What happened to Martinelli against Olympiacos? by Lagos Gooner
It is a good thing we won our game against Olympiacos on Thursday. It is a good thing that we were even able to score ‘a lucky goal’ as people will want to put it. It is a good thing to see Lacazette score once again, as this will only improve his confidence. However, one player who seems to be on fire right now had a silent game yesterday. I am talking about our Brazilian prodigy, Martinelli. I don’t know if I was the only one that noticed it, but Martinelli was not really in his strides, last Thursday.
In football, just as in life, people have strong moments and they have weak moments. A footballer may play beautifully well today, and yet fumble tomorrow. As humans, we are not expected to also put in our 100% in everything we do, but then we are enjoined to do our best even when we are not at our best. On Thursday night against Olympiacos, I didn’t really feel Martinelli’s impact. This very talented dude was not impacting the game the way he normally does. What happened to him on Thursday? Only he can answer that.
Some days ago, a fellow writer here wrote a wonderful piece, wondering if Martinelli would not be affected by Arteta allowing Nketiah stay back at Arsenal. A lot of people condemned his write up; many felt Martinelli should be professional enough to know how to fight for his place. Well, I also don’t think Nketiah’s stay at Arsenal should affect little Gab, but I won’t be surprised if does. Human beings differ in how they react to competitions. However, I won’t say Nketiah is a rival to Martinelli. Now, the question is, why didn’t Martinelli play to his standard on Thursday?
In all reality, Martinelli has been a revelation this season, but the amount of praise he has been getting, may be doing him more damage than good. There is the tendency for him to feel he has arrived and that the manager and the club should be doing everything possible to make him happy; including paying him huge wages and of course, playing him whenever he is fit. A player who is hardly 21, should properly be guided or else he fizzles away faster than expected.
I was scared when I read a while ago, about how two mighty football nations were fighting to get to play for them. I was scared because I felt this kid didn’t need this type of controversy at the moment. This kid needs less attention in this his growing stage. If he loses form for a while, would he be mentally strong to go through the rough patch? Would he keep his calm in the midst of issues? Martinelli may be world class at this his age, but he needs to be properly guided, or else how he played on Thursday may just be an early sign.
We are Arsenal and we are proud.