Let’s be clear – Arsenal did not want to sell Martinez to Aston Villa

if you didn’t know much about Arsenal and decided to listen to Talk Sport you would be left thinking that our recruitment team rate Ramsdale as better then Martinez.

The likes of Jamie O’Hara have suggested that rumours we are willing to give Sheffield United over 30 million for their keeper is indicative of the club’s transfer policy.

The pundit’s puzzlement is how can the same person let Martinez leave and then a year later pay 10 million more for a goalie less talented.

I myself can be critical of our lack of ambition in the market, but I’m going to defend the Gunners in this line of thinking.

Like most things, context is key but some in media will choose to leave out key details.

Yes, Martinez had a better season then Leno.

Yes 30 million could be paying over the odds for a player who’s been relegated in consecutive campaigns.

But let’s clarify ….

Arsenal wanted Martinez to stay, they never judged that Leno was better.

What Arteta wanted was for the Argentine to extend his contract, at which point he would have been competition for the number one shirt.

Martinez’s agent made it clear his client would only sign a new deal if there were assurances of being in the first team.

Instead of backing his ability to rise to the top, the player wanted guarantees.

It’s easy with the benefit of hindsight to say we should have made exceptions, but very few managers give that kind of promise.

Anyone can watch what he did at Villa Park and say it was obvious our manager should have named him his first choice but very few coaches do that.

Only a Messi or Ronaldo have earnt the right to make any such demands.

They became the players they have by having the personality where they wouldn’t make such a request, they would simply rely on their belief that they are the best at what they do.

Very few coaches would be happy to be given an ultimatum by a player, and in fact would question that person’s attitude for asking for it.

In the past three seasons Martinez has won an FA Cup and Copa America.

Arsenal might not be the only party who regret not better communication.

Martinez must look at his form In Birmingham and surely realise those levels are good enough to still be at a club he grew up at, and one where he has a better chance of adding to his medal collection?

More confidence perhaps and maybe he doesn’t feel the need to seek validation?

Would I rather Martinez then Ramsdale competing with Leno?


But that doesn’t give Talk Sport the right to leave out key facts


Be kind in the comments


Tags Martinez talksport Villa


  1. Martinez earned the right to ask for assurances after being treated badly and ignored by Arsenal for about a decade.

    1. If Emi can be a Copa America hero why didn’t Arteta recognise his ability. Everything very clear… ego of the coach which resulted in a great loss. Now awfully looking for a substitute.. Wait and see what else is going to happen..

      1. With this kind of emotions from Arteta arsenal will continue loosing the talented player, I wonder how long Gabriel Amartinelli will put with this kind of treatment.

  2. Can’t we talk about something else he’s gone and that’s it end of. Anyway arsenal last signing of the window will sign today and that’s it no more come in only departures wot a bad transfer window this as been no playmaker no cf so mid table or worse going down unless we get rid of mikel and edu and stan

    1. Sorry Tom K. A few weeks to go before the close of Transfer biz, and we start complaining already.
      Nobody (outside of the “sacred circle”) has any idea of the precise budget we have to invest. But, it will be better than we expected initially, and the few signings so far look good. Steve (gooner in Spain)

  3. Let’s remind ourselves that we wouldn’t get Partey if we didn’t sell Martinez. Let’s also stop regretting what’s been done and support Okonkwo/ Hein to become the next Seaman

      1. If not Partey, let’s agree that without Emi’s sale, we wouldn’t have the money to lure the world-class Willian to the Emirates to help us chase our Champions League dream.

      2. To be honest, I never wanted Emi to leave. I expected his contract to be improved as he was now number 1 and Leno would try winning the spot back, terrible business especially now that a decent goalie is worth more than we sold him for.
        Then again, it could only happen at the Arsenal FC.

    1. We needed 18M to pay the non playing player & 2M for Runar. Fortunately Runar is out on loan and maybe we may recoup that 2M someday, but we lost money on “honoring the contract” as the other party refused to play his part. Martinez finished that season as No.1, did win 1 major and a friendly cup, so asking for assurances it not his weakness, but a sign of his confidence, which Leno lacks. Being complemented by Messi (very rare) is a testament to his ability. Wish him luck and wish Leno all the more luck. If Martinez wants to come back, pay the 20M and hire him or else Ramsdale or Sam are good enough replacements if not better than Leno if he stays.

      1. If Willian stays, he’d likely play on the left wing or in the CAM position as a backup/ squad rotation player. He’ll just need to cut inside instead of racing to get to the byline, so I expect more goal/ assist/ pressing contributions from him

        About Leno, he showed a ball handling improvement in our last five EPL matches. Hopefully he can continue his good form, but there must be a new CF to connect with Leno’s long goal kicks

        1. If Willian is named in the final squad for the new season, it’ll clearly indicate that “favoritism” in his selections is true. It’ll be impossible to justify when people as what Willian did better than Ozil respectively in their last seasons to deserve a spot in the squad.

          1. You can defend the decision to sell Martinez for all you can but the truth is Arteta blundered. Both Auba & Ozil got what they wanted in order to stay. And that was money. Martinez only wanted assurance and Arteta was not prepared. How naive

      2. Loose Cannon, you mean AW wasn’t to blame???
        Well, blow me down with a feather 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

        1. nice one Ken! In whose era did he win his 350K/week jackpot?And turned out to be a crackpot!
          VasC, Ozil in his final”playing” season had 1 goal and 2 assists, Willian had 1 goal and 5 assists even in his poorest form!

          1. I guess you’re not speaking about the season when Ozil was left out of 20 PL games by two managers who didn’t fancy him for some reasons unbeknownst to us. The season when injured players are requested by our management to double up as umbrella models on game-days.

    2. Ya, let’s move on Martinez is our past and I wonder why such article is written at this point in time. We shouldn’t be crying over split milk. Priority in articles posted here should be based on current situation on transfers bcos many fans are expectant and also issues affecting players performance on the field.
      Really, no manager wants to agree on a players contract that he is going to use him regularly if the player isn’t very exceptional. Players form can change anytime either for better or for worse so there should be competition. Contract has s term of obligation which no manager wants to put themselves into except they are sure.

    3. Rubbish, we could have sold AMN, to raise money if we had to. Martinez doesn’t play in midfield so he wasn’t sold for Partey. Other players could have been sold if they needed that but they didn’t. The Partey plan was hatched weeks before. We could have sold Leno to raise cash!

      1. Sold Leno. Arsenal fans do have short term memories tho. Before Leno’s injury he was unstoppable. He saves us countless times and his form wasn’t poor. Take a look at Henderson at united, he had a fantastic spell at sheffield united was brought back from loan and did we hear him ask to be ahead of De Gea. No! It’s mostly at arsenl most times we see this scenerio of players trying to hold the club to ransom. To hell with Martinez, I’d support who actually wants to be here.

        1. Fair comparison but not totally similar. henderson was 23 years old last year. He had not wait all the time Emi did. Plus he did well there at Sheffield before being extended directly. Normal not asking to be 1st immediately. Because De gea is 6/7 years older. He knows he has to wait maybe but that he will get the spot. Emi performed AT Arsenal directly. Within the group of players. He had the won the right to stay. Do you want a guy that is same age as you more or less, always being a starter or almost, and being preferred again to retain the spot while you did perfectly in this specific post ? Emo might maybe have done it or give a try few month if he was under contract but he was not. Sad arsenal did not extended him sooner too…

  4. Firstly, we need to get over this.

    Secondly, good performances are definitely not always rewarded with chances/starting place in the team. WILLIAN played how many minutes for us last season???? I would never trust MA to start someone based on their performances, article has no credibility with regards to this opinion.

    To say Martinez should’ve fought for his place and backed his ability makes no sense. He was at Arsenal for 10 years so yes he fight for his place and he did back his ability hence why he wanted to be assured of being 1st choice keeper. He never said he wanted to never be dropped, just to be given the gloves to carry on where he deserved. If his performances dropped then yes drop him but at least promise him he’ll start at no.1 next season.

    1. I agree. I applaud Martinez for knowing his worth and understanding that Arteta chooses favourites over form.

      He chose not to be strung along with a big maybe and took his future into his own hands. People need to respect that.

      1. So should people respect Arteta’s decision of not guaranteeing any player a spot in the team. If he had stayed and continued with his form, the number one spot would have eventually his, and that is assuming Leno himself did not improve on his form. Leno was in good form before the injury.
        Martinez is a villa player, let’s support the present number 1 to do better as well as support our upcoming keepers.

    2. So true. We need to get over this and accept our mistake to let go of Emi. Constantly trying to justify our sale or blaming Emi won’t solve anything.

      As much as we didn’t want to sell Emi, he didn’t want to be sold. He fought for a decade to get himself a chance to prove his worth to the team. He simply wished to continue into the new season where he left off when the previous season ended. He deserved at least that after a string of fine performances when he stepped in to replace our starting GK when he was sidelined due to injury.

      The management decided to cash in on him than risk losing him for nothing the next summer. Within a year, they are actively looking for a cover for that same position. They are answerable when people question their previous decision and can’t simply evade by putting the blame on the player who isn’t here.

    3. In those years was he this good? I bet most of us got worried when Leno got injured against brighton, until we saw those fantastic performances. Unfortunately he is where he is. Let’s move on

  5. For clarity sake , firstly, Arsenal with Leno and Ryan concedes 39 goals while Aston Villa conceded 47 with only Martinez in goal. Secondly, non of our goalie made no error that lead to a goal while Martinez did and we finished 8th while Aston Villa finished 11th. Anyone can dress up lies as they want the fact is Arsenal as a whole with her players had a better 20/21 than Aston Villa and Leno had a better season than Martinez. Though Martinez made more saves and had more clean sheets but that did really translate to his club position in the table because those majorities of those saves did win his club points. That is why they finished below us.

    1. That’s a really bad comparison.. Arsenal are a defensive team so of course we will concede less than aston villa.. Stats don’t paint the whole picture! I was against Martinez sale but I wish him the best it’s done now no need to dwell over it

    2. @Adiva.
      2019-2020 season.
      Aston Villa
      Without Martinez
      Conceded – 67 goals
      Goal difference -26
      Place 17th.
      Aston Villa
      With Martinez in goal
      Conceded 46 goals
      Goal difference +9
      Place 11th

      1. Spot on my Friend. There’s the difference.

        All Arsenal fans who saw him when he came in to replace Leno after his injury at Brighton that he had developed into one if the best goalkeepers in the world, his form presence and assurance in goal was absolutely top drawer. There was also a real desire to him that was infectious to his team mates. There wasn’t a goalkeeper across Europe’s top leagues who was delivering performances of that level after lockdown.
        Wenger would always keep a player in the team if they were delivering and the team was winning!

        It was especially sad to see him go as he had waited a long time to get his chance

        To the author of this piece Edu, Ateta and co did want to sell him and whoever else they could to afford Thomas Party who to be very kind the jury is still out on this massive outlay for the club. The people now making decisions at the club jettisoned alot of the club’s heart and soul, remember the many loyal employees True Arsenal people who were sacked at the same time last year.
        Furthermore Leno could have commanded a similar fee last summer perhaps from his former club Leverkusen who had all that Havertz money burning a hole in their pocket.

    3. PL stats (Season – Starts / Goals conceded / Clean sheets )

      Emi Martinez

      19/20 – 9 / 9 / 3
      20/21- 38 / 46 / 15

      Bernd Leno

      19/20 – 30 / 39 / 8
      20/21 – 35 / 37 / 11

      Though both Leno and Martinez are separated by a very fine margin last season, there is not one article about Aston Villa actively looking to replace their current No. 1 Emi Martinez in this summer transfer window. Can the same be said about our club? This tells the whole truth beyond any doubt who among the two is held in high regards by their respective teams.

    4. For Clarity…. We are now clinging on to positives by comparing stats against Aston Villa. Even that may not be a pretty comparison by the end of next season.

    5. We don’t need clarity Adiva (although for me that didn’t clarify anything!). Most of the comments here are just saying “yes we know Martinez was better, but it was a year ago, so can we move on please?”

  6. AT BLOODY LAST !!!!

    Emi saw the best way to approach his “predicament” was to seek assurances re’ guaranteed playing time if he stayed.

    The manager (quite rightly) could not give such assurances so EMI DECIDED TO MOVE ON !

    AS SHOULD WE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        1. Just to clarify.

          I obviously do get your point, but an explanation behind your comment would be useful and the hing to do.

          Express my opinion, and get told to bugger off the site ?

        2. Come on Nigel – don’t hide behind the keyboard.

          How have I offended you in given my opinion amongst the many others on here ?

          Might be the right thing to do to explain yourself.

      1. Not cool, Nigel Hill. Nothing AJ wrote deserved such a response. Not the way to talk on this site

        1. Thanks so much Guy & Ken.

          Perhaps the passion behind supporting our great club for so many years leads to write in a certain way – but I’ve read worse ??

          And without bringing the dreaded “age” issue into matters again, the whole “urban / street” thing is just not for me – and would be terribly embarrassing if I tried – “innit”.

          All I can say for my part, I really enjoy exchanging comments on here with no doubt some very nice folk – and Gooners all.

          I must admit, what I said above to offend remains a bit of a mystery ?

  7. Can we talk about Joe willock,maitland-niles,nelson,Miguel Azeez,Smith Rowe,Okonkwo and the rest of own players please…

  8. Can we talk about Joe willock,maitland-niles,nelson,Miguel Azeez,Smith Rowe,Okonkwo and the rest of our own players please…

  9. Pretty sure we were very happy to receive fee we did at the time. No one knew if he would keep him form up or if was flash in the pan. Must all be labour supporters based on your captain hindsight mentalities. If yall wanna complain about keepers look to juve. Who to say he would have coped in league with leno pushing him? We dont know the alternative outcome so we really should just be happy we got what we did for him.

    1. Disagree, I am in a whatsapp group with 14 others. The majority having watched Martinez play after lockdown overwhelmingly backed him as our number one. At all technical levels he is a better goalkeeper than Leno.

  10. I’m pretty sure there are regrets on both sides
    -the club would have loved to have kept EMI and saved few millions
    -Emi must be thinking that had he stayed and back himself he would now be number 1 at Arsenal the club he spent 10 years at!

    1. Thank you. Quite on point.

      Both club and player, with hindsight, would have made better decisions. This happens in football. Who knows, he could return someday

  11. To me, Martinez was obviously the better keeper. After having been a forever backup Martinez was right in asking for assurances. IMO Arteta should have given them. Martinez should have been our number 1 and that position should have been his to lose.

    However, he is gone and we have to get over it. We have lost great/good players before. Gnarby anyone?

    What is more worrying to me is Edu in charge of our negotiations. I am not convinced he has the experience to deal with the task.

    It sounds like a cheap shot but the numbers and deals we make for outgoing players compared to incoming players doesn’t seem to make that much sense.

    £50 million in today’s market is £75 or more pre-Covid. Is Ben White worth that type of money? Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against the player. I have nothing against Pepe but he was not worth £75 or whatever we paid for him. I am happy Pepe is in our squad but we overpaid no matter how many goals he scores this season. He was at best a £40-50 player when he arrived.

    On our budget we can not afford to over pay or under sell.

    1. Your valuation of Pepe is spot-on. Only we didn’t have that kind of money back then to complete the deal. Our management got creative by scheming a staggered payment method over five years. So the add-ons due to the staggered payment initiative brings the total investment on Pepe to an estimated 75 million quids.

  12. If Martinez had not been decisive and made that move, he wouldn’t be Copa America champion with Argentina today because Leno would have been preferred over him and cooling his arse on the bench would have robbed him of even call up to the National team… Arteta has favourites and they are preferred over others irrespective of their performance, I hope for fairness as me move into next season.

    1. It seems nobody wants to talk of the present or future, but prefers to throw blame around for the past – a past for which we probably don’t know all of the facts. The blame is being based either purely on personal opinion or on how things worked out after the event. And we are all incredibly wise in retrospect.

      My own brief take is that yes – Martinez had looked a far better keeper than Leno for several months. I think it likely he would have kept his place until form or injury let Leno back in. But he wanted guarantees he would stay as number one. Few managers guarantee any player a starting position. Arsenal were in the midst of trying to curtail the player power problems we are all aware of. Arteta refused to promise that he would stay as number one. Martinez as is his right decided to leave. Because of that request (NOT merely because we needed cash) Arsenal accepted what was (at that time at least) a very good offer.
      Martinez, who had historically been a fairly ordinary keeper, then proved that his recent excellent form was not temporary.
      Unfortunate, but it happens in football. Or would the same fans who wanted player power at the club to be eradicated want us to guarantee first team spots to any player who demanded them?

      1. @guy
        I had commented on Martinez articles earlier published on here and other blog, I don’t want to this one, except say that;
        (1) Emiliano let out the fact, he wanted to play, that was is demand to stay, he said that to the camera on the way to the dressing room immediately FA Cup was won. He said “….not the money, I just want to play…..”
        (2) in the next 2 seasons, Emi Martinez will be in one of the biggest team in la liga.

        1. I did not say Emi left for money, and yes he is a good keeper – nothing I wrote was critical of him or contradicted your comments.

  13. However Leno is not up to the level we require:
    1. Poor ball distribution. Take hrs to release the ball by then opponents defence have recovered.
    2. Has no control over his area. Flap at crosses

    The GK coach who recommended Martinez sale and also suggested the purchase of Runarson, must be sacked.

    1. Finally! Someone with sense! Havyn is right to call out the goalkeeping coach! We would be better off with a lamp-post!

  14. Arsenal a better side than Villa? The same Villa that did the double over them? The same Villa that has won more trophies than Arsenal? The same Villa that have won a European Cup? Villa have made some great buys, and are going to make a few more this season. Villa are a club on the up, and Arsenal are on a downward trajectory. Villa way more likely to get into Europe than Arsenal are next season. The money does help!

    1. This is a little silly. Villa have won a European Cup but have not won as many League Titles or FA Cups than Arsenal. Villa won both games last season but Arsenal finished higher so by virtue must have been the better team. As for Villa being on the rise and Arsenal going the other way…we’ll find out next May!

    2. How about comparing Arsenal with Chelsea last season? The Gunners did the double over them, finished 8th (not even good enough for 3rd tier EUROPA Conference) whereas Chelsea qualified for UCL.

      Again, if you go historical, Arsenal is then better than Manchester City

  15. I want someone to say Emi left so that Runar could come not Partey who was a last day intertention from owner’s pose. Emi merited the numb 1. He was better but Wenger went for exhausted petr cech. Emery came and went for Leno. Arteta came and sold him for Runar. Auba got salary increment for PL/FA performance. what was given to Emi for both PL/FA/plus performance?? Nothing, not even playing time promise. Anyway, we are leaking goals already and Emi played us home and away plus a cleansheet last season.

  16. Selling Martinez was a mistake – there’s no room for discussion on the matter. Arteta seems to have been promised a job for life by the Kroenkes. Why else would a manager that finished 8th be buying a reserve left back, a midfielder with potential and an overpriced young English defender that will get caught out against tall strikers. These are hardly ‘saving me from the sack’ kind of signings!

  17. Two separate thoughts pertain.

    Firstly, Dans article is the truth and its clear context is so rarely sought, except by serious debaters who wish the WHOLE truth to be spoken and who do not have a biased agenda of their own.

    Where there is bias, truth hides.

    Think about that last phrase , for it is profoundly true!

    Secondly though, I quite understand why DAN WANTS TO PUT THE RECORD STRAIGHT and in this frequently fan biased personal agenda ridden site, that is cathartic.

    But in general it is not healthy to rake over business that is now irrelevant to our present and future. Looking backwards is only healthy if one is prepared to look -AND IN FULL CONTEXT- at the whole situation and LEARN from it.

    Otherwise it becomes only a small minded point scoring exercise and we all – myself very much included – OUGHT to be far above that.

    We are all fallible beings, being human, but should always strive to be fair minded!

    1. Agree Jon, and with Dan and Tom’s comments entirely.
      To many people writing here are DELIBERATELY missing the point of the article.
      – Nobody is saying Leno is a better keeper
      – Martinez wanted a guarantee he would be kept as number one. Leno did not have such a guarantee, nor did any other players in the team.
      – We were coming off the back of a period of unhealthy player power
      – we sold Martinez because he wanted a transfer, not just because we wanted cash

  18. Villa fan in peace!

    Totally agree with this piece. As I always understood it, Emi wanted assurances that he’d be first choice at Arsenal, but Arteta couldn’t provide that guarantee, understandably, as you had another very good ‘keeper in Leno. It’s easy with hindsight to say Arteta should have provided such guarantees, given their respective form since, but at the time I don’t see how you can categorically assure one player of being No. 1. It’s about winning your place on merit, how you perform in training etc.

    I think O’Hara’s comments are due to a lack of intelligence, quite simply, and looking at it in a rather myopic way. What choice did Arsenal have?! And he ought to know how much it’d cost to persuade a club who are under no pressure to sell to part with a young, promising ‘keeper who’s not been at the club too long.

    Even as a Villa fan, his comments irked me, as it shows a complete lack of understanding/intelligence, and propagates a negative rhetoric around Arsenal.

    Just my tuppence worth…

    All the best for the season, guys. Always had a soft spot for the Gunners, so hope you get back to where you belong before too long.


  19. Arsenal sold the better goalie…….not planned but it’s still an error. He did fit in their philosophy of a youthful team and homegrown too. I think we would have made at least the EL. Time to move on and hopefully we will get him back when his contract is over at Villa.

  20. Well, first of all:

    Martinez DID do enough to warrant the 1st choice spot. So theres assurance of playing at least 38 games.

    Second, Emi had 2 years left. There was no rush to sell in that regard.

    Third, if we needed money, why wasnt Leno being considered to be sold.

    Fourth, we replaced Emi with RUNARSSON. We now see how a total cluster fudge the whole dealing was.

    This was Artetas biggest mistake so far. No way to whitewash it.

  21. The way i see it both are good keepers and both of em have their strengths and weaknesses.People talking about emi saving villa should also understand that even leno did do that for us in many many many matches to be quite honest.

    Also why some pick emi over leno is because he had the momentum when leaving.And if argentina had neuer i dont think emi would be no.1 there.For me Leno is my no.1 cause when i look at my team i see him still standing with the club i love.

    This debate will go on and on bit whats done is done….

    1. Love your comment Shakir, although Leno’s my favourite Arsenal player currently, I won’t deny that EMI was a great keeper too,,,both have their strengths and weaknesses, Emi’s strength is in the air, Leno’s on the ground..EMI is more bulky and intimidating but Leno’s more agile and flexible..oh!! Can’t forget that double save against Tottenham from son and sissoko I think… still gives me goosebumps…love both but Leno’s my club’s number one right now,,,so I STAND WITH BERND…😊😊😊

  22. Another Arsenal pundit convinced they’re better than Aston Villa. Time to wake up ! As investment companies say past performance is no guarantee of future success.

    Arsenal have all the signs of a club in decline. Only time will tell drop the arrogance

    1. I think that was a very brave and sweeping statement Rob. As an unconceited Arsenal fan who respects Aston Villa, I would love to hear your list of all the signs of decline at Arsenal. I will give you a start: Two eighth place finishes (not exactly the fall of the Roman Empire yet but surely a sign that the club will imminently be playing in the Southern League, and that its global fanbase of 27 million – the world’s third largest, will fade to a few thousand in the next decade).

  23. Martinez might not have asked for assurances if he’d been given a chance in the past at the club. He would have gone into those negotiations feeling historically unappreciated. So I can’t blame Arteta or Martinez for the situation. I get why Martinez would ask for assurances and I get why Arteta didn’t want to give them.

    Leno is obviously a good keeper but I can’t help but question why Martinez didn’t get the chance to provide some competition for Cech before Leno was brought in.

  24. Leno is not the problem with this team … though we could no doubt do better … he does not have the ball players to carry the ball out even though he has been instructed to play the ball out … with xhaka the most blatantly weak link in that chain … maybe white will improve things but we are in desperate need of creativity further forward … a window that doesn’t plug that hole will be a poor window for me

  25. He’d been overlooked for a decade, finally got his chance and wanted to know he would go into the season as No1. Obviously we couldn’t guarantee he’d stay as No1, but he wanted to know that it was in his hands and not something that would be taken from him as soon as Leno returned to fitness. I completely understand him getting cold feet after so many years. He was probably good enough at the time we signed Cech but never got a shot.
    It’s a shame but what’s done is done

    1. Well said Davi – common sense but that’s how it was. But too many fans these days need to blame someone. Nobody’s fault – that’s football.
      No doubt people will still be moaning in 5 years time.

  26. Leno’s back pass errors to the wrongly positioned midfielders cost us the top 4 or even the league itself ,you can imagine back to back loses to small teams were a result of Leno errors!

  27. We couldn’t keep both players, neither was willing to be second choice, the manager had to choose one and he chose Leno. I agreed with his choice then and still do, Leno is a brilliant goalkeeper, as he continues to show each week. He let in 39 goals last season (A.Villa 46), third best behind Chelsea and Man. City. He will eventually leave our club because of the continued criticism of our own fans and go to where he is better appreciated.

  28. Enough, jeepers murphy can we please let this die…

    By all means debate the best alternative going forward by Martinez is gone, decision was made and we spend a lot of time trying to turn back the “impossible-to-turn-back” clock…

  29. Dan – whilst I totally sgree with what you have written, and most of us agree that O’Hara is a pillock, I wish you hadn’t posted the article!
    Trying to drag some fans into the here and now is tricky enough without giving them more ammunition to complain again about things that happened a year ago!

  30. Frankly I’m quite surprised that this particular author would adopt such an obviously flawed position, especially when it involves another short-sighted decision by the very manager who he’s shown a propensity to question at seemingly every turn…to draw such a definitive line in the sand when it comes to the issue of player “assurances” considering what transpired, from a contractual standpoint, with both Willian and Ode, is so hypocritical…where was the outrage when it became glaringly clear that this same manager signed-off on similar assurances to a 30+ luxury add-on and a half-season loanee,,,not only did the players in question have no prior connection whatsoever to the club, they would and did negatively impact the developmental process…I would give my left nut to reverse course…imagine if Martinez was our first-team Keeper and the only trade off was that Willian and Ode never wore the kit…Arteta apologists need to stop talking out of both sides of their mouth

  31. The deed has been done. And AFC has since moved on. Irrespective of whether the mistake that Arsenal have been ajudge to might have made or not have committed when they sold Martinez to Aston Villa last summer. After they refused to yield to his request or demand turned out to hurt them thereafter or not.

    To me, what I think and believe is now of a paramount to Arsenal in their goalkeeping department at this juncture in the current summer transfer window, is for the club to sign a top rated quality backup goalkepeer. Who can show he has what it takes to successfully give the required top level competition to Leno when he gets the chance to mann the goal for Arsenal.

    But if Arthur Okonkwo will not be the goalie who Arsenal will give the no 2 backup spot to settle the matter. But instead go ahead to a new no 2 backup goalie. And who could be the much talked about to move to Arsenal, Ramsdale or maybe Onana while Okonkwo deputizes as no 2. I wouldn’t know.

    But it be remembered that every new signing comes with a gamble to it. As it could turnout to be a very successful one, successful one, partially successful one or becomes a flop after the signing is done.

  32. In the final analysis, the career of Martinez , who is an excellent keeper, was blighted by the fact that he was not considered good enough, not by Arteta, but by a certain Arsene Wenger.

    1. But Arteta chose to sell him when there was ample evidence that he was our best keeper. We are now looking to sign Ramsdale, who is better than Leno, but not a patch on Martinez.

  33. The author of this piece is absolutely right. No manager who wants to maintain his authority could provide the kind of guarantee Martinez wanted.
    I completely disagree that this was a mistake whatever one might feel about the ability of the respective goalkeepers. It is obviously easy to criticise based on either a misunderstanding of the context or deliberate attempts to discredit the manager. Unfortunately, many on here have an axe to grind with Arteta and are looking for any opportunity to find fault whether real or imagined.
    Martinez obviously did what he thought was best for himself. The decision was made and he left. In the context of the circumstances at the time that was the right decision for the club and the manager to make.
    As some of the more reasonable and mature commentators on her have observed what Arsenal need to do now is plan for next season and ensure that the team is as strong and prepared as it can be.
    The team and the manager also need support from fans. And this site needs constructive criticism, not these petty grievances over a player who left a season ago.

  34. I look forward to the day when we won’t have the Martinez conversation on JA.

    Talking about goal keepers, the current Keeper at Juventus was a former Gunner.

    There is no need talking about a former player. Let us move on.

  35. Key facts or not, Arsenal should have considered the individual merits of each keeper. Arsenal paid decent money (£21m?) for Leno, and Martinez was signed for peanuts as a teenager, so it’s hard not to believe that was the deciding factor. Otherwise, Martinez should have been given guarantees that he would start the following season as first choice. For a start Martinez catches balls that Leno can only punch or parry away. Villa fans are adamant they have the league’s best keeper, and they are not far wrong.

  36. we already know goalkeeping department at the clubs is pretty much shambles so it cant be that surprising. They’re after Ramsdale now, after buying Runnarsson and thinking Martinez wasn’t worth keeping around. they haven’t made a single good decision yet, have they?

  37. It makes no difference what Arsenal wanted, They failed to get the right result. They let the better keeper go.

    As for all the complaints to let go of the past, the current search for a new keeper is a reminder of the past as well as reason not to trust Arteta and co. re: the new keeper.

  38. Fighting for your place is different for keepers. Keepers don’t come on as subs. A no. 1 keeper only loses his job if he screws up. So if you are no. 2 at the start of the season, your fate is out of your hands.

    Arsenal left Martinez with only one sensible option when they refused to name him no. 1.

  39. And that’s a sure sign of a poor manager. A manager that has favourites over ability is always doomed to fail eventually.
    Southgates a perfect example. The team itself got them to where they were, not the manager! Arsenal will tick over until a good solid, no favouritism, unbiased manager comes in.

  40. I have no problem with Arsenal selling Martinez. It was the right decision to take at the time(although in hindsight it looks like a terrible decision) and unless its Messi or Ronaldo, no coach will guarantee any player game time. I also don’t blame Martinez for wanting to leave. He was at Arsenal for 10+ years and knows he is good enough to be a starter(and has proven this to everyone), though i wish he stayed and fought for his place. But what pisses me off is the fans who constantly criticize Arteta because of his decision to sell Martinez. They also seem to magically forget the form Leno was in prior to his injury.

    Anyway, fans are are generally emotional and are not expected to be rational.

    1. “I have no problem with Arsenal selling Martinez. It was the right decision to take at the time”
      “what pisses me off is the fans who constantly criticise Arteta because of his decision to sell Martinez”.
      “ emotional and are not expected to be rational.”… sums it up a bit. All in good taste of course 🤣🤣🤣

  41. I think it was clear to everyone that Emi should have been starting, just look back at the comments Aubameyang made about Emi during the FA Cup final win. Selling Emi wad a mistake, however, him leaving was the right choice. Why stay with a team that won’t give you a chance you clearly deserve? Shame for Arsenal, but I know a lot of Gooners which are delighted that Martinez left, and are taking a lot of joy in his personal achievements. And how can they not, he gave everything for the club! 🙂

  42. Every decision is calculated at a club like Arsenal. Theres more than playing time and loyalty in modern football.

  43. Again, Leno sent us out of the Europa League with his clanger against Olympiakos, Martinez got us back in it and saved our season.

    AND AGAIN, Martinez ONLY wanted assurances that he would START THE SEASON as number one with performances dictating whether or not he’d stay. HE DID NOT GET GREEDY.

    For the beautiful impact he left us in those few weeks under the circumstances I’ll never not speak fondly of Emi. And as a fan I still back Leno but it IS my right to criticise him for his poor errors and bad attitude. That’s a part of being at a big club.

    I wouldn’t touch Ramsdale or Johnstone with a bargepole. Woodman is someone I’d like as a backup. Onana as a potential first-choice would be BRILLIANT. But whatever happens, it’s HIGH TIME Leno pulls his finger out of his mouth.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors