Martinelli’s attitude questioned as he’s urged to show ‘hunger’

Gabriel Martinelli‘s lack of playing time is worrying at this point in time, and Noel Whelan believes the Arsenal youngster has to show more hungerhunger.

The forward was part of the Brazil squad which lifted the Olympic gold this summer, but has returned to his club to feature in only two of their seven Premier League matches thus far, despite remaining available for each.

Martinelli convinced many that he was a future star in his debut season in the PL, but has failed to convince his manager that he is ready for a more regular role since.

Former Premier League striker Whelan, who previously had trials at both Arsenal and Man United, claims that the player has to do more behind the scenes to work his way into the manager’s plans.

“He’s got to show the right attitude in training,” Whelan told the Football Insider.

“There has to be hard work and desire – he has to show that hunger to get in ahead of Lacazette.

“If Lacazette isn’t staying at the club, he needs to work harder and start pushing to really claim that spot for himself.

“You can see what Arsenal are doing, they’re trying to build towards more of a British spine.

“Now is the time where he needs to be shining through and nailing down a starting spot. But you’ve got to work hard.

“There are international-quality players in front of him, but Martinelli has got to push them hard.

“If you look at Aubameyang, Saka, and Smith Rowe – they’re all doing it, so he might have to bide his time.”

It is disappointing that we have seen very little of the Brazilian of late, and even more disappointing that when he has played he has showed very little, knowing that he was one of our most exciting players in his debut season for the club.

Could Martinelli’s knee injury from last season still be affecting him, or the mental affects of that injury possibly?


Tags Gabriel Martinelli noel whelan


  1. He had a good spell right at the beginning of his career, as many young players do. Since 90% of his displays have been ineffective with nonimpact on the team.
    It is quite likely he will fade quietly from the scene without a significant upping of mentality

  2. The lack of European competition has impacted on the likes of Martinelli and Balagun, but I have to say I am disappointed with the lack of game time given to them by Arteta.As mere fans, we are not privy to what goes on at training, but in the case of Martinelli, I would be very surprised if he did not give his all.When he does play, he performs with energy and determination therefore I shall disregard the words of a former Arsenal trialist.

    1. You really can’t blame lack of game time on Arteta can you really?
      When the senior players were out, he started Martinelli and Balogun. Even though they performed poorly, I recognize the fact that they both need more playing time, but as it seems nobody currently starting for us deserves to be on the bench.
      So who should Arteta bench for Martinelli.
      Even Pepe and Lacazette are struggling for playing time this season because those kids in the starting lineup keep on saying like they don’t want to lose their spots for anyone else.
      Lack of European competition is also another reason, but I do hope to see Arteta rotate ESR for Martinelli soon.
      The other problem with that is that if Arteta switches and starts Martinelli or Pepe while benching one of Saka, or ESR. He’ll be hounded for disrupting his winning team and trying to fix what wasn’t damaged.
      Really I feel for football managers who have to deal with selection issues

    2. …………..’I would be very surprised if he did not give his all”. My thoughts exactly !

  3. what a sadly convenient argument, as it seems more likely, based on Arteta’s propensity to hold grudges, that Marts is still in the proverbial doghouse for what appears to be rather trivial reasons

    1. Or maybe, because the most important thing is to win points, Arteta doesn’t think he is better than his other options
      Right here, right now..
      “For the greater good of the team”

      1. I thought the most important thing was the “process” not the points, the long-term not the short-term and, if so, having Marts sitting firmly on the bench and not out on loan simply doesn’t make sense…of course, this only applies if the future is his number one priority, which I’m not totally convinced of, unless the player in question isn’t part of the future this particular manager envisions

        fact remains Arteta appears a little too fragile and tactically naïve to navigate us through the inevitable choppy waters of an organizational “rebuild”…if you can’t find a way to provide meaningful minutes for one of the few “bench” players of any real significance, either the system in place is fundamentally flawed, which certainly wouldn’t be a stretch, or our manager doesn’t appear to have the requisite mental fortitude and/or the onions to handle the inherent complexities of such an undertaking

        after all, for those of us with perspective, it’s not all about the points, it’s about the “eye test” and the developmental process…so far we’ve had to witness a plethora of negative football, yet somehow players like Marts still can’t find minutes in this tactical malaise

    2. TRVL,This oft repeated and recycled fan comments nonsense about MA “HOLDING GRUDGES” is so laughably ludicrous as to be beyond mere stupidity!

      1. Jon, if you can’t seem to comprehend the very possibility that our novice and exceedingly fragile manager might have an issue when it comes to holding grudges, then I don’t know if we can engage in anything resembling a logical discussion…after all, it’s difficult to have a rational debate with someone who’s clearly acting in an irrational fashion…maybe you should stop overcompensating so much for the fact that you’ve publicly waffled several times regarding your “opinion” about our present manager

  4. Martinelli is full of “heart” and passion; maybe fault him for not banging in goals, but never hunger or passion.

    Odegaard was poor last game, why not bench him and move ESR to the 10 and give Martinelli a chance on the wings?

    Auba was poor last game as well, why not bench him and give Martinelli a chance?

    Better yet, why not bring Martinelli on as a sub the last 10 or 15 minutes so ESR and Saka can get a rest?

    There are opportunities to play Martinelli, Arteta feels otherwise.

    Easier to reach for the owners wallet than to develop players already in the squad.

  5. tbh I think Whelan’s reasoning is way off the mark..
    Martinelli’s attitude and enthusiasm cannot be questioned. If anything it is working against him since his injury. He seems to be trying TOO hard and his timing, control and skill level are all suffering. Before the injury all of his attributes matched but now he just appears over anxious, and like many youngsters, that over anxiety to make something happen is stifling his ability.
    Having said that with a run of games in the right position he should lose the stress and return to his previous level. But can Arsenal afford to let him play through a period of poor form? They do it regularly with Auba, so why not him…?

    1. Well said guy 👍
      He cannot show what he’s got unless he’s given a fair chance .
      When he came here he was head and shoulders above the other youngsters .
      Time to give him a chance

  6. Hungriest player on the pitch when he can actually get minutes so if whelan did say this then maybe a trip to spec savers .
    I’m with TRVL above there seems to be something in the background going on as we all know Arteta likes to show some good old fashioned “I’m the boss man “
    No reason whatsoever that he shouldn’t be getting 15-20 mins coming off the bench ,would have been right up his street coming on against Brighton ,but decides to bring Laca on for some reason so he can hold up play .

  7. The other important aspect of a discussion concerning Martinelli, is what is his best position, and where can be be most effective.Personally I don’t see him as a central striker but I think he would produce the goods as a goalscoring winger on either flank.

    1. This season he started vs brentford and chelsea – subbed both times.
      Last season he never started more than two consecutive games. This happened twice.
      So barring his debut season, the answer is a maximum of two!

      1. Guy
        That is exactly why I’m against Eddie comment about Mart performing poorly against Brentford and Chelsea.

        None of our players perform well against those teams and Auba, Saka and many others perform poorly against Man City, Norwich and Burnley(That we win against Norwich and Burnley doesn’t mean we perform well) but does that stop Arteta using those players?
        Auba has been playing bad for how many games under Arteta?

        I remember MA never use Mart even before his injury and MA was only lucky Mart got injured few days after coming back from lockdown, so many people forgot MA never use him in the first place and only prefer Nketiah.

        Say anything you want but I know Arteta favors players more than other players and not because some players are in bad form.

    2. Speaking of the number of games,I remember all those people saying that being out of Europe would be a blessing in disguise,just one problem,it means less games and less chances for players like Gabi and Co to gain more experience and playing time,training sessions are nothing like competitive games even against inferior opponents.

  8. The attitude and hunger of Martinelli is unquestionable. Either it is the injury effect or it is the lack of consistent playing time that is affecting his game. I agree he should be given more chances, specially on the wings. He can be brought on as a sub for ESR or Saka to give them much needed rest. I was surprised he didnt come on against Brighton when we badly needed a goal.

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