Friday, March 1, 2024

Arteta: Martinelli will get his chance

Mikel Arteta admits Gabriel Martinelli isn’t happy at his lack of game time but he’s urged the Brazilian striker to remain patient and to keep training hard.

The 19-year-old was full of his customary energy after his long-awaited comeback from knee surgery in December but the game time has dried up since.

Since the start of the year, Martinelli has played just 111 minutes in all competitions and didn’t even make the squad for Sunday’s 2-1 win over Sp*rs during which Erik Lamela was sent off after putting the visitors ahead with a fluke.

Ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League last-16 tie second leg with Olympiacos, Arteta was at pains to make clear that the youngster hasn’t done anything wrong.

“If anything it’s my fault,” said the boss. “He’s done everything perfectly, he trains incredibly well every day, and his attitude couldn’t be better.

“He’s really disappointed that he’s not playing more obviously, and I have spoke to him, but he needs to be a little bit patient. He had some minutes, he had some games as well, and it’s true that the competition for the front places is very tough.

“He needs to be patient, and he will get his chance.”

Tomorrow evening would certainly be an interesting one. With Alexandre Lacazette having played almost the full game against Sp*rs, and with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sitting it out completely, chances are the captain will get the nod.

However, if we can score a couple of goals and give ourselves a commanding lead on the night, we could then rest the skipper and give the young Brazilian a run out.

Fingers crossed.

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Arteta: “Gabriel, it’s not you, it’s me”


Martinelli: You’re giving me the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ routine? I invented ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’ Nobody tells me it’s them, not me. If it’s anybody, it’s me.

Arteta: All right Gab, it’s you.

Martinelli: You’re damn right it’s me.

David C

I guess the people thumbing down aren’t big Seinfeld fans 🙂


This is exactly what I was thinking with my original comment, I appreciate when a good alley-oop assist is thrown down with authority! Great epidsode BTW!


Always happy to help


LOL he did that with Ozil remember, “its my fault I’ve failed Ozil” lol thats when you know Arteta is lying

Reality check

That’s something you day before a break up.. or lack of interest in sex due to erectile dysfunction.


nah if you have erectile dysfunction you get your doctor to order 32 sachets of testosterome for you

Mr November

I’m so fed up of Arteta peddling this shit. If you were that disappointed about him not getting minutes then you’d give him a run out. Once again Mr Non-Negotiable’s double standards are shining through.

Var Will Solve The Problem

Im not sure if it’s double standard. I think that weasel agent (named after a car company) of Willian inserted a clause where he has to play a specific number of games. Someone on our side didnt read it properly or the faulty fax machine didnt print it correctly. That’s another reason the contract guy was let go, me think. Now Arteta is stuck with playing him over Martinelli. So when he is giving Martinelli “It’s not you, it’s me” routine, he actually means it since he is the one who wanted Willian to sign for Arsenal…..

David Hilliers Arm Cast

This is why it’s bull crap. He is happy to play an underachieving lazy Brazilian regularly instead of a young hungry Brazilian who has impressed when he has the chance to.

I think the team is improving in leaps and bounds but continually playing Willy while freezing out Martinelli and Nelson drives me crazy.


Do you really think such clauses exist in football? I’ve heard whispers of their existence but never found them credible.

Ordnance Dave

You’d be surprised by the completely random and outrageous clauses in footballer’s contracts. Don’t forget God himself had a non-flying clause in his contract. Guaranteed minutes and appearances is an extremely rare one though, especially for a club of Arsenal’s size. Basically you can ask for everything including the kitchen sink in a contract, but playing time and position clauses are usually a big no go.


I’ve always had the feeling that that is the case. It’s Kia after all and internally we are run by clowns so he probably knew he could get away with literally anything he wanted


Arteta doesn’t help himself sometimes. Non negotiables are great, but even Auba could argue that being late for the Derby (even after being late repeatedly) doesn’t amount to an unauthorised trip to Dubai. Gabi has every right to be a bit upset. Just hoping we don’t lose two talents in Gabi and Saliba.


Love is blind.

Cranky Colin

The Willian Dubai trip is like an open sore.


An open sore in a very intimate area.

Vaibhav Pandey

Do you know what are the rules being set out on match day? Do you know what Willian got in return as punishment for his trip? If not then, shut up!

Tha Bizz

Shsssh you cant say that Vaibhav, it doesn’t fit the tired repetitive narrative that gets dragged into every comment thread on here…*rolls eyes*
It’s like everyone has been blinded by their tribal affections and disdain to the point they cannot objectively look at a situation and realise they don’t have all the facts without injecting their own biased imaginations into the situation.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

The manager himself commented the two situations publicly. His approach was different. What else do you think we fans need to know before commenting?

Vaibhav Pandey

Different situations can have different rules and approach. Going trip abroad without permission is one thing and it is totally different scenario than someone not following match day team rituals.


You got that right.

Going on an unauthorized trip during a pandemic – which includes a long flight – is way worse than being a little late.

Not that I thing Aubameyang shouldn’t have been dropped.


he went off during a covid pandemic issnt?

SB Still

I don’t get the “I’ll tell what fellow fan can and can’t say” approach.

At the risk of being told off by such fans, firstly, isn’t the biggest punishment for a player? Secondly, is Willian playing more than his form warrants?


And you do? If so, do tell.

If not, shut up!


Sorry big man. Go and run yourself a bath keyboard warrior.


Throwing young players in before they’re ready, causes more harm than good

No need to be stressing about two teenagers, 12 months is a long time at that age, they’ll come through when they’re ready

Smith-Rowe was rescuing Huddersfield from relegation in July, and Saka was sat on the bench for the backend of last season, including the FA Cup Final and Semi Final

Saliba is playing regularly in France, which is what we need, and if we can move Lacazette on this summer, then I think Martinelli will become our internal replacement


The most terrifying is that he looks like Martinelli as an “open play” attacker who could be useful against teams that play openly against us! How many are there in this league? 3? 4? 5? The rest are shell shutting until the get us on the break. And worryingly not even against them he is playing. Not even when we are leading and the opponent is forced to open up. Bottom line if we end up 10-7th in the league and Europaless and Cupless for me it would be a waste of time for our talents on the favor of… Read more »


I’m no fan of Willian, but if his discipline was taken internally in the form of a fine, that’s good with me.

He also didn’t start a league game for 2 1/2 months because his form was so shit.

He didn’t get away scot-free or anything.

SB Still

Blogs maybe you have the insider info on the fine. However for me the fine and not starting a game is 2 separate things although it’s the same player. For me the punishment Willian got for the trip is immaterial to me as a supporter (in terms of long term harmony and squad health its even handed). What matters for is his playing time in proportion to his on field contribution. In my view they aren’t proportionate. I actually think, as an young manager, Arteta plays it safe by playing his experience players rather than young players with potential. I’m… Read more »


He was dropped after too many dismal performances.
And his current “form” is overhyped.
My biggest issue is his risk averse attitude and my second his lack of sprinting forward and backwards.
These are elements that Gabi can bring.

I cannot see Gabi been able to be worse than Willian have been so far…


I like Arteta.
I like the way the team plays at the moment, I see the process, I think we have improved significantly from the Emery days.
However, one aspect of management Arteta has to improve at is to manage game time for promising and important young players. It’s a difficult job, but it’s important not to lose unique talents due to over-sticking with has-beens such as Willian. It’s true that might have his uses, but he doesn’t have to play or be on the bench every game.

Mick Malthouse

For fuck sake, just play him!




Calling someone childish is not Sakaesque. Especially when they are correct and you are wrong.

Blian Gliffin

For the first time since 1982 every single player is fit and available. Younger players not at the absolute top level (Eddie, Martinelli, Nelson) are not getting game time as a result.
End of analysis.


CUT TO: Midnight at the Emirates in June, Gabriel Martinelli is the only one in the stadium, sitting right behind the manager’s dugout, in a substitute’s bib, morosely watching a phantom game that he will never participate in.

NARRATOR (ARSENE WENGER): He did not get his chance.

TEXT ON SCREEN: Arsenal finished 9th in the league.

Fade to black.


At least we finished above Villa! … Fuck


Honestly, it’s not even a Willian issue now. It’s v hard to see how Gabi (or indeed Pepe) displaces one of esr, odegard, saka across the front line.

It looks more likely next season if we don’t manage to hold onto odegaard and esr moves back centrally or we move on laca and treat gabi as our second choice to lead the line.

Team I’d play against Olympiacos;
Ryan, Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Chambers, Elneny, Ceballos, Pepe, Willian, Martinelli, Lacazette.

Team I’d play against West Ham;
Leno, Cedric, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard, Smith-Rowe, Aubameyang.

No need for anyone to play 2x 90 minutes in the next two games. West Ham game is massive.


Yeah, I like that. Figure out the best team for West Ham and then back into the team for Olympiacos.

Vaibhav Pandey

Disagree, next game is always most important one. Win it first then next game comes. I think Mikel will select strongest possible lineup against Olympiacos.


Olympiacos is important to be sure but we should have enough to go through with NAM’s proposed lineup. West Ham is huge for us. They are 7 points ahead and we need to make sure they stay on 48. Winning closes that gap to 4 points. Yes we have Liverpool next but the teams immediately above us will drop points in April. West Ham has Wolves and Leicester, Sp*rs play Villa, United and Everton. You get the idea. It’s important that we take advantage of that.

Vaibhav Pandey

I agree with you somewhat but since I have not seen the future, I will stick with what I can do today and in Mikel’s case, what he can do with Olympiacos. I am sure he must have planned for West Ham but not at the expense of Olympiacos. I think we will see strong lineup barring Saka or Cedric or ESR, Laca may also drop to bench. If we see out 60 mins with 3/4 goals aggregate advantage then you can see fringe players getting minutes otherwise unfortunately no!


I agree, he won’t take chances. There are 5 subs so I think we’ll start strong.


A three goal cushion is one thing, basically laughing in your opponents face by selecting a whole different XI is another. That’s asking for trouble, and we like causing trouble, mostly for ourselves.


We have the capacity to shoot ourselves in the foot everytime

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Laughing in their face would be Runarsson, Bola, Balogun, Azeez, Rekik, Nelson, Nketiah.
Of course Mikel won’t rest 11 – maybe 5 or 6 – but it’s still a very strong lineup of all first team players.
Several of the team could use a breather – especially with 3 internationals coming up – and several need 90 minutes. We’ll need to be sharp against the Hammers to beat them and close the gap.
It would be so frustrating to win 3-0 tomorrow and then only draw with West ham.


The only thing now is Europa. Zero risk should be taken. If you think we are going to outpoint four teams by five (ish) points in ten games you’re hoping for big teams and in form teams to lose 3/4 games out of ten. It is not going to happen. If you think WE are going to win all ten games… We might finish above Villa and Spurs OR Everton – that’s it. WE went out to Olympiacos last year – lets not mess it up with selection again – like the other cups we’ve been knocked out of this… Read more »

I like lego

People are so impatient when it comes to Martinelli, think about two things: First thing is that he has a bit of an injury record already, we have history with players and repeat injuries ad nauseum, Diaby, Rosicky, Jack, RVP, Ramsey, Eduardo and so on and so on… we don’t want to add Martinelli to that list so I understand the caution completely. The Second point is that Arteta speaks about patience, chances are Laca will be moving on this Summer and if that is the case that leaves a big hole for Martinelli to step in to, we don’t… Read more »




Diaby and Eduardo had their legs broken. Jack and RVP had a similar injury to Pires – when do you stop resting players? RVP went on to be top scorer for us and Man U. The list of players that started young and didn’t get injured or got over one setback at some point in their career is much longer than your straw man list.


I think we all would like to see more of him but understand the form of Saka and ESR have made it difficult for him. Most fans want Pepe to be getting more minutes also and they can’t all play. Even Willian has had an upturn in form even if most would leave him out. My issue is that we could be giving him 15 minutes here and there to keep him ticking over. We often still bring on auba or laca late in games that are won when someone like gabi would benefit more from the minutes (or even… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Willian set the bar so low, now he’s being praised and rewarded for being anything other than shit.

Willian is racking up the assists. Some people prefer stats over the eye-test.

Limpars chip

If that’s your definition of racking up, I’d hate a night on the piss with you


The Granit Xhaka special

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

MA is clueless when it comes to talent management. He will make the club lose our best talents. The way he acts, he will lose the dressing room more easily than other managers. This is the list of players who have reasons to bear grudge towards him: Guendouzi, Saliba, Balogun, Martinelli, AMN, Nelson, Willock and to some extent Auba, Nketiah, Pépé and Laca. These are the only players with reasons to be excited about him: Willian, El Neny and perhaps Bellerin. Leno may also be unhappy about looking ridiculous at times with the rigid way MA wants to play from… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Should have loaned him in january then

If we loaned him out we probably would have got 4 injuries to other forwards the next day.


Here’s an idea:

I think we’ve all accepted that Lacazette will probably be sold in the summer given his contract (1 year left), age and performances. Aubameyang will remain our first choice striker, but why not use Gabi as direct replacement and backup and mould him into our first striker for the years to come?

At the same time, he can also cover / get his chance on either flank.

I, for one, would definitely fancy the attacking quartet of Martinelli, Saka, Odegaard* and ESR.

*really hope we try and manage to make the move for him permanent.


The idea of using Martinelli as our second choice striker is meant from next season on, considering that the spot for the rest of this season is reserved for Laca. For now, I just hope we see Martinelli play as much as reasonably possible.


I like this idea, seems that the center may be where Mikel may want him as well. We’d also need a striker who can play the target player role, holding the ball up. Would love us to sell Balogun on this idea, with him signing a new contract and making the step up.


I believe Martinelli can became something like Firminho. A high intensity pressing striker who is good at serving scoring and heading the ball.


I kind of hope you are right. High intensity pressing, that he definitely has already. Intricate link up play and a skilled header of the ball, I’m not sure those are (or could be) his strongest strengths. That said, I haven’t really seen him play much lately, and my memory from last season may not be accurate. I see him as a much more direct player than Firmino, and more of a goal scorer.


I have a feeling that this may be what’s happening. Saw a video on Gabi’s Instagram of him doing striker training drills and banging the goals in. It would make a bit more sense and maybe explain a bit of his lack of involvement if he’s being coached into how Arteta wants him to play this role before being deployed. It would also soften the blow of a Balogun departure if we have another internal solution at striker waiting in the wings as Auba and Laca get older.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

My gut tells me we’ll offer Lacazette a new contract.


4-3-3 with Auba, Gabi Saka up front and Partey, Odo, ESR as a midfield…


Makes the Willian signing look even worse.


People keep trying to reduce this to ‘but why Willian over X’, where X could be Martinelli, ESR, Pepe, whatever. We are playing a midfield 4 with two strikers in front. ESR/Willian and Odegaard are playing in midfield as #8’s. Saka and Auba play as split strikers. The reality is that Willian is not playing LW. He’s playing #8. Putting Martinelli (or Pepe) in this role would accomplish nothing. He simply will not fit into midfield. He is a great goal scorer but an #8 is one thing he definitely is not. Martinelli plays in Auba’s role in the split striker… Read more »


What’s that? A reasonable, balanced take on arseblog comments?



Yeah! Fuck off HE2000

Arteta hates and literally never trusts youth and is also a fucking shit man manager as evidenced by the bad mouthing he gets in the press by all the players.

Also he’s never won anything for arsenal and also WILLIAN EXISTS!!! WILLLLIIANANNNUUUGGHHH!!!


Interesting and sober response. Explains why Willian hasn’t been shining until more recently.

Says more about me than you, but it’s a bit confusing to read when you regularly interchange Gabi for Martinelli. Auba and Laca, no problems. Guess I haven’t taken to Martinelli quite enough to make him synonymous with Gabi yet.

A Different George

I think this is mostly right in the main argument (Willian is not playing as a pure winger/attacker, and Martinelli’s inclusion is really blocked by Aubemayang or Lacazette.) But it’s wrong to divide up the roles so rigidly. Is Smith Rowe an 8? If so, is he still an 8 when Odegaard is playing? He looked like a winger against Spurs–except when he moved into the area behind Lacazette, when he sure seemed like a 10, while Odegaard began to play like an advanced 6, just ahead of Partey. And Saka? Surely not a box-to-box midfielder, except that he is.… Read more »


I agree that we the left winger is support and not attack but even that will give him confidence and some defensive awareness and even opportunities to produce on the break.
If I recall correctly Saka gained momentum by playing as LB…

And how do we know that Martinelli is not worried? That doesnt add up with the competitive character he has shown.

Hank Scorpio

On face value what you say makes sense but in reality it is a flawed illogical argument. Formation is irrelevant. Players are being rotated through the formation. Willian is one of those players and Martinelli is not. It is very clear that Saka needs a rest and to a lesser degree ESR. It is perfectly valid to suggest Martinelli over Willian through the rotation of players across games. He has certainly been a more valuable contributor than Willian this season. Willian’s game time bares little correlation with his performances. The same could be said of Martinelli. It was entirely predictable… Read more »


Gabriel can get a run of games the same way Willian is currently getting all the spare min in games. Why isn’t he giving those to Martinelli or at least sharing those min with Martinelli. I think he doesn’t like Martinelli lack of positional discipline. He’s very into positional play and Martinelli sometimes will press on his own if he has to without respecting his position as much as Arteta would like. But instead of punishing the lad just explain it to him and give him another shot to adapt. His management style is shocking at times especially when it… Read more »

Ambazonian Gunner

“If anything it’s my fault,” said the boss.
The boss said the exact same words about Özil and we all know how that ended.
The boss said the exact same words about Saliba and we know how that’s currently playing out.


Don‘t understand all that fuss around the fact that he’s not playing more anyway. He’s a kid who’s played in the 4th brasilian division 2 years ago. Everyone knows he’s got loads of talent. He will come good. Just give him some time.


….some playing time

Nainsley Aitland Miles

We’re Arsenal fans, we demand success today.


It’s just a shame that we don’t get it very often.


A talented young man who understandably wants to show what he can do (particularly having been injured). The way young players are being dealt with currently seems a bit hit and miss – look at Saliba for a “miss”, for example. There are some obvious “hits” as well, of course. I hope Martinelli gets a chance soon as he could really add something to the team but unless he’s given a chance we’ll never know, will we.


I won’t be surprised if Martinelli leaves in the summer.


I disagree…there is not a slightest chance that he is sold


I think, on balance, there’s more chance we won’t see Saliba at The Emirates again.


This feels like a rerun on Pepe. Almost as if Arteta wants to break them and rebuild in his own image. I could imagine Martinelli losing hope with the way he has not been able to get into the squad.

He is a rare talent and we are lucky to have him, so hopefully this won’t go wrong and waste his time at Arsenal.


I think what winds me up is when you’re winning a game comfortably, and rather than giving someone like Martinelli who is dying to impress some valuable minutes, you chuck on a 32 year old Winger who adds nothing to our team and takes minutes off one of the most exciting young talents we’ve had at the club.

Bryan Clayden

Wish there was a place we could make our own arsenal topics up to discuss on here?
What’s everyone’s ideas for this summer?
I’d have the following players floated about for sale.
Bellerin- £20mil
Xhaka £15mil
Nelson £12mil
Eddie £12mil
Willock £12mil
Torriea £15mil
Willian to the middle East/China

Sign first choice RB back up LB
2 CMs, promote Azeez to be 4th CM in squad
Sign Ryan and Odergaard permanently
Give Laca an extra on his contract and then sell him next summer.


Well, I think you’re hugely over-optimistic with many of those valuations. It’s a depressed market with only a few teams having much spare cash and I just don’t know who on earth is going to pay the kind of money you’re hoping for many of the players your list. I hope they do of course, but I’d be surprised if we raised, what, £50 million in sales in the summer. We’ll see. Also, you say sign Odegaard permanently although it’s down to us. There’s no purchase option and the last report I read suggested Real Madrid didn’t want to sell… Read more »


Although I dotn disagree with the ambition I believe that these are too many changes to digest in one summer.
I am 90% sure that Xhaka Belllerin and Willian will stay. And 3 more from that list.

Personally I would like to get rid of Luiz and Willian and play with Saliba Martinelli instead.
And of course sign up MØ11


Selling both Willock + Nelson for a combined £24mill, would be a massive error

Willock is doing well as Newcastle, he could be the next one to follow Saka+ Smith-Rowe into the first team

We should renew Nelson’s contract, and loan him somewhere he’ll play every week, he’s a massive talent, and if we’re going to sell him, it shouldn’t be at the bottom of the transfer market


No send willian to the mls

Cultured Determination

He should be given a chance to lead the kind. With his energy and pressing he’d really lead the team from the front. Good technique, Can improve much more. He could be like alexis up top without the drama and selfish bullshit. auba first xhoice, He and laca fighting for 2nd choice.


martenelli always brings much needed energy to pitch runs around and fights for every ball can’t see why arteta isn’t willing to play him

Mikels Arteta

Send him on loan then. Kid was on fire before these last few injuries

Balogun, now Gabi. Some good prospects who should be given game time ahead of Willian and Nketiah


Competition is tough upfront, yet Willian gets minutes ahead of Martinelli? Smh


When William suffers an Injury or retires? come on, start playing Gabi he is the future, if he wants William so much then be free to use him in games when we’re cruising and a slower tempo won’t hurt too much


i don’t see why auba should stay in the team given his performance the other day when he really owed his teammates and the manager one. martinelli was bright and inventive as always. he should start ahead of auba. non-negotaiables.

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