Arteta: We have to be patient with Martinelli

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When Arsenal face Sheffield United this evening, we’ll be without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Emile Smith Rowe.

It opens up a slot on the left flank that many supporters believe Gabriel Martinelli should fill.

Since returning from injury the Brazilian has played just 377 minutes across 12 games, five of which have been starts. More recently, he’s been feeding off scraps at the end of games.

It’s been a tough time for the 19-year-old who, despite being on crutches at the start of the season, was probably hoping to burnish the reputation he earned last year as one of football’s biggest teenage prospects.

Ahead of the trip to Bramall Lane, Mikel Arteta was asked about the clamour for Martinelli to play.

“That I understand,” he said. “When the team is not winning enough football matches, we always look for someone else to do it. But we can name a few of those.

“I respect that, and Gabi is doing really well. He is doing better every day, he is getting the right development.

“We have to be a little bit patient with him but he has a bright future at the club and he will have all the opportunities that he needs to show us how good he is and the career he can have with us.”

It appears some of the reticence to field Martinelli alongside the likes of Smith Rowe, Saka and Odegaard is down to an unwillingness to pile further pressure on the youngsters. Whether the boss believes that or it’s just a decent public-facing excuse for other behind-the-scenes reasons is up for debate.

All the same, he added: “Because we cannot put six or seven young kids out there. We need some cohesion, we need the timing.

“Gabi has a lot of things to improve. He has got big qualities as well, and we have other players in those positions.

“Then we have to create links within the team and balance within the team. This will come.”

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Parlour’s Pay Packet

Respectfully, why can’t will put 6 or 7 youngsters out there? What will they be? A mid-table side….

wuawei

We need some cohesion, we need the timing.
“Gabi has a lot of things to improve. He has got big qualities as well, and we have other players in those positions.

SarcasmB0t

Yes, but if he means Willian, that player is dramatically worse.

Dave

Exactly. The league is done. We may as well give minutes to the youngsters.

Reality check

It was Martinelli’s energy that put us on the front foot against Chelsea, which eventually became a symbolic game on the road to recovery from a relegation threat. If nothing else, his energy might breath some life into this dead horse of a team, I’d play him against Slavia too. There is no coming back from that confidence draining Liverpool defeat IMO. We were shown our place, the table doesn’t lie, not after 30 games. Cech, Luiz, Willian, what a joke, living off of our rich neighbour’s scraps is who we are today.

Daveo

Exactly, he was the catalyst for our uptick in form, simply from his running and energy. It certainly hasn’t been due to all of a sudden introduction of Luiz, laca, xhaka, Willian, guys that have been basically overplayed this year or longer. Arteta is his own worst enemy at times.

Atom

The biggest thing I simply do not understand about Arteta is whenever we find something that works (Martinelli/Pepe had good run for awhile etc) we immediately switch away from it & go back to players like Willian who repeatedly fail. Certain players can’t even have slightly average games & keep their places while others can do no wrong

MojoWillneny

Agreed. I have come to suspect that Willian and his agent were able to get guaranteed minutes baked into his contract (at least for the first season). It’s starting to be the only plausible explanation for continuing to select a player who delivers next to nothing every time out.

Qwaliteee

I could have told you that last August.

truj

And find a new manager.

Sean

While I agree, imagine if a team of youngsters lost our next 5 league games. We’ve seen how quickly sections of this fanbase can turn on any player, no matter how popular. The more experienced guys struggle with that, so imagine being 19 and copping that kind of abuse.

EmileSmithWhoa

The idea of a thoughtful and long term manager and club throwing a swath of young players into the wrath of one of the worst frothing fan bases when that fan base is frothing more than ever, BBBrilliant! I can hear them now. “Arteta is simply incapable of developing players. Look at them, all timid, always injured, they look as if they suffer from PTSD like battle fatigue. Get rid of them all! “

SarcasmB0t

What are you talking about? Saka’s a youngster, he’s playing, he’s been brilliant. Same for ESR, Tierney, Odegaard. Martinelli and Pepe have been great when they’ve played. But they haven’t been played much. That’s not on the fanbase, that’s on Arteta. And even if you were right – in what universe does it make sense to play a terrible player instead of a talented youngster because the useless player can take criticism better? But you’re probably right – Arteta does indeed seem incapable of developing players. And his players do look like they suffer from PTSD. That those players are… Read more »

BongoGooner

With mø and esr tjere are two youngsters out anyway so room for gabi

Naked Cygan

Don’t worry, he will be sacked by Friday. No win today and getting knocked out of the EL should be the end of the Arteta nightmare.

Biggles

Nobody knows of course, but I’m pretty sure he won’t be sacked during the season. It would certainly be a disaster of sorts if we ended up mid-table, along with no European football next season (whether that happens against Slavia or later), but I don’t think the owner will sack MA if that happens. I suspect he’ll be given another season to try and turn things around – albeit that will be much trickier unless some fundamentals change. Were MA to go, an obvious problem (apart from the £millions it would cost to add to the £20 million we’ve paid… Read more »

Noon Gunner

Agreed. It’s not an exact parallel, but Solskjaer’s in his third season rebuilding a post-Fergie-Moyes-etc. United, and the picture is coming together. But it’s been a long and tortuous road. Sacking Mikel at this point, unless the Kroenkes have suddenly decided to spend big on AFC and can buy in a big shot manager with the promise of a deep transfer budget, etc., would be a high-risk move, quite unlike them.

Atom

He’s also had limitless funds & arguably has performed pretty poorly for how much he’s spent

truj

Let him continue this something is a very high risk too.

Hank Scorpio

Subk costs are no reason to stick with failed choices

Biggles

It wouldn’t be an unsurmountable barrier, I’m not suggesting that – getting a “suitable” replacement is a far bigger problem. However, we are due to repay £120m of Govt. Covid loans at the end of next month, and will make a huge loss in the current 2020-21 year (far bigger than the near £50 million last year). In those circumstances, I suspect the club would prefer to do without (yet) another pay out to a departing manager.

SarcasmB0t

The Kroenkes don’t give a fuck, so you can’t count on it.

SB Still

On one hand for Arteta to say he can’t field 6/7 youngsters at the same time and on the other to play Saka and Tierney in all the games they were available for, arguably leading to their injuries, just as much as Arteta says Martinelli has to improve, so does Arteta.

Does Arteta realise that he himself is an youngster in the world of managers, as well as it’s the youngsters in squad who are still keeping him in the job!

Arsemusic

Enough of the excuses. Let him do his learning on the pitch, play him more often. How can you develop links and balance without putting the right players in their best position’s. Give the lad the rest of our Premier league games. Let him loose, give him a chance please.

RockyRog58

You build teams around that kind of talent you don’t hold them back ! Rooney Owen Anelka Hillier ! Get the kid game time experience he’s a star in the making !

Jacob

The kids have carried us this year whilst the experienced players have let us down. If there’s one thing that as fans we should be optimistic about, it isn’t necessarily the well-planned transfer windows, the experienced players or even the coach, its the fact we have a really exciting core of young players. Can you credit Arteta with Saka’s development? The juries out, he’s so good that he would have kicked the door down anyway. Smith Rowe? Willian having covid was the reason he started against Chelsea, and his performances since then made him undroppable. The two other most exciting… Read more »

Jason

Why can’t you play the kids?can’t be any worse than what we’re seeing now

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

This has to stop. He didn’t have a problem playing Nketiah so many times but playing Marinelli who is clearly a much better player seems not the right move for Arteta. Or is it the fact that Marinelli will occupy “Willian must prove he was the right move” place???

Bleeding gums murphy

Absolutely spot on. Impossible to argue or even debate your point. He played a very average nketia a number of times so his rationale does not stand up. Just play the kid and admit you fxxked up royally with Willian.

Arteta has to choose at this point. Is he trying to save his job or Edu’s.

At the end of the day Raul & Edu are the ones who formally signed Willian. As that decision has proven to be disastrous, someone will have the held responsible. It seems like Arteta is willing to be the fall-guy

Hank Scorpio

Arteta desperately wanted Willian. That much is clear. He’s trying to cover his own arse moreso than Edu’s. The smart thing to do is to dispense with his ego and learn from it. So far, I don’t see that willingness in general from Arteta.

TUMANG

I’m personally begin to detest MA

Vonnie

Mikel is so weird at times, he’ll happily play Saka into the ground but won’t give Gabi a chance. I suppose we’ll see Laca huffing and puffing and hiding behind defenders and Willian strolling about and passing backwards.

Mikels Arteta

In other words, “Willian is starting”

The kids are the only players who look like they give a about about playing for Arsenal football club

Arteta’s Lego Hair

But if he’s better than those ahead of him, and if he’s fit, he should be in the starting 11, no?

Robert Lugembe

This Arteta guy is nuts! How do you do better and improve without playing?

Gabigol

It’s true, why set him up to fail when the perfect storm of media, fans and social are starting to pile pressure on the players. If they laid off the kids I’m sure Mikel would try to protect him a bit more. Also you don’t know the squad dynamics especially with Laca such good friends with Auba and in a couple of months they won’t play together anymore. Not to mention Auba is struggling both personally and professionally and then for a young kid who plays in your position to take your spot, the captain, then it’s a bit of… Read more »

SarcasmB0t

Bullshit. The vast majority of fans want kids to succeed. Have there been any notable instances of Martinelli abuse? What you’re saying is he isn’t playing a player the fans want him to play on the off-chance he starts playing worse than he has been playing, which might lead to the fans abusing him on social media, even though it doesn’t usually happen to player his age and in his position. Here’s a question – if Martinelli really does start playing worse, why just play him less regularly? You know, the thing he’s doing now? Bottom line is, Arteta prefers… Read more »

Greatone

Is beyond reasonable doubt arteta is an idiot. A complete idiot

Gabigol

I think we will see in the last five games of the season Balogun come on as sub when Laca tires at his usual 75th minute.

And last three games we should see regular combination of Balogun and Martinelli playing together.

Unless of course Laca is on a hot streak and bumps up his own price ahead of the summer transfer window.

karl

No Smith-Rowe and now Arteta paving the way for another Willian borefest. It might be a tough watch tonight.

Goonerink

Mikel is writing his own obituary it seems.

the singular thing every Arsenal fan wants to see is Gabi starting.

we paid 45m for partey but the player we all want to see is Gabi.

mikel is lucky we aren’t in the ground, or maybe he is unlucky? Hearing the roar of the crowd when he brings on Gabi for his 10 minute cameos might show him.

Cechmate

At this point, I don’t mind MA writing his own obituary or I could do it too. But, contrary to what people think, I feel he is damaging the club’s future by mismanaging the young players. Eddie value has come down, AMN could have been sold last summer but no he asked him to stay and didn’t play him, he brought down Guendozi’s value by chiding him publicly, Nelson’s non existent, Gabi isn’t playing, Pepe has been shifted around from left to right and dropped whenever he plays well, Holding dropped while playing well, chiding Auba publicly and so on.… Read more »

Jeremy DG

Do you think that maybe MA doesn’t have any clue that Arsenal fans are losing patience? He says he doesn’t pay attention to social media and there are no fans in the ground to tell him so he probably thinks he’s free to run his little experiments. I just can’t wrap my head around how a seemingly intelligent man (at least compared to most other people in football) sees what we see every week, gets the stats from top analysts to back it up and is still willing to piss all over his one big opportunity in football management by… Read more »

Jeremy DG

This was a genuine question btw because I’m utterly baffled by what’s going on. Mikel’s sole job is to please the fans by winning football matches, and right now the fans ain’t pleased. Being a football manager is essentially a glorified customer service executive. Someone ought to take him aside with some strong words and make him aware of how the fans will treat him when they get back to the stadium.

gunnerlad

I think the real question is: How much more patient can we be with the underperforming players he selects?

KingKolo

Oh jeez Mikel it’s not nuclear physics, you can take a bloody risk. It’s just football.

Daveo

At this stage not taking a risk is a bigger risk

Jack4343

Excellent comment!

loose_cannon

Patience isn’t running thin with Martinelli, it’s running thin with Arteta himself.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

There’s no better opportunity for Martinelli to start, than today

Javoroncov

I prefer to be “patient” with Willian the way you are “patient” with Martinelli, Mikel

Mentalista

No need to rush him. We have plenty of goalscorers at the moment, right?

“Because we cannot put six or seven old pensioners out there. We need some cohesion, we need the timing…

Willi has a lot of things to improve. He has got big qualities as well, and we have other players in those positions”.

See I too can give clever excuses Mikel

Tombo

We’ve been patient waiting for him to come back from injury. Can we play him now please

Goodebemeyang

Do people still buy his excuses on Martinelli? He gave him one half against Man Utd and brought him off when he did nothing wrong. He have Willian tons of chances till he got that one stupid assist to prove he was right about Willian. What’s appalling is how dumb he times the fans are.

Philip Visser

Arteta at heart appears to be a conservative, low risk coach. This means he’ll rather play Willian than Gabi. However his rationale for not playing Gabi is full of contradictions as pointed out by several fans. Arteta is fast losing the fan base both on and off the field. On the field we suck with many selection choices baffling, looking like favouritism. Off the field him trying to explain it away are getting tiring if not darn right unbelievable. I want him to succeed but his inexperience is showing more and more

Disarmed Gunner

“We have to be patient with him because he likes to attack and that, frankly, scares the shit out of me as I like my team’s to play pensive, micro managed and defensive, tepid football with Willian as the fulcrum.

What Arteta really wants to say. This guys waffle is on another level.

CORNISH GOONER

Compare & contrast, Leeds & Arsenal ( my old Uni City) & Arsenal) – one owned by dynamic young 46 year old Italian with the right skills set & multi-millionaire (of course) who has inspired an inspirational, great, mature manager with his vision for his club. Club ground repurchased & ladies team brought back into the fold. Arsenal – owned by absentee, bloody old American BILLIONAIRE with zero qualifications to be running a once great Premier League club & who therefore put all his faith into a declining Wenger & now has a rookie in charge. Bielsa strikes me as… Read more »

The only sp*rs i like is san antonio

At least the arsenal ladies is way way better than the men counterparts

Zet

The energy Auba is showing currently… Honestly , it is like we are playing with 10 men. Martinelli will certainly make a difference.

Walter White

We do have a problem to be honest.

Front row could be Saka (19), odegaard (22), ESR (20), Gabi (19). Throw in Balogun (18) and People seem to want Azeez in the mix while next year, our 19 year old CB returns as well.

I understand his reluctance to rely on a U21 team. It would take years before seeing succes which we learned from the Wenger young guns.

But at this stage, it might be better when the alternatives have been mediocre for so long. Hmm…..

The only sp*rs i like is san antonio

If only you dont play willian more than martinelli and pepe, I would agree with the statements… Sigh

Bryan

Hmmm,just imagine ? So he knows the youngsters are the one carrying the team n he doesnt wanna admit it.does it make a difference if u field 10 kids ? This man is just been stubborn n he rely on already made materials to win.

The only sp*rs i like is san antonio

The more he speaks, no matter how good it is, the more he contradicts himself

Man Manny

Arteta beating about the Bush again.
Go straight and tell us you prefer Willian to Martinelli.

TUMANG

With all due respect, MA is clueless.

Tanned arse

“Six or seven kids”??? When did saka and smith-rowe account for 6 or 7 players. Odegaard is captain of his country. He’s not a kid. The next youngest getting game time is Gabriel and he’s far from being a kid. What utter nonsense again from arteta to explain away something he doesn’t want to be open about. He truly must think we’re all idiots and can’t do basic math. Even if he just said “hey 3 kids is too many at once”(which is ridiculous) he could still rotate them. But he won’t rotate saka. Why? Because he’s considered too important… Read more »

Bryan Clayden

For the rest of our league matches, might as well go with: Ryan,Bellerin, Chambers, Mari, Lopez, Partey, Azeez, Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Balogun

Bryan Clayden

Partey needs the minutes, with Tierney out Cedric can’t be risked, want to see Chambers get a run of games at CB he looks to be a very good squad player at RB, before the injury for a month be since being back. Giving this front 6 as much game time as possible would only benefit us for next season and give the kick up the ass the senior players in our squad have needed for years.

Mark

I don’t care about age, experience, etc… I do care about having players on the pitch that will give 100% throughout the match and not just when they feel like it.

MojoWillneny

I back Arteta. Despite the maddening forward/backward aspect of results, I see a style of play emerging that is encouraging. My biggest criticism of him is the way he’s handled Saliba and Martinelli. Maybe with Saliba it was more Edu and the club exhibiting standard issue AFC administrative incompetence. Back room incompetence has been the standard at this club for over a decade. But with Martinelli my eyes didn’t deceive me last season. What Martinelli did on the pitch last season was more valuable than what Willian (and possibly even Auba) have done this season. Whatever molding of his talents,… Read more »

Biggles

I agree particularly about the way that Saliba was handled. Very amateurish and not at all the “Arsenal” way. I suspect it was probably more of a collective decision at the end of the day though.

I think that MA will be given another season whatever happens this season. If there are no signs of real improvement then – and that will almost certainly be judged by league position – then he may well be out at the end of that 2021-22 season.

TOGooner

I agree with all of this. It is easy to back arteta right now. We’re in a bad place and Arteta has a long way to go to prove he is elite, but he has accomplished something major along with edu: player retention. Without Arteta I doubt there would be a Saka, Balagoun or many others. Players are signing contracts. Saliba saga is hugely problematic, preferring Willian to Martinelli is bizarre, but equally bizarre is Balagoun signing for us. It does seem like players and their reps are seeing something in Arsenals process that we aren’t. If Artetas legacy is… Read more »

Bwije Bahweza Karengyero Paul

Mikel wants to be patient with Gabi but somehow he isn’t with Rowe and Saka? Hmmmn!!

john

Give the chance to gabi and pepe! Even pepe never 5-6 games to build his rhythm.
Part of me doesn’t want arsenal to qualify for Europe, we will force to take some hard decisions and let likes of laca, luiz, maybe even willian go.

Biggles

I see your argument about Europe, but missing out next season would be a big blow for the club at this time when finances are fragile, and very probably make it more difficult to bring in players to replace the ones we need to offload.

john

@Biggles, I understand but i’m just tired of these old player who are so inconsistent. I would rather have a project built around young player so we can actually challenge for title in 3-4 years. There are some amazing young players we have and are coming up. And i wouldn’t sell Holding, he is a good passionate player. He may not be Varane but he is good for now.

Bleeding gums murphy

Willian ain’t going nowhere, why would he.

edzo

I just don’t understand why we didn’t win the league when we have Willian and Holding on the team.