Martinelli shows why he must start in Gunners’ crucial tie against Slavia Prague
Arsenal cruised past Sheffield United, with Gabriel Martinelli being one of the better players. The Brazilian was a livewire on the left-wing, constantly threating the right side of The Blades’s defense.
The clamour for the Brazilian teenager seemed to be growing every week, due to Mikel Arteta’s preference to go with more experienced players.
However, a drab loss against fellow Premier League side Liverpool and then an uninspiring draw against Slavia Prague in the Europa League finally prompted a change of heart from the Arsenal manager.
Mikel Arteta unleashed a very attacking side featuring the likes of Bukayo Saka, Alexander Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli.
The front four were superb in cutting through Paul Heckingbottom’s squad at the Bramall Lane. Pepe and Martinelli brought what had been missing in the Gunners’ squad in the games against Liverpool and Slavia: passion.
In particular, the 19-year-old was always trying to make something happen, which has not been the case with Arsenal’s other wingers such as Willian and Nicolas Pepe often.
When out of possession, Martinelli helped Granit Xhaka defensively to a great extent, who was playing in an unorthodox position of a defensive left-back.
Arsenal dominated the whole first half, and then continued being a nuisance to the United’s defense by scoring in the 71st and the 85th minute.
Moving the attention back to the midweek Europa League clash, Arteta must make sure that there is no room for any error in Prague.
The last match was the perfect way to prepare for that crucial skirmish. A lot of things which were seen today would definitely come handy against the league leaders and current champions of Czech Republic.
Arteta has been constantly calling for patience with Martinelli from the Arsenal faithful. But the game against Slavia Prague might be the best opportunity to take off the shackles.
And who is better on that aspect than Martinelli?