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August 2021

This summer’s signings: Javier Martinez

By Tony Attwood

I recently quoted the Daily Mirror in which they said we were signing Vertonghen.  Not everyone screamed with laughter when I wrote this, so on the basis that the Mirror is really in tune with this sort of thing, here’s another of their tips: Athletic Bilbao’s Javier Martínez.

He is 23, he’s a Basque, he’s an “intelligent ball player” who can play either central defence or in the holding midfield role.   He will cost £20 million give or take.

Now the talk down in the Depths of Despair (a public house frequented by journalists) it is said that Alex Song is off to Juve (just cos they want him, and he is fed up with no winning things – you know the usual guff), and so Martinez is the man.  He is “more disciplined” than Alex.

But even if Alex stays we will have Martinez (so they say in the Depths) because then he could move forwards.

Now that raises all sorts of questions about Rosicky and Ramsey – plus the fact  that against Wigan we suddenly saw Oxlade-Chamberlain play in deep defensive midfield.  That was a surprise for me.  (Maybe you already knew about it, but I didn’t).

So, what about him Martínez?   He went to Athletic as a 17 year old from Osasuna and became a first team regular player at 17/18 and then became an ever-present player – the sort that men in the Depths call a “midfield engine”.

But Athetic don’t win things and don’t regularly get into the European competitions  – so he might want to move.  Also he has been playing as a central defender and might like to venture onwards a bit.

He has played for the Spain under 17s, 19s, 21s and for the full team – the latter mostly in friendlies or as a sub – generally moving back and forth between the under 21 and full side – he played in the 2011 under 21 squad that won the Euro Championship.

He now has seven full caps and 21 under 21 caps.  He has played 180 times for Bilbao and scored 20 goals.

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37 comments to This summer’s signings: Javier Martinez

  • legolas still trust Wenger

    that is quite a news but SOng outside Arsenal ? he said that he want to pay back the faith that wenger showed him . i believe the only players who will leave this summer :
    Almunia out of contract
    Scquilaci sold
    Vela Sold
    Denilson loaned again
    Chamakh and Park Sold as well
    Bendtner i dunno 😀

  • Rich_Fryer

    On a somewhat related note, found an interesting article on wages, comparing tham amongst the top of the premier league.

  • Spoty

    hav u come to realiz that ox can b a very good striker and can partner vp….

  • WalterBroeckx

    If he cost £20M he will be a bridge too far I think. 😉 2497

  • Wooby

    Sounds more like the player’s agent(s) trying to create interest in Martinez, especially on the stroke of Wenger announcing that Wilshere will be out of the rest of the season. We already have 3 world class CBs in Kos, TV5 and Per and at best, would look to shore up depth if Wenger feels JD is not a good 4th CB. As for DM, other than Song, there is Coquelin, Frimpong (once he’s back from injury), Arteta, Wilshere (if healthy). Can’t see how Wenger would be interested in shelling out the kind of dough quoted for a backup.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I’m waiting for someone to ask: this guy Next Gen where will he play? 😉 We did sign him up, didn’t we? 🙂

  • Mandy Dodd

    Have seen a bit of him looks a good player, but also a target for Barca and Utd….allegedly…must have a good agent

    Really hope the Song stories are the usual rubbish (see stuff about RVP this morning for scraping the barrel journalism). Does Song have long on his cntract?

  • Kubla Khan


    The rhetoric of your blog amazes the most diehard of fans.Apart from criticizing referees instead of your so-called Lord Wenger, you never write any useful thing about a game or ever analyze one. Arsenal fc and Wenger are beyond reproach. Instead of analyzing in detail the malaise that has affected the club, the systematic way in which Arsenal are a weak football team now and have no desire to compete at the highest level, you have begun to berate the daily papers who link one player or the other.

    What is the purpose of your blog except as an exercise in self delusion and vanity? You know that under Wenger now, Arsenal will not win anything. The fans know, the club knows, the players do also. Yet, instead of malking a case for a new manager and cahnge at the top level, all we hear is your stupid ref watch which further deludes the already deluded fan you attempt to bind with your long rants which are basically so uncouth a nd so badly written that one considers the very purpose of your blog.

    Instead of writing that Arsenal are the laughing stock of the top elite in European football and that thay are a selling club and are waiting to sell RVP at the highest bidder this summer and then sign bantam weight players like Gervinho who don’t know what to do on the pitch except assuage Wenger’s ego, you keep on talking about the rferees to a delusional extent.

    I would strongly advise you to reconsider the direction in which you are going and speak with purpose about this ailing club which we all want to do well.

  • Giddy

    @Kubla Khan, you are one of the spoilt fans who never appreciates. you need to go and support Chelsea or Manciteh plus other oil rich teams. Wenger and by extension arsenal have tried their level best and should be respected for what they have achieved. Withdraw your support for arsenal than continuing to live in a dream land. Football is far more than just winning. trophies. Ask totham, Newcastle, Everton, and a host of other EPL teams when they last won the cup or played in Europe and get a decent answer.

  • Basil

    Er,Athletic Bilbao are in the final of the Copa del rey and on course for the Europa League final.I would suggest if Martinez wants trophies he would be better off there than at a club that regards 4th as a trophy.

  • RedGooner

    I think Kubla Khan that money doesn’t grow on trees well not in north London anyway.
    The problem with fans like you is that you are to fickle to understand that we were always going to be a work in progress until the sponsorship deals are up or renewal.

    You can’t build a new stadium on what you pay per year for a season ticket and jersey. To make matters worse AFC has been through far worse patches than this over the last 40 years and you act as if AW has never won a thing.

    We will go back to improving the squad like we used to with typical wenger signing’s during the early years BUT to shoot the man for having to work with a limited and more restricted budget than any other top team is just pure stupid.

    I think most educated Arsenal fans understand why we had to rely heavily on a youth system while building the stadium and since the completion.

    But then again you probably don’t visit very often the Arsenal websites that have intellectual points of view.

    That pretty much covers it ….sigh.

  • Rog b

    Nice one Untold same as ever,delivering the goods..
    @kubla Khan…? I admit that is not a name I have come across before. Ha, ‘a nd so badly written’? Haha, instead of malking a case for a new manager and cahnge at the…? I could continue with observations of your bad grammar and what seems your particular hostility to this blog (and all things Arsenal I suspect too) but just like your post,there would be no point….

  • walter

    Kubla Kahn,

    Why would we analyze a game like some others do in detail? We don’t do what is being told already. Just look at the name UNTOLD.

    We do things in a different way. Can I say the Untold way…²

    If you want to read: “Wenger out” there are others where you can find this.
    If you want to read: “the worst team ever” there are others where you can find this (and I really don’t agree with this at all)
    If you want to read that we are the laughing stock? That is only because of people like you make it look that way. Why should we laugh at a team in 3rd place in the league. Why is this team the laughing stock and not the team in 6th or 9th or 11th?

  • walter


    The team in 6th by the way is the team that has been doing all that you want us to do.
    Sack managers, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy…. And they are in 6th place.
    We on our tight budget are in 3rd. Got the picture? Doubt it…

  • Arun

    @ Kubla Khan, Come regularly so that I don’t miss your jokes.
    @ Basil, do you even know whom are the playing against in the copa del ray final??? It is barca and you think that there are going to beat barca and win the trophy. Well then why don’t you bet on it??? As far as the Europa league is concerned, which teams play in it: The ones which fail to qualify for CL or got knocked out in the group stage. It’s a second tier tournament to the CL. Your idea of winning it seems to suggest that it’s better to win the Championship rather than to stay in the premier league.

  • Kubla shit whatever,Top football? did kubla fc play with Milan or Dortmund?Rog b that guy is smoking something.Trophies !!where is Portsmouth,where is Birmingham they all won trophies get a brain.

  • Sam

    Walter how could you write on a “tight budget”Ours is the 4th largest wage in EPL and projected to push to 140 million this year( as per Swiss Ramble).Kubla may have exaggerated but some of his thoughts were pretty true.
    As per the was a nice read even though I doubt wenger will buy a spanish true blood player..he had burnt his fingers with Reyes.They cannot live without their Spanish sun LOL!

  • Mandy dodd

    Have a feeling mr khan supports a team who were made a laughing stock at wembley last weekend

  • rusty

    Bilbao under Bielsa this year have been an exciting team to watch — his teams are on a different wavelength than everyone else.

    Playing Javi Martinez (until then, a deep-lying midfielder) at center-back has been an interesting twist for them this season. I’m very interested in how the position is developing in Spain, to favor players with more skill on the ball — Martinez at Bilbao, but also Mascherano/Busquets at Barca and Sergio Ramos at Madrid. I think it’s unlikely the trend will spread to the Premiership, but it’ll be something to watch out for in the coming years.

  • Byo

    @Kubla- You do NOT have to read this blog. I know you know that!

    A wise reader reads various Arsenal blogs for their various insights. I would not want to read the same stuff on every one of them.

  • ak47

    kk-sad story. they’ll love you on le cock’eral, happiness for you may lie there unless your a gooner of course!. 🙂
    byo- nail on the head.

    not to concerned this year about signings, i know they will happen and the ones from this year should be better unless they develop chamackitis. just wanna see jack and diaby back properly and for rob and mik to continue their good run of health.

    i wanna see the new kit!

  • Kubla Khan

    I am not surprised by the reaction I have evoked here. But I am surprised at the vehemence of some comments. I hope my name doesn’t provoke a John Terry here; after all everyone is a racist unless proved otherwise.

    Suggesting that I support Sperz is laughable. It suggests the myopic thinking here. I detest them will all my strenghth. I want Arsenal to do well but I think under Wenger, it isn’t possible. Arsenal have the 4th highest wage bill, some of the players have high salaries and no one wants to sign them as they are useless. Sending them on loan is proving difficult too. The signings have been bantam weight: Chamakh, Park, Gervinho, Santos. The list goes on.
    Wenger’s salary is astronomical but expectations are nil. Could a top club keep a manager for do long without trophies? Winning trophies isn’t our birth right but competing is. By constantly saying we are 3rd in the table, that won’t hide the endemic weakness.
    Wenger is proving to be tactically inept. His transfer dealings are hampering the club. He is a loyal servant to the owners and always laughs at the fans. His arrogance is delusional. He blamed Wigan for time wasting and cited that as a reason for the loss instead of accepting defeat graciously.

    I know I can opt not to read this blog. But as a fan, I wanted to post my thoughts. As regarding grammar, suffice it to say these are typos and not due to a lack of education of which I have plenty.
    I sincerely hope that the blog authors will stick to writing the obvious and not join surmise and conjecture and conspiracy theories about referees. Don’t worry about hits and followers. What’s one days fame for your blog worthy of? Write the truth. The truth, as Viera said once, is on the pitch. We have seen the truth since 2006.

  • Strus

    @Kubla Khan
    Read the article in Rich_Fryer’s link.
    Do you know SwissRamble blog?
    other statistics& economic blogs like

    If Wenger had the money that Chelsea has spend year by year, Arsenal would won EPL every single year since 2004.
    His teams got better PointsPerGame rating than expected(or at least equal expectatoins) in the money league benchmarks.

  • Arun

    Off topic, but Arsenal have also signed for the Next-gen series which is a very good thing for our reserves.

  • Byo

    You must really believe you are saying something that has not been said at some other sites. I honestly have heard it all before.
    The reality is none of us knows the inner workings of Arsenal, and we do not know anything about the financial constraints/or not that Wenger has had to work under.
    And if you are such a genius at identifying the short-comings at Arsenal, I would have expected you to be managing at a top-flight club!
    Pls save me your indignation.

  • LRV

    Kubla Khan:

    I honestly do not understand the reason for your rant. Every writer should address his/her own audience. That way, they can have an understanding communication. That is what exists here. Not ranting, raving or circumlocutory. If you are as clever as you seem to suggest, shouldn’t you just go to Le Groan or such other blogs as understand your convoluted logic?

    Looks to me like you want to give yourself an ulcer because your heart is full of hatred for a football manager. By the way, can you manage a Sunday Park team? Until you do, may I suggest that you take things easy and stick to what you know? I hope you find happiness. Cheers mate!

  • doanythingformoney

    Education you may have- but to dimiss our evidence of ‘gross bias and collusion to pervert the course of the beautiful game’- not only at Arsenal- as a ‘conspiracy’ shows once again that education alone is not a panacea. An open mind to look at evidence and accept unpalatable truths is even more important. I give you one example of a statistically improbable- if not impossible event. Ashley Young has won more penalties in the last 12 months than the entire Arsenal SQUAD. Even an idiot, who has seen our games, knows we have had 10 genuine penalties turned down during the same period. And it has happened year on year.

    Do something for me. For a few weeks–just imagine that the conspiracy is what THEY- out there are doing and it is a conspiracy to make sure a certain team- owned by hedge funds- keeps winning and by winning it also keeps certain Sports Media Companies happy (as their product sales are boosted and their coffers fill to the brim). What do you do now? Well, you look around for corroboration. You wonder if the banks can control PGMOL. You wonder if they would force the media to play down sports stories that would awaken punters– and of course, hope the punters fail to realise that the same institutions own virtually all the media anyway. You look- you research– you balance things out that support or deny the theory with that open mind. You smell to test if there are any rats! And, eventually, however distasteful or not, your conclusions may be- you accept them. We have been down this disgustingly sordid road, for a long time, and for the facts thrown up by our investigation– there is no possible alternative. Do we want our number one sport- the game we gave to world- to be as bent as a paperclip? Absolutely not. If we close our minds and look away will it make things better? Unfortunately not—they will get worse!
    Do your research. Then–and it will take you many months at least– come back and give us a proposition that the conspiracy is not out there involving huge institutions and mountains of monies– but is in our own deluded heads. We want you to research our stuff and debunk it passionately–all 2000 of us are desperate to be PROVED wrong. But coming on here and spouting opinion dressed up in fine clothes is simply not enough. Any damn fool can do that- educated or not!

  • MK

    Sack Wenger and we will certainly win the league!

    If only we would sign AVB, Mancini or Dalglish and spend loads of money we would be a certainty for the title.

    You said it yourself, Arsenal have the fourth highest wage bill yet we are coming third! Well done Wenger! Especially considering all the ‘bad luck’ Arsenal have had with referees this season (which this blog shows in detail, feel free to argue against this point by looking through the match reviews and informing us of specific errors made in them?).

    But of course another tired rant of Wenger out with no specifics of who you would replace him with and how this would possibly improve Arsenal considering our weaker financials compared to the teams above us (and below us), is such a brilliant argument that we will all now bow down to your vastly superior intellect and support Arsenal by booing each player, the team and shouting Wenger out at every match! /Sarcasm

  • WafflingWenger

    @ Kubla Khan

    By your summation we’re all racists & you’re…well educated. Do you even realise how much of an arrogant fop you come across as?

    Yours truly,

  • Anne


    I think you should consider independently publishing that comment…F’n brilliant, man. 🙂

  • Anne

    Particularly the part about hedge funds.

  • robl

    @ Kubla Khan, this a Wenger supporting blog with half a million hits per month; wait…’s everyone else that is mad & deluded and you are the sane one…….

  • aras

    i was at the game against chelski(h) last season when we beat them 3-1.the main reason for that win was that we pressed them has a team,not individuals, and that’s what we must do saturday lunchtime.i remember us forcing their defence into mistakes on the halfway line,and we scored 2 out of the 3 goals because of of my biggest frustrations is our pressing game, or more to the point the lack of it.sometimes i see us play two different games.on the one hand we will look to press the ball in our opponents half, forcing them may’be to hit long balls and making mistakes with rushed passes. then on the other hand you will see us backing off into our own half, leaving the opponents with the some might say that in doing that it’s because may’be the team aint good enough to play out but,why oh why, still not press them so that we can win the ball further up the pitch, and in doing so,will get more goals???the great afc under wenger just done that.that was one of the main reasons we could win a game by half time because we would press high up,forcing mistakes,and getting the game won very early on at we have the mobility,strength,desire,attitute, in getting the ball back within 3/4 passes???do we have the athletes in getting round the pitch that we once our fitness levels as good as previous teams???is it because we are reliant on may’be 13/14 players,and then suffer after that because our squad don’t have the strength in depth. any thoughts guys.

  • Kubla? what a name! let me just get this straight, where was arsenal in the beggining of the season? and where is arsenal now? and under which manager did arsenal has to leapfrog all other teams to be on the current position of the league? that shows you (Kubla) that the man in charge of the team has more to produce in the next season. You can’t just read a manager like “Arsene Wenger” off…and for your information Barca will reach the final…it’s better you start thinking of stoping fake, stupid suggetions! i personally, i’m proud and happy to be an Arsenal supporter….grow up!!!

  • @Kubla Khan

    Oh my… your criticism of my work cuts me deep – especially as you seem so well informed and intelligent.


  • Percy

    @Kubla Khan – I hope my name doesn’t provoke a John Terry here

    No, not a John Terry, more like a tartar who has spent a bit too much time indulging himself down at The Pleasure-Dome in Xanadu.

  • goonergerry

    Arsenal continually get linked in the media with big money signings- its never been anything more than speculation. There is no evidence that AW is prepared to spend as much as 20m on anyone-the most the club have ever paid for anyone is 16.9 m. Kubla is only right in stating that the club has set itself up as a selling club-and it will be no real change of policy if RVP leaves this summer. We all hope he doesn’t but we have seen our best players depart before- its nothing new. The truth is most clubs have no realistic chance of winning trophies-and other clubs of our stature are selling clubs-like Valencia for example-it is a fact of life. Like Valencia we have to buy cheaper players and develop them then sell them on to bigger clubs.
    The fact is Arsenal are not a really big club-and assessments of the value of capital or income based on gate receipts are misleading fans. I don’t know what the big deal is-one of the reasons for the annual speculation frenzy concerning our players is that the football world knows full well that we are a selling club and will sell anyone for the right price- eventually.