Should Arsenal start with both Trossard and Martinelli against Leicester?

Following Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, there were demands for Arteta to bench Gabriel Martinelli in favour of Leandro Trossard ahead of the weekend battle with Aston Villa.

Fortunately, Arteta responded by starting Trossard against Villa. Trossard was adequate, but benching Martinelli proved wise, as the Brazilian was insufferable for the Villa defenders when he came off the bench, scoring on a mistake by Villa goalie Emi Martinez.

The one question on every Gooner’s mind is, “Martinelli or Trossard, who starts against Leicester?” While this question may polarise many, Dean Jones believes it shouldn’t, as Arteta may already have the perfect answer to this query.

Many people have wished for Martinelli to play as a striker, believing he could be one of the best goal scorers in the league if he does. Interestingly, as per Jones, Trossard and Martineli could play together soon, with Martinelli as the striker.

He said on Green Arrows YouTube. “I think he’s running out of steam in this team, and I’m starting to wonder if they look at rotating the side now. Is there any possibility—I mean, this is just something I’m putting out there because I’ve heard that it’s not impossible that Arsenal do try this—of them playing Martinelli up top?”

Eddie Nketiah’s two goals in seven games indicate that he cannot always be relied on and maybe he could do with a spell on the bench.

Arteta’s assault must be firing on all cylinders, and without Jesus, do you think a Saka, Trossard, and Martineli onslaught could be too much for even Leicester this weekend?

Daniel O

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  1. I will put this out there again and nobody answered this same question to this idea.
    You are saying you would take our most natural goalscorer out of the team (Nketiah) and replace him with a player that struggles to hit a barn door at ten paces?

    1. Yes reggie
      They may not be able to hit a barn door as you say but eddie isn’t unable to hit 2 barn doors side by side at the moment.
      The scoring the goals isn’t the main problem for me as proven on Saturday where others were able to get on the score sheet.
      It’s his mobility and awareness around him.
      When he has to think about things he looks lost at times
      When his instinct take over he is far more dangerous
      1 on 1 and he seems to fluff his lines.
      We should take him out of the firing line a d bring him on a sub for a few games just rest him up.
      Either Martinelliwho did hit the barn door Saturday orTrossard up top we consistently hunt down the gk or back 4 to try and win it higher top for us plus give us options on there mobility to open up space for others.

      Onwards a d upwards

      1. Nketiah like all strikers is going through a patch, he is a natural finisher, Martinelli is not. Martinelli is going through a crisis that until he was given a goal on a plate on Saturday, was really more worrying than Nketiah. Nobody can seriously say that Martinelli who has never played striker for us and is not composed, is the answer to our striker problems. No he isn’t, if it was a credible idea, i may see the point but Martinelli is not a striker, he is 100% a wide player. He can not be credibly mentioned, with what he has done so far as to be better than Nketiah.

        1. I think we will agree to disagree on eddie.
          I just don’t believe he offers us enough up top and just goals
          His hold up play
          Bringing others I to the game
          Giving options a.d most of all which is my biggest bug bear
          Closing down from the front
          We defend fron the front first and Forth most
          Put defenders under pressure and don’t give them a chance to look up
          GJ does this job perfectly for us.
          Eddie in my opinion looks less hungry then when he first came in to the team fir the injured GJ

          1. Im not saying Eddie is the next coming at all. Im saying i don’t get the people calling Martinelli to replace him. Just shooting in the dark as to how he would do. One is a striker, the other a winger.

            1. @Reggie, you seem to be the only one that sees Nketiah as a starter,
              In Modern day football, defence starts from attack and Nketiah isn’t helping on this compared to Jesus and Martineli,
              Nketiah is poor in holdup play, in one on one and passing, he’s just a poacher, he doesn’t attract defenders,
              When Jesus was fit, he paired with Martineli well, while Saka, White and Odegaard paired well also,
              We need Martineli and Trossard, the best form of defence is attack.

    2. Nketiah has missed sitters not stop and hasn’t scored in 4, struggling to hit a barn door. Martinelli has 8 goals this season 1 disallowed wrongly at old Trafford. All from open play in the premier (not including stat padding Mickey Mouse cups.). Maybe you should check stats before talking nonsense. Natural far from it… Trossard miles ahead!

      1. I dont check stats because they get twisted to suit. All i will say is Martinelli has played far more minutes than Martinelli and Martinelli has gone through goal droughts and had some pretty awful games recently. I will say it again Nketiah is a striker, Martinelli isnt and Martinelli is not the answer. Some people look at the smaller picture and that is not always accurate. Just a few games ago Eddie was something like 6 in 6 games and Martinelli was on a goal drought and missing sitters. Martinelli is not a striker.

        1. I disagree when you say Martinelli is not a striker. He is, and has shown how lethal he can be in that position when he’s been call up for it for us and Brazil at times. Nketiah needs 10 chances to score one. Martinelli needs 3. In games where the margins are fine, the chances are few; you must utilise them when the fall. Nketiah has proved to be incapable of doing so. Play Trossard or Martinelli up top.

        2. @Reggie, you should know anyone playing in the front 3 can play as a false 9, besides being a striker has gone beyond only goals, you see Kane dropping deep, Nketiah doesn’t do any, Martineli even without goals will still keep defenders on their toes and reduce pressure on our defence,
          We can also see Martineli isn’t the problem but our LB and LM who drift to the midfield, leaving Martineli alone, we also saw the same with Trossard because Nketiah isn’t wired anywhere close to the way Jesus is,
          We need Trossard and Martineli to start with Nketiah and Smith-rowe as subs, imagine the confusion it would cause within our opponents.

      2. Matt
        Reggie has an opinion which we all have and to me it is a constructive opinion and not nonsense.
        Whilst I am in agreement with you
        Lets keep it polite and respectful

        1. Thank you AB. Yes you are right, it is my opinion and i dont see Nketiah as being top top class but as a striker, i really dont how people can so assuredly, can tell me Martinelli is actually better than Nketiah without facts. Im a Martinelli fan but the guy is not a striker.

    3. I think eddie hS done OK for us given the circumstances but I could see the front 3 of saka Martinelli Trossard interchanging more if we need change it up
      Maybe that’s my fantasy football head running away.
      You know with these 3 the press will start higher up field
      If eddie stays in then I do hope he does put a few away at the weekend
      As he needs it just get his goal confidence
      The good thing about the team is they are still creating
      The good thing about eddie is that he is getting chances
      Problem is that he is not killing games off for us earlier with missed chances

      1. Look how many opportunities Martinelli has missed. And dont talk silly (im not trying to make Nketiah out to be special at all) but he is renowned for being a clinical finisher and Martinelli isnt. Im on about the striker role and Martinelli has not played striker, no matter how much some people try to make out he is a striker.

  2. No, because it’s been a long time since Martinelli played CF and his hold-up play was worse than Nketiah’s at that time

    I bet Martinelli has been trained for the LW role, so forcing him to play CF again would be a big risk to take

    I’m sure Nketiah and his coaches have been analyzing his games, so let’s stick with him until Jesus fully recovers

    Martinelli would be more impactful if he comes as a super-sub, as he did at Villa Park

  3. What about Trossard as a false nine as they call it, can he play with his back-to-goal springboard? Personally, I think Nketiah is probably due a goal but we should be ready to make early changes and only Saka is exempt forward right now

  4. I think you’re being a little harsh on Eddie. Now, I’m not saying we don’t need a top class striker, because we do. However, Eddie is getting into good positions. He should’ve scored against City with the header and against Villa with the 1-on-1 with Martinez but remember it was a piece of uncharacteristically good defending from Mings that denied him a definite goal. If he can improve his finishing a bit he will get 15-20 a season but to do that he needs service and games. He is getting the consistent run of games at the moment, so it is down to him to add the goals but in order to do that he needs more than 1 or 2 chances per game. He’s the most instinctive scorer we have, and there is no reason to think Martinelli will be better as the focal point of the attack. Remember Eddie is doing a lot of unselfish work off the ball to help the team. When Jesus does it we forgive him his lack of goals, so we should do the same for Eddie.

  5. It’s not just the attack, but other areas as well. Our defenders have dipped a bit, even Ramsdale, and we have not been as solid defensively as in the 1st half of season.

    Our midfield as well; Xhaka not as impactful, isn’t making the runs as before, and Odegaard hasn’t found the consistency he has shown previously. Jorginho has played 2 good games, and we needed that with Partey out.

    The attack has been blunted and have found it harder to create and finish in the final third. Teams know the tactics now, making their work that much harder.

    I hope to see more rotation; 2 or 3 players start some games, earlier subs when we seem dull, a bit of fresh air like that, no need for wholesale changes and fielding all backup B team.

    For example, Zinchenko instead of Xhaka with Tierney at LB could rekindle the left side attack. 2 changes without hurting the quality of starters while adding something different.

    1. 1 or 2 changes to shake and freshing up things. Arteta did at the beginning of the season to freshing up things but stopped after WC break, why? only him can say

      1. I agree, it is a bit of everyone. Certainly not poor but poor stretches or brain farts during games. They have longish stretches when they have reverted to that frustrating (for me) slow movement, i’d almost call it old Granit Arsenal.

        But, and it is a big but, despite the criticism/observation, we are number one in the league.

  6. Nketiah looked jaded in the last couple of games. He’s never had such a long run in the team and needs a rest. Yep… Martinelli against Leicester, their lazy style of defence will suit Martinelli. Trossard will likely score and will cause havoc.

    1. was thinking about Leicester’s defence being a good opportunity for Eddie to get back on track though. The way he is playing, I think if he sees a ball go in he may be off again. A nice increase before Jesus gets back would be awesome.

      Your point though, I do think the three of them (Martinelli, Trossard and Saka) would give the Foxes fits.

  7. I support Martineli playing central forward in place of Nketiah. We should understand that Nketiah need to rest. He has tried. But now he has gassed out.

    1. No! He has hit a flat spot and all strikers (and all players for that matter) do. He will score again and go again. It doesn’t mean a underwhelming Martinelli should replace him.

    2. Will Arteta have the wisdom do use this formation

      Tossard martenelli. Saka

      Zchenko. JORGHINO odegard

      Tierney. Gabriel Saliba. White

      I feel xhaka needs to be rested…Let’s give fresher legs.Leciester players may have lost to ManU but they were on the attack and direct..It’s time to drop all these back passing and side ways passing and roaming with the ball without any penetration..ManU won that game with a perfect game plan tactics and not all these same pattern passing in all the matches..Thats the problem I have with Arteta.He lacks the managerial experience to switch to plan B or C or D.Which really annoys me He should learn to be more creative in changing this wing football and play direct or even long balls at times.. Holding the ball for long without any impact is just a waste and that why the strikers are not scoring and the ball should cover the spaces when going forward and not running with the ball to cover the same space..Finally let’s go through the middle and take more shoots outside the 18yard and not looking for the perfect scoring chance all the time cox it’s the goals that matters and not all these fancy play.If Arteta wants that type of play then he should go to laliga This is the EPL and u need to be fast, direct, tactical and take your chances or u will be punished.Thats why Nketiah should be benched cox his killing the front line.thanks

  8. I disagree fundamentaly with DANIEL and his harsh view about Nketiah. I say Eddie is doing as well as we could expect. Not better , not worse, but about what we should expect. I never expect more than I think is par for the course, so to speak.

    Martinelli has no real experience of playing as a striker and IMO it would be foolish to make such a huge change now and expect better results.

    I hope and believe that the same team that started at Villa will start at Leicester, save only hopefully, Partey back as a starter in place of Jorginho.
    I also believe far too many fans who write articles and posts on JA, ARE FAR TOO IMPATIENT and far too critical, without just cause.

    Imo any fan who cannot fully support their team, which is clear of City and all other rivals, does not deserve to be called a Gooner.

    1. Just because he is doing as people expect does not mean he is good enough. So who is to blame here, Eddie for not being good enough or Arteta for picking him or not getting a capable replacement for Jesus.

      1. sws, I blame people like you, who are unrealistic in their demands and far too critical.


        1. Oh Jon, the same way you supported Xhaka right!

          Deary me, how short some people’s memory can be.

          None the less, I am entitled to my opinion as a GOONER.

          Sometimes I think people accept mediocrity to the detriment of the club.

  9. Changing the characters here , pray tell me why the full back Gabrial isn’t rested ? The man, to be honest, is hopeless . He doesn’t tackle , can’t dribble , always passes to the closest player, is constantly out of position and yet he’s in the team . Surely there are better backs than him .

  10. Benching Nketiah is tempting for a lot of fans. But he is so important in the front 3 pressing system. Martinelli currently out of steam and Trossard never played that pressing role before. Nketiah had been running himself to the ground and his movement distract and disoriented defenders. Since Jesus will replace him soon, I think we should maintain him so he will be more physically and mentally prepared for the long run. He is young, clearly talented, still learning and he is one of our own.

  11. The other way to start the two is play with 3 defenders at the back. I remember suggesting just that vs Manchester City.

    In those tactics Tierney is left back, Gabriel is Central and Saliba is right. Saka takes over left wing and wing back Trossard right wing and wing back. Odegaard in attack midfield and Partey and Xhaka in Central midfield and Martinelli on a free role to support in attacks. While Xhaka supports the back. In second half you bring in Zinchenko and for Martinelli and ask Trossard to take over where Martinelli left….

  12. I agree with the article. Martinelli as a CF would be a very interesting option and something worth trying. Trossard is fine on the wings, cutting inside and drawing defenders. Also, Nketiah needs some rest and a new combination would freshen things up. We have to win against Leicester to build a gap comfortable enough against both Mancehster clubs.

  13. Lets call a spade a spade pls…We all know Eddie is far below average..I wonder why some fans support mediocrity…Can these fans stake their bets that Eddie can get our team having our previous striking line back then…Strikers like Eddie only show up during carling cups & FA cups when Wenger wants to show his feeder youth teams..Pls don’t get me wrong..Eddie is just trying to be that average player and doing his best but we all know with as our main CF we are surely going to end 4th in the league..These fans don’t realize that Jesus is the reason Gabi upped his game play cox Us see the quality & hunger in gabriel Jesus.. Nketiah is just there and yes some times he shows glimpses which is normal as a CF but we all know his not that CF who can give u 20goals in a season, so why are some fans raving as if his some special CF. His just hanging on till Jesus comes back ok..At this moment I rather wish we had balogun than him honesltly.. Let martenelli play A false 9. even the presence of Martenelli is fear factor to any defence.So what does Eddie bring to the strike force other than miss chances after chances..We don’t need such incompetence now..Every miss is a danger to let’s us martenelli upfront and see how It goes..who knows we may discover a new CF and ESR can then go to the Wings..thanks

  14. Chris, You do NOT speak for me , nor I suspect a great many other fans when you write, in arrogant style” we all know Eddie is far below average”!

    That is simply YOUR opinion to which you are entitled. What you are not entitled to do is to claim you speak for ALL of us! You do NOT!

  15. Playing them both would be interesting because MA prefers to play with more flexible/dynamic players “such as Jesus” .. while Nkeitah is a box striker and finisher, he rarely can provide anything outside the box or create chances for his teammates like Jesus did when he played.

    Maybe it’s time to use Marti as a CF and bench Nkeitah or .. playing both with Nkeitah being in the box and Marti with Ode behind him, Saka on the right and Trossard on the left .. benching Xhaka and using Zenchinko as a second CDM when we are attacking?

  16. U say Nketiah has been below average…. FINE

    The Martinelli you want to replace him has been below average since December — that’s for the past 3 months


    And did I just hear someone say Nketiah doesn’t press upfront

    OH MY !

    When some fans just hate someone they slate him anyhow


    In short I see only Jesus working harder than him in relation to pressing opposing defenders

    Nketiah has only not been scoring
    Go watch the replay of Aston Villa game

    He was amongst the best performers in that match

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