Friday, June 2, 2023

Arteta praises Martinelli and Tomiyasu

Mikel Arteta lavished praise on Gabriel Martinelli and Takehiro Tomiyasu for their contributions against Liverpool.

The Brazil international opened the scoring inside 60 seconds and then provided the assist for Bukayo Saka to restore the lead in first half stoppage time on an afternoon when he proved a constant thorn in the side of the visitors.

Behind him – and selected at left-back to go head-to-head with Mo Salah – Tomiyasu delivered a typically dogged performance winning more duels and making more ball recoveries than anyone else on the pitch.

Together, with the help of Granit Xhaka, they ensured the left side of the pitch was a decisive battleground on the way to a hard-fought 3-2 win.

“He’s a great player,” said Arteta of Martinelli.

“I think today he had an outstanding performance against a top defender, against a top team and he made a difference in the game as well as the other players and that’s the next level to step up in these games and actually make things happen to win it.

There has been talk of a new contract for Martinelli whose existing deal ends in 2024 with the club having an option to extend by another 12 months. Given his increased importance at the club, a pay rise may well come his way earlier than that.

“We don’t get dragged out about a performance, Gabi doesn’t have to show me whether he plays well or not today.

“What he deserves is clear, his hunger, his determination, his love for this game and you don’t know where he is going to reach, he’s always asking and willing for more.”

On Tomiyasu’s performance, Arteta added: “Very good, and that’s what we hoped he would do and he exactly did that, to think of doing that against Salah and actually do it is a very different story.

“He’s done it incredibly well, especially after playing on Thursday and what he’s been through in the last few weeks.”

There were warm words for the wider team as well.

“I’m really happy, really proud of the team and really satisfied with the way we played,” the boss told

“We showed real desire, composure, quality and courage to play and win the game the way we won it.

“Physically what we have done, and what the players have produced individually was phenomenal. There’s not another way. Against Liverpool you have to match or be better than them at that.”

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Johnny 4 Hats

Lots of people claimed Arteta was overthinking or messing around with the team when Tomi’s name was on the starting XI at LB.

But it was a stroke of absolute genius.

Having a right footer against a player that always cuts inside is a very astute tactical move. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen or heard anyone do it before.

But once you see it, you wonder why managers don’t always do that.

Anyone who says Arteta is Pep’s cone boy seems to misunderstand the originality of Mikel’s thought patterns and tactical nouse.

Ponsonby Gooner

Maybe he like cones

One for blogs….;)

Funsho Patrick

High Risk, high reward!! I freaked out when I saw his name on the starting sheet…what a job he did!! Our recruitment in the last 18months must be the best in Europe…Tomi plays anywhere across the back 4 and is surprisingly technically proficient…I would be tempted to try him at DM as well 😉….the other recruits in that period-odegaard, Gabriel Jesus, zinchenko,Ben White,Ramsdale,sambi,viera,marquinhos…… Another 3 and we’re looking at Champions League final strength squad…COYG!!!


Tomi’s preferred position is just being on the pitch. He can even play in goal if the option was there

Emmy Cool

I think you are right. Just put that man on the pitch that’s all he needs, and watch how he defend and passes the round lather. I can’t wait to see him scores and celebrate ASAP⚽⚽⚽


He deployed Maitland-Niles at LB/LWB against Mahrez when we played City in the FA Cup semi-final and it worked to good effect. Yesterday was another masterclass from Super Mik.


Tomy plays with both feet and Arteta is/was well aware of that

Cliff Bastin

Why didn’t anyone do it to Robben FFS.


The thing with Robben is that he would give you a hint what he’s going to do then he would go ahead and do it to you. Doesn’t matter who you put on him, most times it ended up in that top right corner


Remember Man City’s Cancelo. Then match it with the link to Guardiola. Originality maybe not. But the intentionality to always use it if we do, can be the original thing about it.

Lifetime Gooner

Ver. 2.0 In Arteta we Trust


I don’t think anyone is doubting Arteta and his decisions currently or before the game. He has nothing to answer when all the talk is happening on the pitch. Best way to shut the armchair managers up.

A Different George

Without diminishing the importance of Arteta’s choice, I don’t think it’s really a “right foot against Salah” issue. Yes, Klopp’s four-forwards set-up meant Salah played further outside than usual, and that helped us, I think. But I’ve watched Salah enough to believe he is an underrated player–amazingly, since everyone rates him so highly. He is quite capable of beating fullbacks inside or out as well as being a brilliant passer. So, what I’m saying is that the fact that Tomiyasu badly outplayed him, made him irrelevant, had much more to do with Tomiyasu’s, skill, pace, and tactical intelligence. It is… Read more »

Teryima Adi

Arteta is a fusion of great coaches like Wenger and Pep. He also retains his originality obviously.

Up North

Absolutely stunned by Tomi’s performance yesterday,what a player. Now we have three top options at left back although a different type of player might cause more problems. But as a thought , what about trying Tomi as midfielder with Sambi thursday ? Giving Partey and Xhaka a much needed rest?

Tankard Gooner

All I will say is “no more round pegs and square holes problems” in our backline now. That’s a huge scary thought for all our opponents.

Tom 007

When I saw the line up I swore to myself… What the hell is he thinking.???.. Mistake period… But… Kudos to his football intellect. COYG.


I might get blasted for this one but please don’t get me wrong: i love Martinelli and i’m convinced he is a fantastic player. Though from time to times, he reminds me of Alexis Sanchez in the way he doesn’t always release the ball in the right timing. Is it because he’s a bit selfish, because he lacks broader vision (when he starts to run with his head down and accelerate) or because Arteta actually asks him to do so as it attracts oponent and frees up some of the players besides him? I know he’s young, already “top quality”… Read more »


These versatile players like Tomi are invaluable to the squad, what a job he did silencing salah and forcing klopp to sub him off. Martinelli, hats of to the scouting team for finding this prodigy (did we get rid of the guy who brought him in?) Looking like he has no ceiling.


Great to see Tomi looking so happy, was afraid he’d get hacked off whilst not playing at RB (similarly with Tierney now, not getting in at LB). Hope he gets lots of games this season, though strong competition means he will have to be at his best.

Santa’s Thigh Grab

We have three LB’s and anyone one of them able to produce masterclass performance. Brining Tierney on and going three at the back w two wingbacks to lock down the defense another astute substitution and tactical change. Arteta 2.0.


Anyone else remember when Sky Sports laughed at us for signing Tomiyasu???


If we keep top spot till January then we really need to invest in midfield that’s our weakest link right now should anything happen to Partey.


Can anyone else believe that the general media narrative is Liverpool were robbed by VAR and Arsenal were lucky. It makes me chuckle the depths these salty idiots are willing to stoop too. Their penalty shout was correctly turned down. You can’t slam a ball into someone’s arm from point blank range and expect a penalty. Just because they’ve been given before doesn’t make it right. Also, if Salah or Jota had been kicked in the same way Jesus was, they’d all be screaming for a pen. Cretins.

Boy Bastin

There’s certainly some of that about but a skim of the media also shows that we’re getting a lot of (fully deserved) credit for the way we came back to win.

I guess the media as a whole aren’t used to praising Arsenal too much – and, if we’re honest, there hasn’t been that much to praise for most of the last five or six seasons. I’m sure it will change in our favour though as we become more successful, more consistently.

A Different George

One of the emerging themes is that Liverpool are in crisis, not the team they used to be, etc.–it’s a version of “it’s only Liverpool.” But the NBC commentators, at least, are all saying Arsenal are for real, though probably not a title challenger, given City. Which is, I think, exactly right.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Even Pablo Mari scored yesterday in a 2-0 win for Monza. Weekend officially complete.


On loan defenders had a good weekend- trusty scored two for Birmingham

A Different George

Pepe scored for NIce, which is a bit less surprising.


Mika Biereth scored 2 for Walwijk as well!


Hope the kit man was able to find Salah in tomi’s pocket before he did the washing

Scott P

Just make sure not to put him in the dryer. The static cling on that hair would be unreal.

Boy Bastin

He’s quite right. I was glad to see Tomiyasu start given his efforts in the EL game and he clearly didn’t disappoint. Martinelli turned in his (usual) good performance – we almost take that for granted now.

As Arteta said though it was the team as a whole that produced the result. There is little chance that the Arsenal of last season or some earlier ones would have got that result. This team showed that it is learning all the time and, most importantly, is putting those lessons into practice on the pitch where it counts.


I just love this team, we’ve gone from a bunch of over paid millionaires who didn’t give a sh*t to players the fan can love unconditionally. In Martinelli and Saka we have 2 of the brightest lights in football for the years to come, and we have a production line of young players being schooled in the ethos of Arteta. Its generational thinking rather than short term and I am for it. And I think a lot of Arsenal fans can take credit. Sure there were Arteta Out-ers, but a lot of fans could see the improvements Arteta was bringing… Read more »


There were LOTS of Arteta Out-ers, even just a year ago. I’d say us Arteta In-ers were just a small minority. Arteta took over a disaster of a team, as a rookie manager, and then had to deal with the pandemic. And most people on this board cut him no slack, said terrible things about him. Of course, the results took awhile, but the positive changes he was making were obvious to anyone who was willing to see. I hope everyone remembers that next time we have a period of poor results.

Teryima Adi

Tomiyasu was awesome against Salah. I really doubted him to perform well at that left back position yesterday, but he made me eat humble pie. The boy is great.


You would never guess Tomiyasu wasn’t a left back. Somehow he predominantly uses his left foot when playing on the left and then the opposite on the other flank. When you need to to counter a dangerous attack, he is brilliant.

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