The web of spiders in the British press are bored behind their desks as we enter the international break and are weaving their spin on recent comments made by the Arsenal manager in regards to Martinelli's playing time or rather to a lack of.
"Anxious Arsenal Star Could Force Transfer Move"... As the Mirror sinisterly spun it, is nothing more than speculation and guess work from "Clickbait" writers. What did Arteta actually say, in response to questioning by the press about Martinelli?...
“He needs time. He is so willing and so anxious that it can block his development sometimes as well, sometimes he won’t understand my decisions but the only reason I make those is to help him.
“There are a few things that have to be better and one of those is to manage when he doesn’t play. You have to know how to suffer when you are on the bench. You have to be able to swallow that, all your ego and anger, all your willingness to play the game.”
...Not quite so much a direct threat from Martinelli, but more so a slip up on Arteta's part, giving slightly too much away. Obviously young Martinelli is raring to go, as he should be. It's only natural that a player feel some rage, at not being given opportunities.
The same could have been speculated towards the end of last season, but a mature interview given to the South American press by Martinelli, revealed that his non involvement was mostly due to caution on the part of the Arsenal medical staff.
Although I seem quite bitter towards the Mirror's take on the situation, they are only reporting the blatantly obvious. Would or should a player with the sort of hype and interest surrounding Martinelli hang around when they could be playing? All healed up, why is Martinelli still not getting his chances?
A season ago I began nervously pondering to myself how Arteta would resolve having both Martinelli and Saka as left midfielders, and having them both waiting in the queue behind Aubameyang? Would one eventually have to be sacrificed?
Not because of any tactical mastery on Arteta's part, more so out of necessity. Saka was moved out to the right to accommodate a forward line up of Auba, Lacazette and Saka. There was no way Mikel was about to controversially bench his £300,000-a-week captain, and seemingly felt he could not do without Lacazette. The poor form of Willian and Pepe made it an easy choice, much as it was an easy choice to start playing Smith Rowe at No10, since we had no other No10, and so obviously needed one.
Lacazette, by not having signed a new contract has also given Arteta an easy choice in moving Aubameyang to the centre. Suddenly a place has opened up for Martinelli on his favoured left wing. That would be the case if not for Odegaard and Smith Rowe.
During the whole Odegaard vs Maddison debate that ensued amongst fans in the summer, I was more concerned about Smith Rowe's playing time. I was much more in favour of signing an understudy than a starter. Smith Rowe's current form would back my thoughts as he has stood out most, in this underperforming Arsenal side. It's because of these performance's Arteta cannot stop playing him.
No matter how much better I think Smith Rowe has been compared to Odegaard, Odegaard is so integral to the Arsenal build up play that he can't be dropped either, leaving the likes of Pepe and Martinelli out in the cold.
For me it's telling that when the easy option is the only option left, Mikel will take it. When the options are a plenty, for example having 4 right backs and 2 strikers he can't choose between, Mikel does seem to struggle to make the "right" choice. Mikel also has shown if you don't have his faith he will do something as mad as playing Saed Kolasinac at centre back against the best team in the league and dropping the centre back he signed. If Martinelli sees Kolasinac come on ahead of him I wouldn't be surprised if he did pack his bags!
I suppose the manager is always going to look to his senior players to come on and make the difference, but how many bad performances from Pepe will it take before Mikel then decides it's Martinelli's turn? Or might Arteta show some tactical artistry and when chasing a goal, move Odegaard to the deep role at the expense of one of his defensive midfielders, allowing Smith Rowe to take centre stage and freeing Martinelli to run riot with both No10's supplying balls in behind him?
The Arsenal Review is proud to give the opportunity to ANY Arsenal fan to write articles and have your thoughts heard by our wonderful community of Gooners. To write an article, simply click here - you are free to write on any Arsenal related topic you like!