepers a lot but any keeper can only stop saveable attempts . not unsaveable ones, as I FORECAST WILL HAPPEN TOMORROW.

  9. He is improving with his footwork. I hope he keeps working on both his footwork and airieal ball collection ability. He is already one of the best when it comes to shot stopping. I don’t think he has anything to proof roA other wise it would have been him in villa shirt and Martinez in Aranel shirt 😉

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