Thursday, February 29, 2024

Arteta: I don’t know how high Martinelli’s ceiling is

Mikel Arteta spoke to Sky Sports after our 4-1 win over Leeds at Elland Road this evening. This is what he had to say.

Lacazette said the game plan was brilliant, do you accept the compliment?

I say ‘great performance from the lads’, because they are the ones that played and have to execute against a team that is very uncomfortable to play against. I am really glad the way they played.

Three games in a week, three wins, three physical games as well and I’m really pleased.

Was the plan to exploit Leeds man to man system?

Yeah, obviously we had some intention with the ball and understanding how they were going to try to stop us playing, and there were things we could try and exploit but again I think the players understood the game very well. We were really effective with a real threat, and in the first half we were really, really good.

Does Lacazette have to be selfless in his play?

That’s why I said the other day he’s a really unselfish player but he has a big talent – which is that he makes the people around him better. Gabi scored twice, Bukayo scored and Emile scored, but he’s the one.

How exciting are Arsenal’s young goalscorers?

They are affecting games and that is the most difficult thing in football, to be participating in the goal sheet. They are helping the team a lot.

How big a step is Martinelli taking at the moment?

Huge. But as well as you have to prepare a player. You cannot throw a player in when you think he’s not ready, and Gabi has made the right steps, he’s evolving in the right direction, and the ceiling is I don’t know where because he has so much he needs to improve.

He’s very humble, he works hard and puts his head down, and when that happens, and his big passion in life is football, big things are going to happen with him.

On this week for the team …

Terrific, because after defeats you want a reaction and not just a reaction in terms of performance but results as well. I think we deserved the three wins and I’m very pleased.

On Aubameyang returning …

He wasn’t involved today, and that’s it.

Will there be more information for the fans?

I tried to be as clear as possible. There is a privacy matter as well that I have to respect, I have always done, and from my side this is what you get.

More clarity re: Covid – you have some cases. Are you happy to keep going?

If everybody’s healthy, and if the authorities, the Premier League, tell us we have to carry on, we will. We always follow the guidelines. If they tell us you have to stay at home, we stay at home. Then it was vaccinations, we got vaccinated. I’m sure they have the right intentions, and they will make the best decision for everybody.

You want consistency (re: Brentford on the opening day)?

Yeah, that’s what we want, that we all play under the same rules. Whether we are affected or not, everybody is affected in the same way, and if that’s the case, everybody is going to accept it. They have to come forward and explain.

Is a question of specific numbers of Covid cases?

Whatever they decide is better and maintains the fairness of the competition. If it’s a number, whatever, it has to be explained.

Rob Holding reporting racist abuse from the crowd?

That incident existed, unfortunately, and it was reported. The stadium manager will have to deal with that with the authorities. I have nothing more to say.

Can you confirm it was racist abuse? How disappointed are you?

Yes. Very disappointed. Because we’ve done so much to try to avoid that, but it’s a single person, I don’t think that merits that a full stadium should pay the price. It was a single incident it had to reported, it was reported, and it’s now up to the authorities to work with the clubs to try and understand what happened.

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52% of Arsenal’s Premier League goals this season have been netted by players aged 21 or under (14/27), with only Leeds in 1999-00 (65%) having a higher such ratio within a single Premier League campaign.

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

I liked that Leeds team with Kewell, Harte, Bowyer, Dacourt and of course O’Leary. Hopefully this season is as good for us, as that season was for them.
Between Hale End and some good signings, the future looks promising


Gabi will be huge!

bobby holding would be captain material if he was first team.


Gabriel looks my #1 candidate for future captaincy. Ramsdale, Tierney, Saka, Marty O, all a shout too.


Oh I entertain no thoughts of holding getting it. But respect to him for reporting the incident to the 4th official rather than telling Mikel or the staff or even letting it slide.
My choice would be ramsdale or odegaard

Alan Sunderland

Holding a good man to have on the squad, definitely captain material if he started.

Frog in Ze Room

Tomiyasu captain, prime minister and super hero!


There are yet unconfirmed rumors that some fans are planning to elect him Pope.


69, nice.


Martinelli’s ceiling is the “Basilica of Our Lady of Peace“.


I absolutely love this team. Watching Saka and ESR, you just have to hope and pray that Arteta et al can prey on their hurt having watched previous Arsenal stars depart prematurely and keep this group together for 5 years or so to see what they can achieve. However, Martinelli to me is the one that you have to think is most likely to be in the ‘best player in the world’ conversation in that same period. To me he’s in that same league as Cesc when you just feel there’s something truly special there. If I were a defender,… Read more »


Saka is insanely good. He torments defenders, glides inside so effortlessly, ball on a string. Such pleasure to watch. Gabi’s explosive pace and timing and sublime touch in front of goal is different and just a lethal.


Totally. And funnily enough, I think it’s Saka’s calmness and poise with the ball which is making him fly under the radar a touch for fans of other teams. I can’t think who our last player would be who so consistently beat their man; even Alexis would make a total hash of it a fair proportion of the time. Saka’s just there and then.. He’s not. With seemingly very little effort. Must be infuriating!
Add to that he picks the right pass 99% of the time afterwards.. I’d love to know his chance creation stats this year.


I’m insanely excited by Marti since his Europa days but if saka adds 15 goals to his overall game by age 23 how could he not be intention for best player in the galaxy by then.
Sometimes I have to remind myself saka is also only 20 years of age lol and he isn’t the experienced one bringing on the kids around him


ESR is the purest footballer out of the 3. But each one if them has different skill sets. But I love watching players with great control and IQ hence why I love watching him play. A treat to watch. He made a little flick yesterday in midfield, would seem like nothing to the average viewer but that flick was genius to keep.possesion of the ball.


Fair play to Arteta in the management of Martinelli.

Of course we’ll never know if he could have been this good had he come in earlier but he currently looks a stronger, tactically more aware player.

What a team of young talent this is.


Literally every single person within the game praised Arteta’s ability to develop players, wingers especially, with Sane and Sterling saying how Arteta specifically raised their level. Instead we are supposed to listen to some of the moaners on the internet who thought he was “killing” Martinelli and other sorts of bs. Looking at how Gabi and Saka have developed, with proper confidence and use of their talent to make decisive contributions (i.e. goals and assists, not just skills), I say I’d prefer to be patient and back Arteta’s handling of their development. The sky’s the limit for our young guns… Read more »

Wrighty’s hats

Thanks for your refreshing point of view, couldn’t have expressed it better myself!


You raise a few good points. But I haven’t seen that development in Pepe. There’s a footballer in there and I really thought Arteta would be able to unlock him


Love it!

Jim King

Spot on.

John C

The same internet geniuses criticised the club for sacking all our scouts and are now praising the club for its recruitment this summer.

If you ever need proof as to why fan involvement in the running of a football club is a stupid idea you only have to come and read the knee-jerk reactions you can find on these comments.

Man Manny

The sombre clouds that loomed over The Emirates have all but disappeared. Soft rays of the morning sun brightens the atmosphere.
I would have been less thrilled if the old guard were at the centre of our upturn in fortunes.
But seeing Martinelli, Odegaard, Emile and Saka – our future – play starring roles is simply exhilarating.
I am now certain the management has finally got it right.
You can tell, with some level of prophetic accuracy, a force is emerging.
Happy days!

Give youth a chance



Now I am reminded, what a dynamic inside forward is supposed to be in the modern game. Martinelli is electric and unpredictable.
No one was excited to see Aubameyang have possession in wide areas during the build-up. Martinelli is an enormous update judging by the last 2 games. The ability he is showing is eye-catching. Auba at his peak was not doing what Martinelli does the whole game. Martinelli’s all-roundness makes him a pillar of our offense. Undroppable.


2nd time this season I see him ‘fouled’ running in on goal yet not going over wanting it more to score, very impressive.. early days but this young man has a certain Lewandowski style about him..

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

To be fair to Auba, at his peak he was banging in 20+ a season, and winning golden boots.
Now is Martinelli’s time, until it’s not anymore


He also puts in an insane shift defensively, which has been so valuable


Why did it take you so fucking long to get him in the team?


He still hadn’t done enough time in Arteta university. Took an extra year, honed his craft. And now he has arrived.


Because there were aspects og his game he needed to improve.


Why has it taken this long for you to get a taxi


City fans are probably saying the same thing about Foden right now. Oh no, they’re absolutely definitely now


Because we had better players ahead of him? Players who would score and create consistently, and the attack in general was doing great?

Because he was not ready yet? He only scored about 10 goals in as many games under Emery then 0 goals and 0 assists for about a year or so? Clearly inconsistent. Then last season even Willian had better stats than him if you look at games played, corner kicks taken and back passes.


Because Arteta and his staff know better than you, me and everyone else not involved directly with the club

Holdings New Merkin

Am I allowed to say that we have a very exciting, young squad that is learning and evolving as the manager is?

Happy to clarify that I’m 43 and had a season ticket since I was 19. So I’ve seen lots of good, bad, false dawns

Brady’s bunch

I knew a Dawn once and she was false as was her sister as it turned out 😉

Alan Sunderland

Knew a few lads in my time that would ride the crack of dawn, never met her sister though.


False 9 by any chance 😄

Brady’s bunch

Loved to play in the hole😂


this is a rare opportunity. auba in exile, laca on the way out. what more could be asked of the young pretender in 2 games…


There was something magical happening with Gabi today. The speed, the instincts, the quick decision making amd touch. It felt like what it did at the start with him: you watch enough football, you can just tell when someone out there is just different and special. Honestly feels like we are witnessing the beginning of something truly special.


“beginning of something truly special” until our next defeat and then all the Arteta’s shit/doesn’t have a clue/get rid of him, brigade will be back on here in force. I’m not getting too carried away by the victories or the defeats at this stage. I think both Arteta and the squad still have quite a way to go. With rose-tinted sunglasses I think he’s a visionary who is slowly putting the pieces of the jigsaw in the right places. He addressed the culture first, then imposed a playing style, successfully re-jigged the defence, then the midfield (although might still have… Read more »

Tomaury Bischfeld

That’s a great summary of the ambiguous uneasy optimism I still feel about Arteta – let’s hope that we don’t sink back to 5s!


“Got lucky winning the FA cup.” Disagree – look at the teams that were beaten on the way to that victory.

Yolo Toure

I think we need to be a bit patient with White – kinda like when Koscielny first turned up he just didn’t know how to stay on his feet for like 2-3 seasons, and we coached that out of him and he became one of our best defenders in recent times.


Fantastic performance from Martinelli and the other young guns. Question is how/when do we convert Martinelli from winger to striker (? a la Thierry)? ESR is also fantastic and I think deserves to be in the team…

Wrighty’s hats

I would give him a good number of years at least of coming in from the left – as he showed so thoroughly vs Leeds, he’s hard to contain there. Nothing wrong with being a lethal winger, especially with his speed and enthusiasm as well as his more recent improvement in defensive work. Centre forward doesn’t currently play to his strengths, needs to be physically more of a presence for one. Maybe someday as his skill set shifts, as they often do over time in forward players.


Completely fair. I was just wondering how we fit all the young guns in the same team…? As it is its 2 of ESR/Saka/Martinelli. Particularly with ESR’s excellent output I wondered how we get them all on from the start..


4-3-3. ESR and odegaard as free eights and saka+martinelli on the flanks. We need a complete 9 and a 6 like rodri/fernandinho and we’ll start to play like 17/18 city.


Biggest takeaway from this game was that we should try and sign Raphinha


I always rated Raphina. I’d take him over Pepe every day of the week.

Fortune Nwobodo

Question is if you would take him over Saka because that’s his direct competition.


Saka could play 8. You need depth to challenge these days.

Brady’s bunch

Talking to a pool fan earlier today and he said love to see them go in for him


Get you a spouse who looks at you the way Arteta does Gabi in the header picture.


Think it is more that proud father look myself!!
So proud you want to hug him and say you’re the greatest but at the same time trying not to embarass him (too much) in front of everyone


Hahaha… Agreed.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

L😂L, No thanks. That one there is a doomed marriage.

Mikel has similar snapshots with every player he has fallen out with. Guendouzi, Torreira, Bellerin, Aubameyang etc. Different players, same outcome.

I know you guys love your made for TV narratives but your man is duplicitous and as fake as monopoly money.

Jim King

Get behind this team! Do this sum: One Jack Grealish + 25 million = all our signings in September. Everyone of Arteta’s and Edu’s signings this season has been great. They are The Young Ones… one in every lifetime… Edu got Martinelli from the Brazilian regional leagues. How much are these players – Martinelli, Saka, Smith-Rowe, Odegaard – going to be worth in a couple seasns (barring serious injury) when Newcastle bid for them? Let’s get behind this team and win the only tophy we will are likely ever to be capable of winnng – the non-petrol-dollar/oligarch title of fourth… Read more »


Ok, but I’m not sure your chant scans very well


Well, halfway line reached and we are sitting on the 4th. Would t say comfortably but we are where we are. Squad looks ok in sense of injuries. January, February will show us where we are really at. If we add a striker or wait until summer.

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