Opinion: Martinelli is being groomed to be Arsenal’s next striker

Opinion: Martinelli Is Being Trained To Be A Striker.
Hello Arsenal family. It is so funny how a game of football can give one so much joy for a moment and then quickly followed by agonizing frustration – speaking of joy, I am still basking at the euphoria of our win on Sunday in what was a delightful performance.
So as I was thinking about our next game and the possible line-up when I remembered Martinelli and how much I have missed watching him. Many of us have been left frustrated at the lack of game time after coming back from his injury, but the latest comment from Arteta sheds a bit of light.
Here is what he said about when asked about Martinelli’s game time“It is my fault, he has done everything perfect. His attitude couldn’t be better. “He’s really disappointed that he’s not playing more obviously having spoken to him, but he needs to be a little bit patient.

“He’s had some minutes and games as well.

“He needs to be patient and he will get his chance.”

 If there ever was any doubt about his fitness, surely, this statement has done enough to clear those doubts, so we can now conclude his omission is tactical.
So the question now is, how can Martinelli not fit in tactically? For me, his quality is never in doubt but it has more to do with the options we have and most importantly. what the manager wants to do.
When Arteta just joined, Tierney was injured so Saka was playing left back and our front three was usually Auba-Lacazette-Nelson but Nelson was soon dropped for Pepe.
If you are the type that studies the tactical side of the game, then you would have known that the combination of Auba and Lacazette unbalances the team as Aubemeyang is technically inept, that is why Saka has been so valuable to the team and why he will always start ahead of Pepe- he keeps the ball well, can pick a pass and has playmaking abilties, he just needs to improve his finishing and to be fair to him, the same can be said for Pepe, Lacazette and  Willian.
We should only play one of Aubameyang and  Lacazette and in recent weeks, what Arteta wants to do is becoming clearer and clearer. Quickly cast your mind back to the Man Utd game at home where Martinelli was subbed at half time, here is what Arteta told the Metro after the game: “It was a tactical decision,. It was something we weren’t doing right and I thought Willi could have done better and that is why I made the decision. It was about a few things and some things we had to treat to be much more aggressive like we were in the second half, press was much better, we were closer, getting the ball really high, we had better options with the ball, It was nothing to do with Gabi, his work ethic or whatever, it was just a tactical decision”
So what is this tactics? In trying to get into Arteta’s head, I think he wants players that are highly intelligent and technical (like Wenger) to solve our creativity issues while chipping in the odd goal. Players like Emile Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Saka and to some extent Willian, are players who are elegant on the ball and are technically astute. Whilst Martinelli is a hardworking, lethal finisher he is not as technical as the aforementioned.
He might be similar to Sanchez in work rate and resilience but he is technically not there yet, putting him there is just like having Auba-Lacazette again.
I reckon the major reason why he is loved is because of this contagious positive mentality and hard work and of course his goals.  Here is the pecking order now:

LW: Willian, ESR, Saka, Martinelli  (In that order)
ST: Aubameyang, Lacazette, Martinelli and Nketiah
RW: Saka, Pepe, Willian, Nelson
AM: Odegaard, ESR.

Conclusively, I think Martinelli is being groomed to be a striker and if you re-watch the goals he scored for us, most of them are scored in that position anyway. The departure of Lacazette, will surely bring him closer to the first team. I will leave you with Jurgen Klopp’s remark:   …”but he is a talent of the century, he is an incredible STRIKER”. I can’t wait to see this monster unleashed.

What do you think?



  1. Lenohappy says:

    Seriously it’s funny that Arteta think a 32 years old Willian can press more than a hard-working Martinelli. Arteta is starting to sound like an inexperienced coach.

    1. gotanidea says:

      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. Lenohappy says:

        GOT this is what Arteta said, “was about a few things and some things we had to treat to be much more aggressive like we were in the second half, press was much better, we were closer, “. The fact that he believes Willian can press more than Martinelli it’s funny.

        1. Isaiah says:


          Arteta won’t give full details word for word you know. I love the way Gotanidea summed it up there, “Willian has better tactical awareness and more accurate deliveries”.

          I agree with the article that Martinelli’s best qualities are more suited to the CF role as he is surprisingly so good in the air-he is your modern day CF as he can press from the front, good with the ball, strong, aggressive and pacy. Nice article!

        2. Isaiah says:


          Arteta is not going to spell out everything word for word. Gotanidea explained it clearly there “Willian has more experience and tactical awareness….” I think this is why we see Willian start over him as Arteta wants playmakers around the striker to give us fluidity and of course creativity. I agree with the scope of the article, well said!

      2. Goonster says:

        The likes of Saka, ESR, Odegaard etc are the same age bracket as Martinelli. That has not stopped them from being ahead of Willian.
        You are good enough, you are old enough.

    2. Dunchirado says:

      At Lenohappy, The manager finally came clean on Gabriel Martinelli.

      ‘If anything it’s my fault. He trains incredibly, and his attitude couldn’t be better. He’s really disappointed he’s not playing more obviously, and I have spoke to him, but he needs to be a little bit patient’

      Soooooo, it’s not that he hates Gabriel.It’s not about being vindictive. It’s not about disagreements on the future of blockchain art. It’s a patience thing.Most of you guys don’t know what’s going behind, but just want to blame Arteta for everything

    3. Stian says:

      I am sure Arteta doesnt think so. Its not about pressing, its about keeping possesion, as the article states. brilliant article. by the way. One of the better I have read among blogs for a long time. I really belive in Arteta. This season, he has brought in Gabriel, Party, Ødegaard. I belive these are players who along with Tierney, Saka and Aubameyang are of the highest quality in their respective positions. Four more players of top class, a right back, centre back, midfielder and left winger and we have a first eleven atleast, who can compete with anyone. There are stroing rumours concerning Lamptey and Solomon wich would be absolutely brilliant. However, our need to improve in terms of individual players can even be solved from within” . Cedric is maybe not world class but still, I think he might be good enough. Luiz does the job at the moment at centreback and Saliba is a prospect. In midfield we to buy. The talent coming through are yet to young. At left wing, Martinelli, could also be an option as well as Smith Rowe. The futuere, despite the league position, looks seiously bright.

  2. gotanidea says:

    I watched the YouTube video of his exclusive shooting training in the penalty box. He could also be groomed to be an inverted LW, because the video shows him score with his right foot by cutting inside from the left and not with his head

    I agree that he could be a perfect replacement or competitor for Lacazette, because he’s good in tight spaces, a workaholic and slightly taller than Lacazette. If he is trained to be a CF, it’d be a bad news for Nketiah, Balogun and John-Jules

  3. Goonster says:

    On the Martinelli issue I am a bit skeptical of what Arteta is saying. There is no way that dead horse (Willian) has guaranteed himself more minutes on the pitch than young Martinelli.

    But I will give Arteta more leeway because to me he continues to handle about 80% of our player management in a way that I agree with. And like always, he is fallible like we all are, he is not perfect on everything. And this Martinelli issue to me is one of the 20% he has mishandled.

    I was very underwhelmed when we were linked with Arteta as Arsenal manager in 2019. Did not understand what the excitement for him was. But the moment he came in and straight away concentrated on our problem areas (Goal keeper, CB, DM, AM etc) I took notice. He came in and straight away identified our defensive problems then went for the fix there and then.

    As I keep saying, he might not make it as our Arsenal manager but he is absolutely living us a very strong foundation on the pitch. Any new manager will just have to tweak here and there and in order to move this team ahead.

    Keep doing what you are doing Arteta. I am just so impressed with his “No nonsense” attitude.

    1. Aloyinlapa says:

      What an amazing write up. On page with you. Let Arteta extract the crude oil, someone else will come and build on his solid foundation. We are having a clue already to the mind of the Manager. He won’t sign Martineli to a long term contract if he doesn’t believe in his long term project for this club. Arteta’s “NON-NEGOTIABLES ” at his first press conference is still very fresh in action. For this Arsenal, if supported by all stakeholders, there’s light behind the tunnel. Agreed, Arteta is human, some of his decisions can go wrong, but I equally appreciate the way he takes responsibility. Firm, Committed, focused and ocassionally can be ruthless.

    2. Davi says:

      Yes, you summed up my own views very well. Everyone likes to think of it as if people are either 100% true believers or complete, unwavering haters with respect to Arteta, but like you I back MA without agreeing with everything he’s done, and also believe that even if he ultimately fails, he will have created a better platform for the next person.

  4. Grandad says:

    Fans really ought not to take every single word uttered by a Manager in response to questions after a game as scripture set in stone.As for a pecking order, it can change from week to week and is largely irrelevant.What is relevant is to consider a possible replacement for Laca who, it seems, may well be moved on at the end of the season.Martinelli certainly has the talent and natural ability to adapt to any front three position, and in this respect I would like him to ?Gabriel Jesus of Man City who has excellent mobility but is not an A grade finisher.Whether Martinelli has the body strength to hold off defenders and link play is debatable but he is in my view a more natural finisher than Jesus.Until he is given an opportunity to show what he can do as a C.F. In a competitive match, we will never know, but hopefully Arteta will give him meaningful game time soon.

  5. Dhoni says:

    Give the guy some minutes in today’s game make him feel safe art of the team than warming the bench match after match.

  6. Dhoni says:

    Part sorry

  7. GPeter says:

    The comments of some of our fans most times shows the.level of their footballing intelligence and yet they just wanna comment with authoritative demeanor depicting that of knowing more than the manager.

    Martinelli is a striker in the mode of Thierry Henry, Ronaldo and Aubameyang. Not a natural winger cum play maker.

    Whether y’all like or not, Willian is a natural play maker who can also play as a winger, so also is Esr, Saka and Ode.
    These will always play regularly behind a striker ahead of Martinelli until the striking position is vacant for Martinelli to play and time is on his side for that.

    Call him or say whatever you like about Willian, he is our assist king so far this season if I’m not mistaken. Argue with that all you like.

    1. McLovin says:

      Lets not get carried away with Willians assists. Some of them were not, lets call them “essential”, as the scorer made the chance happen if you understand what I’m trying to say.

  8. Dunchirado says:

    Look at this like the Phil Foden case. Everyone was complaining about the lack of chances he was getting, now he’s being decisive in big games, playing in the Champions League.I remember Pep always saying his time will soon come and he just need patients.He played in all man city big games this season.So Gabriel time will also come very soon.

  9. Sean says:

    Spot on the the Foden comparison as thats exactly what is going on atm. He is being groomed and Mikel has learned from Pepe on how to do that plus his man management skills at City (according to Sterling,Sane, KDB) were brilliant and he is trying to do the same here at Arsenal to which he is getting right.

    Saliba going on loan was the best thing for him and us in the future, same with Dino if he gets over the injuries but Matteo is another one that needs to get back on Mikels good books. All young gems.

    I could well see Laca being sold with Torriera asap. If any bids come for Auba I bet we would take it along with Willian.

    Teirney (c)
    Ødegarrd (hopefully another loan)

    To add to – Leno, Partey, Luiz, Xhaka, Mari, Soares, Holding, Elneny, Pepe, Auba & Willian

    Look at that crop of youth there at our disposal along with Niles, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah even Chambers.

    1. Sean says:

      Pep 🤦‍♂️

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