When Gabriel Martinelli went down after a challenge from Man City goalkeeper Zack Steffen towards the end of the first half in last night’s 4-1 Carabao Cup defeat, Arsenal fans had hearts in mouths.

The young Brazilian has spent months out with a knee injury, and was starting his first game since the 2-0 FA Cup win over Portsmouth on March 2nd.

He’d been the Gunners brightest player in the first half, providing an assist for Alexandre Lacazette, but looked to be in real pain following the incident.

Somewhat surprisingly, he reemerged for the second period, but not at all surprisingly, he had to come off after just a couple of minutes.

Afterwards, Mikel Arteta insisted that the player was determined to carry on, saying, “It was just a really bad kick on his shin and it was swelling up and he could not continue.

“He was pushing, he was saying he was completely fine, that he wanted to carry on.

“He had a scar that wasn’t open and he wanted to try, so we gave him the opportunity to try and when he was on the pitch he was uncomfortable so it was an easy decision to take him off.”

Hopefully it doesn’t keep him out of the Chelsea game on Saturday, and the manager was pleased with what he saw from the 19 year old in the first half.

“He has a unique energy and a way to transmit his passion for the game,” he said.

“He plays the game in a different way to any other player. It’s hard to compare him, but what I have to say is that it’s great to have him back.

“To bring that experience, that fight, to play against this opponent after such a long time out, in the way he did in the first half, it’s something to be really proud and happy about.”

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Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Hopefully Arteta’s compliments means he realises the kid needs regular game time, as long as he is match fit

Comedian

At times feel Arteta is contradicting himself…when you see his handling of Smith Rowe getting him back slowly or handling of Saliba saying he wants to keep him out of limelight and pressure….and then when he rushes player like Partey , even while knowing he is still in red zone ( remember Wenger and his red zone) and yesterday with Martinelli…who is always going to give his all, he is not going to hold back…even if injury wasnt caused because of a strain but then medical staff letting him clear to play second half … Is just clutching straws. Even… Read more »

Bleeding gums murphy

I had real hope for Arteta, he’s failed in his man management, his team selection has been terrible, his micro management during games seems to be hindering players and quite frankly he just seems lost. Paddle and shit creek spring to mind.

Viva la prof

Arteta is all smoke and no chicken.

Artetas Assistant

Martinelli getting exposed to go and tackle dirty balls after showing he is so important (I think AMN could have gone into one tackle , win the ball and it’s your teams fiercest forward on the ball) is a sign of the lack of team-spirit . All Mikel will achieve is have Martinelli have a ‘me against the squad’ mentality

theoisnotastriker

definitely!
I also would give Balogun a chance in the PL..always looked sharp.

Russ

Well I have to say, this is where the manager should be telling him that he needs to take it easy and his time coming back. Not allowing him to play on surely for the next half even if the young player says he wants to?

A bit like the Luiz head injury, I have no doubt a more experienced (and possibly more sensible) manager would have brought him off straight away, I think everyone could see that was what should have been done, same for Martinelli. It could have been so costly. Let’s hope it’s not.

JBF

I haven’t got any issue with what happened last night with Martinelli, except for the keepers flying tackle which he was not in full control of, that’s a booking for any outfield player doing the same.

But letting Martinelli come back on after the break isn’t an issue, he wanted to try to play on and couldn’t so the change was made, no big deal. The knives are out at the moment bed quite understandably, but let’s focus the critical where it’s warranted.

Sachin

If it happens once, sure. But Arteta and his team have made quite a few of those botched decisions of having injured players take the field. Just goes to prove how less he trusts his options on bench. And also the one-trick-pony approach to setting the teams up.

If you aren’t alarmed by now I don’t know what it’ll take.

Post January Blip

Arteta’s decision to leave Gabi on is definitely questionable, and like you I think the decision to keep a player on should be taken out of the player’s hands. I disagree however that this is due to Arteta’s inexperience. As with the David Luiz incident you have cited, I think this is a matter of football culture needing to move on with the times. Even an experienced Wenger would cave in to players like Ramsey insisting they can play (when already in the ‘red’ zone), only for them to break down / exacerbate injury. I think quite simply, there needs… Read more »

Artetas Assistant

A manager should be God, but that’s obviously in rare supply

We Came Here For Partey

The insanity of this call is that we decided this Cup isn’t a focus so played a second string side but put on Martinelli just back from injury. Doing the same thing and expecting different results n all that.

We need leadership on and off the pitch, Martinelli needed to be told “appreciate the desire but we need you 100%” but Arteta and co didn’t have the courage (again).

SB Still

This is the same player that Arteta wasn’t picking / saving him from high expectation prior to his injury.

At 19 years old he is able to push the manager to continue? For me it shows inexperienc on part of the coaching and medical staff.

GraeB

I think Arteta can’t win on this one. If Gabi had been withdrawn at half time and later said he’d felt fine to continue, fans would have said he should have gone with player view and see if he was OK after a few minutes.

Luiz was different matter and with head injury player cannot make choice, especially when Luiz clearly wasn’t into heading it properly.

Partey clearly needed more tough sessions in training to prove fitness (although he was our best player before he went off). Coaching staff at fault or Mikel/Player too desperate, who knows?

ASH

If a manager is afraid that a kid like Martinelli will come out to press against him, then the manager has lost the dressing room.

Mpls

Let’s not make a second level of assumption based on a dodgy first level.

Naked Cygan

What is more baffling is why any Arsenal fans would give down votes on your comments.

Limey

Unfortunately it’s probably more important he’s available for the Brighton and West Brom games than Chelsea.What a time to be an Arsenal fan.

Pau

We are in a time when Fatgooner gets more thumbs up and almost zero thumb down for ‘crude’ talk.

A P

I remember Fats as one of the loudest mouthed proponents of anything-but-Wenger brigade, even willing for years of mediocrity if it meant kicking the manager out.

He got what he wanted, and it worked out really swell!

So Fatso can go fuck himself.

Fabulous

Thing with Fatso is he’s consistently negative in spite of anything good that’s happening at the club. Unfortunately, our recent plight means he’s either a case of the sun shining twice on a dog’s arse all that, or whatever he’s claiming is actually real. Deep down we all wish it’s the former but I’m starting to sway on the latter. Years and years of club mismanagement will eventually transmit itself on to the pitch.

Fabulous

To add to that, the management sells that having a former invincible as our football director is some kind of a bonus. Fact check – he left us on a Bosman when the team was actually at its peak. His loyalty is definitely questionable to say the least. Not exactly Ashley Cole but not exactly Dennis Bergkamp either.

Sachin

Loyalty? I’m looking for competency and leadership. Edu has a good reputation as a director back in Brazil and that’s why he shone out. The club connection is secondary. We can’t simply sign former players we are fond of as management and expect miracles.

Djo

Pheeew… I really tought it was bad injury…
This guy along with Saka is our future! Incredible how he played yesterday, like he was never out injured… He is going to be world class, fingers crossed he avoids major injuries 🤞🤞

IGtheshy

Compliment Martinelli but Arteta will continue to play Willian if fit.

Sachin

As much as I despise all of our tendency to pick on our own players… Willian needs a break. We aren’t privy to why he was signed (maybe another Luiz for the young guns) but he needs some introspection about his role in this team. Xhaka, Kola, Luiz and Mustafi keep failing often and falling out but it’s never for a lack of fight or desire. Willian seems like he has no desire left.

Birdinggooner

This is the third example recently of a player being left on when they should have been taken off. Luiz, Partey, and now Martinelli. The manager needs to tell them they’re off and it’s not worth the risk. If more long-term injuries result from allowing players to stay on when they insist against reason that they are OK then we just dig ourselves a bigger hole.

Northerngooner

I completely agree.

As a manager, he has a duty of care towards his players yet he seems to treat them like work mules which is completely unacceptable.

This is about lack of leadership from Arteta, nothing to do with his managerial inexperience or “football culture”

Like in so many other issues, Arteta is hopelessly out of his depth.

Win,lose or draw Arteta remains the right choice

I believe in Arteta… Good things don’t come easy..a great future comes with rough patches……we obviously know the torture that shining diamond went through to become what it is

Northerngooner

Genuine question……

What do you see in Arteta that makes you think we have a great future with him in charge?

Saying he needs time isn’t good enough, not in the current situation where we are in real danger of being relegated for the first time in our history.

Maul Person

What exactly do you believe in with Arteta? Genuine question…

Ash

His hair for one. Immaculate

Don Cazorleone

People literally believe in him just because of his name and the fact that he once wore an Arsenal shirt. There’s nothing else to believe in as he has never been a manager before. If he hadn’t played for Arsenal, not a single fan would still want him in charge of this club. Imagine if fat Frank had come here for his first job and was getting these results. We’d have burned down the Emirates by now. We have got to get over this messiah complex that anyone that was an Arsenal player must automatically be amazing. They’re not. Being… Read more »

Joseph Kawooya

Well he has played with Ronaldinho, n Jay Jay Okocha two greatest talents. Europe wide experience: with Barca academy to France. Captained two EPL teams. Coaching wise, he has worked under amazing ones. David Moyes is probably up their with Arsene n Fergie he topped the averages during a stable period for Everton. Then Arsene, of course the guy who blend the Invincibles, who later introduced the EPL to the wide world. Individually, was a factor in a steady Everton, steadied Arsenal FC unleashing that RVP season, and obviously was a genuine contribution to the ManCity camp. Then finally that… Read more »

Might want to drop the ‘Win’ for your username.

ozymandias

I screamed out of fear when i saw him emerge for the 2nd half, and cried out of sorrow when he went down seconds after.

It’s all good saying he wanted to continue (just like the Luiz fiasco) but surly the medical team should make the final decision and NOT the players?

I reckon if Martinelli had walked off instead of being carried Arteta would of fly kicked him back onto the pitch such is the mans current plight.

SarcasmB0t

Maybe this is the beginning of a bold new phase which will see the medical team made redundant.
It’s clear that just like the scouting team, they’re not necessary, as they are not listened to.

I’m sure Percentage Pulis would tell you the chance of Martinelli getting a serious injury was 16% or some shit.

No need for expertise or decision-making when you have math.

GraeB

That’s the Pulis who reported Gnabry not good enough for Championship team!

Charles MMM

So tired of hearing his conflicting excuse of an explanations. He wants to give the younger others chances (when it comes to Runna), but Seliba is too bad to be given his own chance to play in a minor cup match but rather Mustafi who’s bad as well as on his way out of the club? His conflicting excuses and reasonings both amazes and confounds me at the same time. He’s beginning to sound like he’s out of his dept, and It will be confirmed or rebutted if indeed he is by January. We can only wait and watch it… Read more »

Fatgooner

Keeping Martinelli on was just plain dumb-period. Just like keeping on the concussed David Luis was too. Wake up, Arteta.

Yesterday’s events perfectly demonstrated just why the club is in such a mess. We had a goalkeeper on the pitch who probably wasn’t good enough for an average League 2 team. His signing is an outrage. And so we disappear out of a competition that we could have won and thus gained European qualification. Who’s running the club?

The real problem is above Arteta.

Comedian

We all know the structure is the real concern and also decision makings…but Arteta cant hide away entirely nor can his staff. Maybe his style of play doesnt suit the current crop.of players , for example pepe who might be good in another team but he is not known for his crosses but more of a player who likes to cut inside and shoot or cross with his left. And when Saka , Tierney do it so well.on the left but they don’t have anyone in the middle, you have to come up with plan b…but Arteta doesnt seem to… Read more »

Fatgooner

Who employed Arteta? And who’s keeping him in a job? Why hasn’t he gone yet?

The real problem at the club are the people high up – especially the owner.

Don Cazorleone

Yup.

We have an owner that knows nothing about football.
Who employs a CEO that has never run a football club.
Who employs a technical director with little to no accolades.
Who employs a manager that has never managed a football club.
Who is also the coach that has never coached a football club.
Who signs off on transfers suggested by coaches with no scouting experience.

Rotten from top to bottom.

Up North

I put all my faith into MA when he arrived and his non negotiable talk was music to my ears. Now- hos decision making is bad and he’s been let down by his staff. The latest one is the keeper coach who should be cleaning his office as we speak. It’s absolutely horrendous the way this has been handled, I guess if most of us was handed 1 mill £ and told to get a decent goalie who spoke english we would do better ( Looked at my own suggestion from back then- Andre Hansen from Norway do an excellent… Read more »

Comedian

Come on Inaki Cana has been a good coach…it was wrong of the club to seek advice from coaching staff when it comes to transfers. When David Raya wasnt looking like happening…we went for the easy choice in Alex. Now that is on Edu and others who decided to bin scouting network. In short coach job is to improve players in the team not sign players.

SarcasmB0t

Look, a goalkeeper coach is not a goalkeeper scout.

From what I’ve heard, Cana knows his shit in terms of drills.

I’m not sure why he’s selecting players – but I suspect our entire scouting department getting fired might have something to do with it.

GraeB

Did he have chance to fully assess Macy? Or did he just want to show that he could bring players in cheaply? Or did he just want to hear more Icelandic around the club?

We kept Martinez at arm’s length for so long as he clearly wasn’t good enough and brought let go of Fabianski, Mannone, Szcezney, Cech Leno before deciding to cash in. I feel sorry for any keeper behind our defence!

MrBure

He got a bad kick on his shin, there was swelling (indicating trauma) and you let him go back out because he said he was fine???
I’m sorry, but that is utterly irresponsible from the Manager.

Leemillion

How often do you see a player go down for that long, with his head in his shirt, crying and yet still play on? Mad decision.

SarcasmB0t

So? He’s a teenager. Teenagers are stupid. They live in the moment and think nothing can happen to them.

You’re the one who’s supposed to be the responsible one. You’re the one making decisions for the whole team, for the whole season and for seasons to come.

Fuck off with this amateur hour bullshit.

Harding

As a physio, the decision to allow him back on after half time following the injury after a 9 month meniscus rehab is absolutely unforgivable, especially given his young age and importance to the team. If you’re going to bring him off 2 mins into the second half, what’s the point risking him? For the fucking nobody-cares trophy? Arteta seems like a strong character who would be hard to argue with, but return to play decisions at all levels should be with medical staff not the manager for obvious reasons – their priorities will be totally different. But I would… Read more »

Alex

This is not to the player to say if he is fit enough or not. There are physios in the cabin checking the injury and giving their agreement or not. The player will always wish to play but he has no clue about medical issues.

HenryKamp

Said the same when David was injured too. This guy is a criminal who has been killing bright future of young kids at our club by either not playing them or overplaying.

Everything that Arteta speaks is a lie!

Chris

Trying to understand arsenal is like trying to contemplate nothingness, it’s just incomprehensible to the human mind.

Dave

We’ve become a Lovecraftian entity it seems

2highbury

Poor judgement shown from this manager yet again

His inexperience is going to turn this bad run into a relegation fight

GraeB

“has turned” not “is going to turn” I’m afraid.

Announce Bendtner

Surely a manager and medical team are dependent on player feedback. We want “fighters” and players with a backbone and a hunger to win?

Well they’re not the type to say “I want to go off”
Maybe the manager should make the call but if the player is able to start second half I don’t understand the harm in giving him a few minutes.

I sense that this is a case of knives out for Arteta.

We need to stop thinking we know best when we only have limited information available to us. Support the club.

LEFT08

More proof that Artera isn’t ready to manage at this level. Player shoul have been shielded and taken off. Of course he wanted to keep playing. The manager is there to make the right decision. Ffs

Homer

looking at the comments here, it seems that no matter what MA says, some of you lot are gonna bitch, no matter what. Club “supporters” indeed…

fact is, i don’t really care what MA says – as long as he’s getting results.
Get some wins, get some draws, and talk less.

The digital age – too much focus on bullshit, twitter and whateverthefuck.

score some goals. win some games. then nothing else matters.

A P

To be fair, we will bitch less if we actually get points after each game. So, it is not a matter of complaining no matter what.

Badaab

ridiculous from the manager and medical staff to allow him on the pitch in the second half. the club is a comedy of errors from top to bottom.

Santori

Rather daft.

Pushing him unnecessarily (like Partey) leads toinjury and long term problems compounded.

BUT Desperate at the moment.

Martinelli looks like a catalyst but he will need time to work in. If Martinelli can come in on left, they can throw Saka right and keep Auba or Laca (or both) in the middle Support eventually with a base of Partey and Ceballos.

Thierrys_Tears

His statements are getting dumber and more self-serving all the time. Not the player’s option to go back on. Arteta has to get some big boy pants.