Will Arteta ignore Martinelli and play without a striker again?

We have spent all season saying that it is unfair on Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli and Folarin Balogun because they simply can’t get any chances in the Arsenal first team.

But, this week, with both Lacazette and Aubameyang not fully fit, Arteta had the perfect chance to use one of his other three Number Nines against Villarreal on Thursday, but instead opted to play without any centre-forward at all!

Admittedly Nketiah had got a chance in the game against Everton (without success) but how must Martinelli feel about being left out when he should be the next first choice hitman? Arteta has been saying since January that Martinelli has just been unlucky that the more senior players have kept him out of the starting line-up, but he can’t say that about Thursday night can he?

Yes the Brazilian finally came on in the second half when we were 2-0 down and had been reduced to 10-men, but I bet he wishes he had started the game.

It seems unlikely that Aubameyang will be available for Sunday or on Thursday as Arteta said yesterday: “He hasn’t trained much, he is still not at the level in his physique that he should be to start. We will see again tomorrow how he is. Yesterday he could only play a few minutes but we managed to get him on the pitch, which is great news for us.”

So, can anyone explain whether Arteta has no confidence in any strikers except the injured Aubameyang and Lacazette, or does he really believe that we can win the game without any recognised striker?

I am certainly confused…

Tags Martinelli Nketiah

38 Comments

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  1. Sean Williams says:

    I think Arteta is totally lost. As he treated William Saliba he is treating Gabriel Martinelli. To me it is sad to see the control freak Arteta, treating young future Stars this way. Arteta has a very dark vengeful side against some young players. I will be happy when this poor, poor manager is gone.

    1. Wyoming says:

      Whether by accident or designArteta brings Arsenal home with just a one goal deficit to overturn.
      Normally this would be regarded as our tie to lose so I don’t understand the pessimism.
      As for selection well the ends justify the means.
      Chelsea play with 8 defenders a midfielder and two attackers.
      Tuchel will probably play 9 defenders as they protect their one goal away win.
      Both clubs fans, coaches and players season is on the line.
      Squeaky bum time

      1. Sean Williams says:

        The treatment of Folarin Balogun, Gabriel Martinelli, William Saliba and even Matteo Guendouzi is shameful. Just wrong. I will be happy when Arteta pisses off. He is just an imposter. I’ve been a supporter of Arsenal and lived near both Highbury and the Emirates all my life and Arteta doesn’t have a clue and the football is shit. Kroenke is even worse. Your beloved Kroenke is a Parasite.

    2. John Ibrahim says:

      Saliba has attitude and discipline issues….

      Its in the media

      As for Martinelli, we do not know what is behind the scenes

  2. gotanidea says:

    Could be, because Smith-Rowe actually possessed the ball very well in Spain. I knew he has the abilities to play as a false nine, because his hold-up play is better than Aubameyang’s/ Nketiah’s and his aerial ability isn’t bad either

    Arteta still needs to improve the defenders’ and the midfielders’ confidence though. If we keep making misplaced passes, we won’t win the next two games

  3. Son says:

    Both arteta and the players are confused.

    How can you play a false 9 tactics, yet they kept switching the ball to the wings and kept playing stupid hopeful crosses (to who exactly. lord bendtner?)

    I think its plain simple, arteta doesn’t like the lad(Gabi) for reasons best known to him and definately not on footballing abilities

    Thats what he kept doing during those barren spells in Nov when he kept using willian and laca at No 10 role when he had ESR fit and ready to go
    The guy is just clueless and am tired of him, things are supposed to be getting better not the other way round.

  4. Dan kit says:

    Ah yes the masterstroke from Arteta,let’s play with no striker for the most important match in years and see how it pans out ,I mean we have never used this tactic all season but lets experiment just for laughs .
    As quickly as I got sucked into the hype surrounding Arteta I’ve just as quickly realised he’s winged it since he signed for us , he’s out of his depth and I really worry for the club if he’s left in charge for next season .
    The Newcastle match will go the same way as the rest of the season ,unforgettable .

  5. Wyoming says:

    Yet incredibly Arsenal are two games away from our most successful season in 5 years

    1. ken1945 says:

      And if we lose the first of those games, how will you access the season then Wyoming?

  6. Danny says:

    Arteta is a complete idiot he is destroying the talent of Martinelli and can see the kid leave if he does not start getting regular game time hopefully Arteta will be gone before it reaches that stage and a new manager will get the very best out of him and go on to be a great player for Arsenal! ARTETA OUT!!

    1. Dan kit says:

      I’m waiting for the “ but Arteta is slowly bringing him back into the team “posts , because he came back from injury 5 months ago but will need 12 years to get back to full fitness

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        😂😂😂

        The Martinelli protection theory considering it came from the same source who said Aurora deal is 100% done and Saliba was protected from psychological hardships because he lost his mother while whining against the others who thought otherwise, it doesn’t mean much.

  7. Durand says:

    Everyone knows Martinelli was the proper choice to play as a 9 considering Laca and Auba out.

    Instead Arteta continues with his nonsense “he’s not ready” about Martinelli. 10 goals 3 assists last year, dwarfing anything Nketiah did, but still gets no chance.

    Arteta has been wrong on so many young players, unable to utilize their strengths or unwilling.

    Martinelli, now Willock, Saliba, one disaster after another from Arteta. This lost year was perfect opportunity to blood these players and develop them; instead valuable development time was lost.

    Saka has saved Arteta’s job more than Arteta himself. Take away Saka’s production and what has Arteta done?

    1. ozziegunner says:

      And who brought Saka into the first team? It wasn’t Arteta.

      1. ken1945 says:

        And who signed Saka?
        It wasn’t UE or MA.

    2. Chuma Ikeazor says:

      %100 Bro, you hit the hammer on the head. God bless you, Give Tuchel all these kids (including the ones out on loan) and see what he does with them, Give Pep these kids and see if he will not win the champions league. Arteta is a strange fellow with a strange head on his shoulder despite his sweet personality which is his saving grace, whoever is advising him does not like him, we talk about players making mistakes, they do because they are also demoralized by bad choices and decisions. One bad mistake after another, one bad loss after another, one very bad, negative record after another and he is still there, God must be living in his house. He hides under the assumption that the squad has a lot of bad players and yet they won the FA cup for him. A good coach would be flying from there because a good foundation was laid, even this season started well and he killed it with lots of bad decisions and favoritism. Next season will expose his weaknesses well because there would be no excuses to hide under anymore.

    3. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      As I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to you Durand, I’m in full agreement with the whole “lost year” narrative…unfortunately very few have fully embraced this vitally important observation…it amazes me that whenever I’ve said likewise, which is quite often, it rarely provokes a response from others, minus yourself

      of course, we did rid ourselves of some deadwood, from a locker room perspective albeit not fully off the wage bill, but that was bound to happen come the summer anyways and we certainly didn’t turn the page completely once they were shown the door

      so the question must be asked, what did we really achieve this year…now some will say this can’t be fully answered until our European adventure has come to an end, one way or the other, but I’m frankly worried about what further damage this manager would do should we succeed and earn CL qualifications…this is the same man that derailed our “rebuild” after winning the FA, through his wholly misguided pursuit of WIllian

      fact remains that this should have been our “rebulid” and/or transitional year, where, in his first full season, Arteta removed deadwood, properly evaluated our more youthful blue chippers, attempted to sell off those without a logical future with the club and then proceeded to identify and possibly acquire those who could properly address our NEEDS…as we know all too well, our young grasshopper, started to read his own headlines then acted in a completely irresponsible manner…by doing so, he derailed our rebuild, opted for a Wenger-like retool and karmically got his just rewards

      in my estimation this would provide any responsible owner with the necessary justification for termination…they rolled the dice, bet on themselves, to the detriment of the club as a whole, and as such both he and Edu must be held accountable for their specific actions…simple and believable

      1. Durand says:

        We are of the same mind regarding our youth under Arteta.
        Arteta decided to retool rather than rebuild, and no surprise his decision was wrong.

        Use this year to determine the following

        1. Do Guendouzi or Willock offer enough and/or fit in this team? Both sent out so Arteta can loan 2 midfielders with no future here.

        2. Saliba partner with Gabriel? Maybe Holding? Good enough to start next year or 3rd choice? Arteta has no clue he has so completely mismanaged this player; on purpose?

        3. Is Martinelli’s future as a ST or winger? Good enough to be a starter or compete for starts? No clue, been bubble wrapped since January Arteta mismanaged a real gem.

        4. Is Nelson good enough for depth? Offer more than Willian? Better for depth or sell for funds? Again no reasonable idea by Arteta, ignored this player never given a proper chance.

        5. Balogun provide depth next year or still prospect? Any better than Nketiah? Stay with club or needs a loan? Arteta wasted months this year when he could have used sub appearances to determine.

        Add all the other mismanagement by Arteta and it’s appalling. The wasted opportunities with youth will prove a disaster in the season to come.

        Perhaps no ST is needed with Martinelli and Balogun proving their productivity. Our CB partnership could be strengthened for next year.

        Arteta has missed so many marks; from players and youth to table finish, to no style or philosophy.

        No way he should get any more time, trust, or money.

        Who do we blame next year? Wenger and Emery still? Covid? Bad players and Deadwood? Refs? Fans?

        Some won’t admit Arteta is a failure because they invested too much of their pride in Arteta. Many of the same wanted Emery gone, consider that for a bit.

        1. Musembi says:

          This summary is enough to get even the best manager fired. If we continue like this, we’ll be in a relegation battle in a year or two. Sad.

  8. Emmaobi says:

    You see Arteta when u pick form, he drops u to the bench. Only God knows how Chambers is now playing ahead of Cedric. Rowe playing as false nine. Can u imagine.

  9. Jah son says:

    What I can’t seem to get is that people like Jon Fox and Grandad who proclaim to be of so much wisdom are the people who will take forever to see a load of shit before their face. Arteta has been sour since football returned from that first pandemic break. The FA cup was just paper over cracks.

  10. Shortboygooner says:

    From last year I told you boys arteta is not the guy.

    I wish we had serious owners like Chelsea. Look what they done with lampard. A club legend.

    Im not saying his treatment was fully correct but they were decisive. Man I do hope we get a real manager

    1. zackson88 says:

      head on. this loyalty is what has lead the team becoming a mid table one. management keeps supporting mediocrity . whoever hired arteta made emotional decision, not tactical one

  11. Sivayilo says:

    I think Arteta should play martinell and if we do same mistake, its better we get anaother manager better than Arteta.

  12. Sue says:

    No Balogun for the U23s against West Ham right now. Surely we’ll see him tomorrow, right?

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍 🤞Fingers crossed, Sue.

    2. ThirdManJW says:

      Yes, we will see him tomorrow night…sat on the bench, as Mari gets the nod up front haha!

      1. Adeyemii says:

        Hahahaha

    3. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      You’ll undoubtedly see him tomorrow Sue, whenever the cameras pan over for a looksee towards the available substitutes

      I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during those final conversations, between club and Balo’s reps, that ultimately led to his choosing to re-sign…considering the amount of teams who appeared to be interested, what exactly sold his camp on the notion that he should stay on long-term…was this deal simply signed so that it was easier for the club to sell him on, should they decide to go a different way, or was this a real statement of intent towards a player they felt had a future as our starting striker…whatever was said, it’s clear that his agent was convinced that Arteta was here for the long-haul, otherwise why would you tie your hopes to a potential dead man walking…here’s hoping we see him on the pitch tomorrow for more than a handful of minutes

      1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

        loved to have been a fly NOT loved to be a fly

    4. John says:

      I would not be surprised if he came on in the 92nd minute when we have a corner.

      1. Musembi says:

        I could bet good money on this 😤

  13. Godswill says:

    Arteta can not be a successful coach with his hatred for some players with no reason.
    How on earth was Martinelli not fielded?
    Absolute stupidity to play such an important match without a striker of even one leg and think one can win. That was a semi final of a top competition. Also knowing that that is our slightest hope of being in Europe next year. He should better redeem himself in the second leg and not fumble again.

  14. Chuma Ikeazor says:

    Mikel often leaves me completely speechless with his decisions and match readings, they are hard-to-describe most of the time and this is for lack of a better phrase.
    Granted he is a rookie and for that reason should not have started his career with a big team like Arsenal but he is a lucky guy. The things he does most of the time leaves me wondering what they see in him to make them hire him.
    I am truly not impressed with most of his decisions, he has one of the best squad of very dynamic and highly talented young players he would have put together and use to make his name a big brand as Jose Mourinho did with FC Porto, instead, he is busy hobnobbing with old weaker players who have passed their prime because he does not trust his ability to fully express his personality on the pitch, instead of blowing our minds with awesome expressions, he is busy breaking our hearts. I wonder which club would hire I’m if he loses this job, Come on Mikel, God gave you a platform any rookie would dream of, make good use of it for goodness sake, we’ve gone one full season without a team.
    I still like you though and would like to see you in our dugout next season.

  15. Declan says:

    I think Arteta will now realise we don’t have players of the quality of his old club who can play the false 9 and won’t try it again, this season at least. As Balogun isn’t playing today I fully expect him to start against Newcastle along with some other youngsters and we will beat them, contrary to my prediction!

  16. foreverinourshadows says:

    Arteta is clueless and so out of his depth, to start a semi final without a striker was a disgrace and if it wasn’t for Leno we would be out of the EL, the defence is disorganised with no partnership formed, he keeps changing. I would love to know his game plan for Arsenal as he has killed the Arsenal DNA of attacking entertaining football. No-one I know has any clue what direction he is trying to Take Arsenal, the players don’t know and the fans don’t know, if by a miracle we win the EL, he has to go because he is taking the club backwards, not forwards, someone explain what his ideas are

  17. hycenth says:

    I don’t know how Arteta get this line up, how come Arsenal the can play match without striker, Arteta is really do mistake on that day..

  18. Rebo Ehwan says:

    Fact is, Arteta is not sure what he is supposed to do to deliver results. He may be a technician of some sort, but DEFINITELY NOT A MANAGER!

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