Friday, December 1, 2023

Arteta: Martinelli deserves the minutes he’s getting

Mikel Arteta is pleased with the way Gabriel Martinelli is developing his game and says the young Brazilian is fully deserving of his regular place in Arsenal’s starting lineup.

The 20-year-old has started 11 of the Gunners last 12 matches in the Premier League and while he’s not always been as ruthless as he might like, he’s hit the back of the net five times, including last week’s cracker away at Watford.

While there’s still much to improve, Arteta is encouraged by the form of his young charge who has been eager to prove his worth at a time when many thought the Gunners would struggle without the exiled, and since sold, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

“Gabi has shown big signs of the way he’s moving, certainly the capacity that he has to score goals and be a threat in the final third,” said Arteta ahead of this weekend’s match with Leicester.

“I think his contribution all around has been exceptional. I think he totally deserves the amount of minutes that he’s been playing.”

The boss also said that the partnership on the left flank between Martinelli and Kieran Tierney is improving although he’s keen to ensure the latter mixes up his game.

He said: “That [partnership] is growing because the more they experience match situations, training situations together, that chemistry, that understanding, those timings, spaces, it will click more naturally. I think this is happening.

“Kieran needs to overlap when it’s the moment to overlap. He needs to become unpredictable and efficient every time in the final third in positions where his qualities can define football matches. That’s what we have to do as much as possible.”

Arsenal head into Sunday’s match with the Foxes looking for a fifth consecutive win in the league. Succeed and it will be the first time the club have embarked on such a run since Mikel Arteta took over.

“To be with the top teams you have to win consistently and do it in a convincing way,” said the boss.

“I need even more than that amount of victories [four in a row] because there are teams in this league who do that for 10, 11, 12 or 18 times so still the margin is pretty big.

He added: “It’s another step in showing consistency in terms of results, but I think you can only get that when you get the right performances and that’s what we are going to keep improving.”


Just as we pressed publish on this story, news broke of Martinelli’s first call-up to the Brazil senior squad. Coach Tite, who has a very strong relationship with Edu, includes him alongside Real Madrid pair Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, Richarlison, Neymar, Raphinha, and Antony.

Having won gold at the Olympics with his country in the summer, this is another big step in Gabi’s development and an opportunity to stake a claim for a place at the World Cup which takes place later this year.

Namesake Gabriel is also included in the squad for matches with Chile and Bolivia at the end of the month.

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I believe in Gabi.

Johnny 4 Hats

I believe so much in our Gabriel’s that I’ve weirdly started believing in Gabriel Paulista again too.

It Is What It Is

Gabriel Paulista scored a worldview last week. Worth a look.


Thanks–just looked it up, and it was spectacular.

A Different George

Every time I’ve checked (not that often really and pretty superficially), he’s doing fine in Spain. I have a positive memory of him–celebrating the FA Cup victory while hopping and waving his crutch. Okay, he wasn’t a legend on the pitch–but that’s a legendary celebration. By the way, Mavrapanos is doing very well in Germany (albeit in a crap team, and sometimes as a fullback), Pablo Mari is fine in Italy, and we know about Saliba in France. And, yes, Mustafi is doing okay in Spain (though, again, in a crap side). But there is bad news about our best… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Thanks for the updates 😊

Is there still any point in caring about Mavropanos? Isn’t he as good as a Stuttgart player?

A Different George

I think if they go down, it changes their obligation to buy, but I may be wrong about that.

The one loanee I actually do want back is Hector. But I’m pretty sure that isn’t happening. He was effectively Arsenal’s captain for all the covid-related issues that came up, and he would be a senior player who could provide real leadership. And, perhaps a minority opinion, still a fine player.

Interesting. They’re second from bottom with nine games left. So they may not be able to afford him if they go down.

Being a right-footed centre back though he has competition from White, Saliba, Holding, and even Tomiyasu is comfortable at RCB. Not sure we’ll see him back next season.

Eazy Deezy

If Stuttgart go down then they only have an option (not an obligation) to buy Mavropanos.
I think they are expected to exercise the option to buy him, even if they go down, as the option price of €3m is several times below his market value. Even if they can’t afford him, they will buy him and sell him on

Nainsley Aitland Miles

If they buy him for €3m and immediately sell him on for say €10m, that would be a real insult.

I suppose technically not against the rules, but I don’t think Dinos and his agent would accept that.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

I like Hector but we need more from that position than what he and Cedric provide. We need a youngster with potential to challenge Tomy and serve as deputy when he is injured. Hector was a great servant to the club but it’s time for him and us to move along. Squads need constant change and renewal to remain a competitive environment.

Johnny 4 Hats

I feel like this title needs a prefix.


Arteta: Martinelli deserves the minutes he’s getting.


He’s been called up for the national team today
Good for him, terrible for us


I know, right?!🤦🏽‍♂️ I mean, why would you want to have Brasilian internationals in your squad? Me too would rather he stayed in London to train with the other non-internationals and the u23’s during interlull.


I see your point, but im from brazil, and i dont know if you watch any south american football, its very very brutal, and i dont want him to get injured in a game, where brazil dont have nothing to play for

Alan Sunderland

South American football brutal? Have you got a link. Would love to see that. Is that what made neymar so tough.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

So you would rather have non-international Brazilians in your squad? I’ll take the quality Brazilians thank you.


When was the last time we won 5 in a row?


Last May I believe.
2nd: NEW 0-2 ARS
9th: ARS 3-1 WBA
12th: CHE 0-1 ARS
19th: PAL 1-3 ARS
23rd: ARS 2-0 BHA


Soundtrack to the photo:

Gabi: How did I do boss? Did you like my goal?

Arteta: Stand still so I can play with your hair a bit more. How is it possible that your hair is thicker and more beautiful than mine?


The Tierney/Martinelli partnership is improving but Im still thinking its a bit of a problem for us.
Hoping it will continue to improve although the doubt is there, that maybe its just never going to work to both their benefits. Hopefully it does because both are great!

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

Gabi is doing fine, has deserved his minutes, and I’m confident that he’ll be a top player.
However, The Smith brings more to the team from the that position and deserves that spot, when fit.

Got a feeling Martinelli will get the nod on Sunday. His goal at Watford probably saved his place.


It’s not so much about the KT/Gabi partnership but finding the equivalent to Odegaard on the left side to complete the triangle. I wish ESR could grow into that role.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

There is an option for that which is ESR coming in for Xhaka – sort of a 4-1-4-1 – but that could significantly unbalance the team.

Could be good to try if we’re losing with 25 minutes to go.

Cranky Colin

Sorry that the National team have called him up


Looking at all the pictures in Lewis’ column, and notice where Gabi was. He looked a central striker to me. And I can’t help, but wonder what if we had someone like Martin on the left side to combine with him. He’d score a lot of goals if not every game.


He’s just one of those players that every time you see him get the ball you think something amazing Is about to happen, I feel like compared to ESR and Saka he’s not quite there yet, like he isn’t as close to as good as he can be, but it’s only a Matter of time


Congratulations to Gabi on being selected for Brazil’s senior squad. Totally deserved! 🇧🇷

Man Manny

With the benefit of hindsight, did Arteta deserve all the stick he got from a section of the fans for not playing him regularly before now?
Some claimed he did not like the player in spite of all he said at interviews.
If this does not teach fans to be patient with, and trust he manager in his handling of young players, nothing else will.
Arteta Knows.

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