Sunday, March 3, 2024

Arteta “not positive” about Martinelli, explains Nketiah decision

Mikel Arteta says “he’s not very positive” about Gabriel Martinelli’s prognosis after the Brazilian had to be substituted in the second half of last night’s 2-1 defeat to Everton.

The attacker, starting his second game in the space of four days, required medical attention with 20 minutes remaining and was eventually replaced by Eddie Nketiah.

While it looked at first that the 20-year-old was merely struggling with cramp, Arteta thinks it could be a hamstring issue.

“We have to assess him but he felt something in his hamstring, I’m not very positive about it,” the boss said in his post-game press conference.

That Martinelli was replaced by Nketiah certainly raised a few eyebrows, especially as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe were options from the bench.

Played on the left side of the attack, Nketiah was a menacing presence although his 20-minute cameo will forever be scarred by the missing of a sitter from point-blank range when the scores were level at 1-1.

Asked why he selected Nketiah, who is set to leave in the summer, over Pepe, who hasn’t played in the league since the end of October, Arteta produced an unconvincing answer: “I decided to play Eddie today, to bring him on and he created three chances and hit the post once in 25 minutes.”

Pressed on the matter, he added: “He does every day in training what you saw in 25 minutes here. Every single day. That’s why I picked him.”

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Naija Gunner

Shitty excuse, next match please. We move…….COYG

Bleeding gums murphy

That’s pathetic. He leaving ffs. 2 and half years and we ain’t progressed. The football is turgid and his team selections, substitutions and slow ponderous football is painful to the max. We are now in ole and United territory. Win 4-0 Saturday and some will say trust the process and we are heading in right direction. It’s bollox. We need a better manager.


Actually did we ever beat anybody by 4 goal under Arteta?

Bleeding gums murphy

I think we beat West Brom second team last season in calling cup scoring 5 and Arteta said afterwards that was how we want to play. Unfortunately you don’t improve the manager and team by lowering the standard 😂


Precisely, I was just gonna point this out. There are games where we think we may score more than 3, then we just sit off again and not knowing what to do. Seems like half the team is thinking of defending deep with a low block, then half the others (esp. our forwards) go all gegenpressing by themselves. Opponents play their way around the first press like butter, and instead of winning 5-0 or defending that 3-0 lead, we let them come back in.

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

The days of the Bolton’s, Norwich’s West Brom’s etc getting turned over by 4/5/6 goals whenever we played them at home are finished. Now we’re lucky to get an easy 2 nil win

Fethi Hamdi pacha

Time to go.


There have been countless examples of this absolutely bizarre stuff from Arteta over the last two years or so that have left us all scratching our heads. A few questions that need to be answered from last nights game regarding selection; — How does Xhaka go from literally not kicking a ball for over 2 months to going straight back into central midfield and then play the entire game? — As a direct contrast, why then has Tierney been sat on the bench fully fit for the last 3 or so games, and then not completed the 90 minutes? Lets… Read more »


Ole actually got United finishing in the CL places 2 years in a row. The second time they finished 2nd, ahead of Liverpool. That’s the main thing. Arsenal persist with this guy off of an FA cup fluke exactly 2 years ago, and nothing else. Yet Ole gets the sack first. Mind boggling.


This. It will be remembered by many that after 2 match-days this season, we were staring relegation (haha) and our saviour, Mikel Arteta, marshalled his army to push from that position to 5th (also haha). I know Ljungberg wasn’t very good in his cameo as caretaker, but if he brought belief to the youngsters, maybe that’s what we need. Our pensioners should be made uncomfortable by the guile of and productivity of our young guns.


I agree. Fans really shouldn’t care what happens in training so long as the results on match days are encouraging. Arteta really knows how to talk a game and I can’t believe how gullible some of our fan bases are.


Could this mean that there are certain things that Pepe is not doing every day in training


Yup. Do you also remember how Arteta praised Martinelli for putting pressure on him to start “in the right way”?

Press Box Gooner

Like hitting the post from point bland range?


I wonder what Arteta does every day in training.

Fethi Hamdi pacha

Looking forward to blame one of the players.
And prepare who is going to get rid of next.


The list is growing now; Pepè, Guendouzi, Ozil, Saliba, Willock, Mustafi, Sokratis, Reiss Nelson, AMN before he went public. Common denominator, Arteta. Yet he’s trying to tell us all these players have issues instead. The outburst against Klopp defined what I think of Arteta in a way, he really thinks way too highly of himself. Mate your record against Klopp are all losses, the f*ck you on about.


I’m getting a little sick and tired of managers leaving my favorite players on the bench. How much longer am I supposed to trust this guy..

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Don’t forget Bellerin and Mavropanos too. I was personally shocked to see this summer to read that Hector was so desperate to leave this team, he took a pay cut to get the Betis loan. Fine. Managers fall out with players all the time. Even if this is an absurdly high number. The thing is… Has his “purge” actually made any difference? What culture changes have actually happened? We’re still playing with fear. We’re still the team every out of form side loves playing against. Every striker with a goal drought always scores against us. We’re still breaking negative records.… Read more »


I didn’t get the chance to read about Hector. Appreciate if you can share. But very much all the players that are on his bad list has something to say about it, and you’re right the results are not even justifying them being frozen out. Again, seems like Arteta thinks he’s Pep or somebody like that, freezing out Eto’o but still winning everything.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Regarding Bellerin handing in a transfer request:

Regarding the pay cut and Betis move:

It was overshadowed by the AMN fiasco at the time.

You’re correct. Arteta does feel like a Pep wannabe with his freezing out of players. But unlike Barca Pep, he has failed to justify the means to an end.


Sorry dude, but this comment is just not true. Arteta never comes out in public to put down his players, even if he has an issue with them, which we can only speculate. Plus many of those players were part of previous managers failing squads which everyone complains about… What was the common denominator there? I can hardly believe you even give Arteta blame for getting rid of half of those names you listed. There are plenty of reasons to criticize Arteta, but getting his house in order is not one of them. At least pick the right stick if… Read more »


you forgot how quick MA was to publicly blame Pepe for ‘letting the team down’ after getting red card last season?

MA can’t manage games and it is becomming more and more obvious that he can’t propperly manage squad either.

Wrighty's hats

Was that the one where he headbutted someone? He did let the team down… you’d be hard-pressed to find a manager that wouldn’t say something to that effect about a player who did something like that…


He singled Pepè out for his red card against Leeds, and exactly the next game week Xhaka also had a red card against Burnley yet nothing was said.

Arteta also slightly had a dig at Ozil when saying his best achievement of the season was getting the bad apples out of the club.

These are off the top of my head. If I dig deeper I’m sure there’s more. Another poster just mentioned the falling out with Bellerin.


You have a point but I think you’re lumping too many players into the same situation. Guendouzi has had problems at multiple clubs already, Ozil had a problem with Emery and Ljungberg before Arteta, AMN with Wenger back in the day. And Willock racked up a number of appearances under Arteta.

Not saying he’s the world’s best coach but I don’t think you’re portraying this fairly


Am I blind? What is unconvincing about his answer regarding Eddie? He explained the reason perfectly and it also makes perfect sense.


Have to agree. I hated the substitution (and still don’t really get it) but with slight luck Eddie would have gotten a goal and assist (for Auba).

Wrighty’s hats

I wish I could attribute that to bad luck but unfortunately I have to say it was his aim and execution! 🙁

Bleeding gums murphy

With slight luck it could have been 5-1. Two offsides and iwobi chance at death.

Jean Ralphio

It’s one of those where he could have made the difference and everyone would then have said “sign da ting”


Here’s a few things on why it doesn’t make sense, and never will: – Eddie is not a wide player – He’s barely gotten minutes this season in any position – He will not even be our player come end of this season – How many times in the past have we thrown in Eddie and he changed the outcome of the game for us? I remember 0 – You have a proper wide forward on the bench – Who also happen to have changed games coming off the bench – You have younger players in the academy who may… Read more »

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

“How many times in the past have we thrown in Eddie and he changed the outcome of the game for us? I remember 0” Fabulous, I agree with your general message but this isn’t accurate. Eddie literally scored a brace on his debut as a sub to knock Norwich out of the League Cup. In 20/21, he scored the winner in just 13 minutes as a sub against West Ham. He also rescued a point against Fulham in 19 minutes.And that’s just as a substitute. In 19/20, in the Premier League, as a starter, he scored game-winning goals against Everton… Read more »

Baichung Bhutia

But everything is not training, is it? I wonder if thats the reason certain players get selected ahead of others. I bet Xhaka is great in training, Similarly Pepe looks easy going and relaxed, dont know whether that affects his perception and selection. We have no flair as a team, and perhaps thats reflective of what Arteta values.


That doesnt make sense mate. With that reasoning Eddie should have played all season which he hasnt…


While it is probably true (nothing to suggest Eddie isn’t a good pro) it doesn’t really explain how he has suddenly become relevant again. Or Elneny. It’s just weird. Looking forward to Mari starting ahead of Gabriel this weekend ! 😀

Cliff Bastin



You can hate him as much as you like but there is little doubt that Xhaka is our best midfielder. What that says about the team is another question.

Martin Quigley

Why isn’t xhaka tried at No.10. He’s obviously not a holding midfielder. The opposition have figured him out..He plays the ball back to Gabriel, Gabriel plays to Tierney. Their midfield start to press a soon as xhaka gets the ball as they know what we are gonna do. No plan B.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Same as Elneny, the opposition knows where the ball is going when he receives it. I don’t see the club changing managers mid-season. The club should be having conversations with coaches that can mold this young team.

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

I’ve seen more from Sambi in a few games than Xhaka has ever brought to the team

El Mintero

Not good enough answer. Pepe should have started this game never mind being on the bench and overlooked for Eddie who literally cannot hit a fkn barn door from 5 yards as was seen again tonight!

Bleeding gums murphy

In training he’s electric 😂😂


Just arteta decorating the shop window I’d guess.

Tony Modra

I assume you mean Eddie’s shop window and not Pepe’s. Unless you mean “decorating” with violent diarrhoea

Nigel Summerburn (LB) #3

“Pressed on the matter, he added: “He does every day in training what you saw in 25 minutes here. Every single day. That’s why I picked him.”
– Clearly Pepe isn’t doing that in training, hence being left on the bench.
Still don’t understand the Nketia selection though… maybe a shop window display with a view of a slim chance of sale in Jan?
I dunno…
Another wasteful and poor performance last night is all I’m sure about.


Can he explain why he left a player who hasn’t played for 3 months and looked knackered, a central midfielder on a booking, on the pitch for 96 minutes

Wrighty’s hats

Was wondering that from about 70 minutes too but after KT was taken off, presumably to protect him after not playing awhile (would like an explanation for that one too – if it was for tactical reason, good grief), then Gabi had to come off injured, we were left with both Laca (who only seems to have had the legs for max 60 min all season) who had made it to 83 or so minutes, when we were chasing the game, and Xhaka who was in his first game back in months from injury plus was back sooner than expected… Read more »


Given everything that has happened the last few weeks you don’t need to think too hard about why KT was taken off. He’s not trusted. Tavares is Arteta’s 1st choice left back & with the game in the balance, he trusted him & not KT.

Wrighty’s hats

Sorry but I can’t believe this is true. KT is highly rated by the manager. Tavares was playing well until he wasn’t, deputised well/semi-well for KT, and now KT is back but remains injury-prone. Balance tipped back in his favour as we discussed the other day so he will get to play more from now on. Until I hear otherwise from MA, KT is still firmly first choice. No doubt even more so after this game.


If he doesn’t start Saturday, will you still think he is first choice ?

Wrighty’s hats

KT will be starting 100% (unless injured – that would be the worst). If not I will eat my words no problem!

Pst. Simon

Please when is the next game ?

A Voice in the Noise

“He does every day in training what you saw in 25 minutes here”

Miss a sitter?


I know there are non negotiable training performance stuff but sometimes a player can’t deal with a live crowd, sometimes a player needs a live crowd to perform.
We saw it in lockdown players performance was different.


Sounds like xhaka in a nutshell too


Why does everyone assume that Nketiah is going? If he wants to stay the best way to get leverage in the negotiations (money, assurances about playing time, etc etc) is to say he wants to go. All disagreements can be resolved, particularly if there is plenty of cash available. Who knows?

Bleeding gums murphy

I pray he goes. He ain’t good enough for The Arsenal.

Announce Bendtner

I’m sure people said that about Gnabry as well.

Bleeding gums murphy

Oh yeah you’re right, let’s give him a new contract just in case. Whilst we are at it let’s tie down any championship level player just in case. Why don’t you apply to be Arteta’s assistant 😂🤓

Announce Bendtner

Not saying he should stay just saying you can’t write players off as “not good enough”.
He had a chance to make a statement yesterday and missed it. He’s not ready to lead the line but doesn’t mean he won’t come good somewhere else.

Bleeding gums murphy

He’s had plenty of chances with us. Good luck to him elsewhere. Take Arteta with him 🤣

Dave Cee

I actually rate eddie. He missed a chance, what has auba being doing all year? Eddie has years ahead of him


I think the legitimate fear is that there isn’t much cash available given how much we spent this summer, and the playing of Nketiah is an attempt to boost his value in January or via tribunal. Similarly maybe a move is lined up Pepe doesn’t want to take and this is all part of the plan. I appreciate it sounds a bit ridiculous, but then this is exactly what happened and failed spectacularly with Mesut…


Eddie can sign a pre contract with a non English club from Jan 1st. Does that mean we get nothing as the tribunal only comes into effect if he signs for free for an English club ?

Alan Sunderland

Yes, there is only compensation if he signs for an English team.


Thanks – wasn’t sure.

Crash Fistfight

I think that explanation highlights a failing of Arteta. He seems to think theory = practice. Whereas Arsene Wenger knew that no matter how lazy Patrick Vieira was in training, he was always going to be brilliant on match day, Arteta is picking Nketiah because of the way he trains, despite him demonstrating over a number of appearances that he’s next to useless.

That’s the difference between a manager with experience and a rookie.


Didn’t Arsene do exactly the same with Almunia ? How many times did he tell us we should see how special he was in training? Only for match day to be a completely different matter…

And Paddy being lazy in training ??? Where did you get that one from ?


That’s settled then. Wenger picking Almunia is proof he was just as clueless as Arteta.


It’s been reported that Vieira “wasn’t a good trainer” and confirmed by more than one of his teammates. I’d rather a player gave it all on matchday than one who has to bust a gut to impress in training and then is knackered by matchday, but then what do I know.

Wrighty’s hats

Not that I know the goings-on of many other clubs but it sounds a little far-fetched to think that in this day and age an experienced manager would play someone who isn’t training well – I would assume it would be a prerequisite no matter who you were or where you played that you’d have to prove your worth to be selected. Happy to be enlightened if people know of managers and players out there who are known to do this. Players who don’t apply themselves in training (don’t know if this is what’s the issue with Pepe) don’t tend… Read more »


Anyway, it looks like Nketiah is going to get a lot more game time before he does leave the club. If Martinelli is injuried, Eddie is now the only CF we have with the stamina to press and run in behind. Eddie, your time has come!

Wrighty’s hats

Missing that sitter aside, he was very industrious and did create some chances. Haven’t seen him get that involved when he’s played in ages. If he keeps playing like that then he will do well in the time he has left with us. Need him to score is the only thing.


I am with those that is upset that Pepe doesn’t play but think we need to accept Pepe just isn’t convincing in training. Could be lack of confidence or could be lack of application. My sense is both. Eddie was decent yesterday. Direct and creative. Pepe would have tried too many dribbles, list the ball half the time and not passed at the right time. Good call Arteta (even tho I was cursing it at the time).


So you just decided to spoof things up about how Pepè will play, and use that to justify Arteta’s selection?

Man Manny

I am not interested in what Arteta has to say anymore. I am firmly in the Arteta Out brigade.
I won’t bother anymore about this season except the board’s effort at looking for a successor.
Arteta’s hot-air-filled race as Arsenal manager is run.
It’s over for me.


Am I the only one absolutely bored of listening to Arteta’s same old excuses and comments over and over and over? Everyone is ragging on Auba but none of our forwards are doing anything and that’s down to how they’re being coached. We didn’t have a clue last night.


Can’t we have Wenger managing the offence, Arteta managing the defence and Emery managing the substitutions? Will we still be so dreadful and mid table?!

But I do think, football will eventually move to this model like certain other sports that already do this. We could still have Arteta managing the team but have a defensive coach and offensive coach under him managing the game along with him.


Maybe we could get rid of Stuivenberg and Round and bring in Yaya and Santi. Not much experience but the right attitude, we’d be fun to watch!

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Finally a statement I agree with you on. For me, the writing was already on the wall for Arteta when I learnt that Round and Stuivenberg were United rejects.

I have many reservations about Mikel himself but I don’t think he helped matters by hiring two tacticians that got their bosses sacked.


If he does it every day in training, why has it taken Arteta until last game to actually play him?

You wonder what Aubameyang does in training, seeing as he’s been all but undroppable.


TBF, he is a pretty negative manager.

Gary Wilkinson

Who is making the decisions? This seems like a decision by Edu to try get Eddie to sign a contract purely to protect his value.
What has happened to Peeps?

Fethi Hamdi pacha

I just think this Arteta will never be a good coach for arsenal.
He could be in lower division.
Time to get rid of him.

Bergkamps boots

This guy’s still in charge? Still talking rubbish? And still doesn’t know what he’s doing? Get out


That last paragraph is one of the reasons why he has to leave, bizarre decisions from Arteta.


Not saying is absence is the extent of our problems but we really need ESR back right away.

Frog in ze room

Partey was abysmal, nowhere to be seen.


Well said mate, Partey should have been hoofed early in the second half, contributed nothing… Something is not right with Arteta, odd starting 11 and even odder subs, and poor game management… As I keep saying, we missed the boat not getting Rafa as our Manager…

Dave Cee

Partey has been the biggest disappointment of all signings in the last 5 years. He has been truly dreadful


Err I hate to bring this up, but there once was a legendary transfer for a certain veteran called Wil…god I can’t do it, it’s too painful!

Crash Fistfight

At least he only cost £200k/week instead of £250k/week. And he didn’t cost £45m!

Don Danbury

And had the decency to terminate his own contract!

Brady’s bunch

One of the final pieces of this current jigsaw should be a new man at the helm. I’ve no doubt Mikel loves the club as we all do but the basics still aren’t there and two years in it’s not working .

Jean Ralphio

Oh the days where both full backs would make overlapping runs.

Larry McCarthy

Strange he was not happy, who picked the team, who gave them the tactics.Why when we went one nil up did we try to lock up shop. Why keep a player on for 90 minutes when he has not played for weeks. I am very worried where this is all leading.

El Mintero

Last 3 games have been tactically disastrous. Mind boggling team selections. We were in a nice groove leading up to the Liverpool game then it all went tits up from there. And no good reasons why….


Arteta and some his trustees players need to take the blame for their mediocre performance. Arsenal can’t go on like this. Each and every team in league plays much far better than Arsenal. I am pissed.


If Eddie does that every day in training then why hasn’t he been playing at all ? And same with Martinelli…What have they been doing for the last couple of months while the first team creates nothing?


Poor guy just can’t catch a break.


I dont know why we like decieving ourself that mikel will take us places…two yrs n we have no identity,same old him after two yrs ..plzzzzzz


I find it incredible anyone thought Arteta had turned any sort of corner this season, or that he deserves more time. That ‘convincing’ run, that persuaded a fair few people to give the alleged process more time was Norwich (H) – 1-0 – Their manager has been sacked Burnley (A) – 1-0 Spurs (H) – 3-1 – Their manager has been sacked Brighton (A) – 0-0, Palace (H) – 2-2 Villa (H) – 3-1 – Their manager has been sacked Leicester (A) – 2-0 – Their manager is heading for the sack Watford (H) – 1-0 Scraping by bottom of… Read more »

All Arse

Agree. It’s as though being beaten by us is the final straw that gets a manager sacked due to the shame. I’m sick and tired of being rolled over so easily. It only takes a bit of effort for 5 mins to create a good chance or score against us, and if you put in a few heavy challenges we go missing. I find it hard to believe we can create so few chances with the players we have, it is so dull watching football now. Something has to change. We are still making so many silly mistakes to throw… Read more »

Hank Scorpio

Summed up perfectly. Aside from the teams we beat and some context of their situations (some here are quick to make excuses for our defeats), how many of those were good or very good performances? In conclusion, trust the ‘process’.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x