Emi Martinez says he takes no joy from teammate Bernd Leno’s injury even though it afforded him a first Premier League appearance in three years.
The German keeper was left in agony after appearing to twist his knee following an awkward fall caused by a mid-air push by Brighton striker Neal Maupay in the 2-1 defeat at the Amex. Incensed by the incident the keeper was quick to point the finger of blame at the Frenchman as he was stretchered off.
While Martinez looked sharp when he came on as Leno’s replacement, Maupay had the last laugh, scoring a 95th-minute winner before accusing the Gunners of lacking humility.
Assuming he’s fit on Thursday, Martinez has the chance to play consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since 2017. He says, he and third-choice keeper Matt Macey, will do their best to cover.
“In the goalkeepers’ union, you don’t want the other goalies to get injured because it can happen to anyone,” Martinez told Arsenal.com.
“We train every day together, we support each other, we’re really close, we even have a WhatsApp group for just me, Bernd and Matt – it is devastating to be honest.
“I wish him a speedy recovery and if he needs the rest of the season, me and Matt [Macey] will try to do a good job in the Premier League and try to cover him as much possible.
“The last time [I played] in the Premier League was three years ago,” he added. “But I wasn’t thinking about it when I just came on.
“I made a save straight afterwards. I am so disappointed for the result, I thought we deserved to be 2-0 or 3-0 up. But you just take it and learn from it.”
After the match, boss Mikel Arteta excused Maupay, who also had an unseemly coming together with Matteo Guendouzi at full time, from any blame.
“I believe that no player has the intention to hurt anybody and I believe in this case it’s exactly the same, it was unfortunate,” said the boss.
“Bernd’s injury doesn’t look good and we will have to assess him probably tomorrow, but it can happen on a football pitch. It’s a knee injury, I think he had a hyperextension of the knee and we have to assess the damage.”