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October 2020
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Martinelli: the new Cristiano Ronaldo. This is going to be amazing.

By Tony Attwood

Last night Gabriel Teodoro Martinelli Silva aged 18, scored his 10th goal of the season.  He is the first teenager to get to 10 goals in a season at Arsenal in 21 years.

It is a staggering achievement given that he has not just changed clubs but also continents, and achieved this feat while Arsenal have struggled through much of the season, including having three different men as managers during the course of the young players time with Arsenal – and the season still has quite a long way to run.

The last man to get to the double figure mark as a teenager at Arsenal was Nicolas Anelka in 1998-1999.  He had come from PSG in 1997, having played ten times for them, scoring just one goal.   But Mr Wenger saw the potential, and not only bought him in 1997 but regularly played him.   Anelka scored 23 goals in 65 games before reluctantly being sold to Real Madrid in 1999 (Mr Wenger’s plan being to play Anelka and Henry as the dual forward line).  It was said that the profit on the sale of Anelka paid for the new Arsenal training centre that Mr Wenger wanted built.

Anelka then developed an incessant wanderlust and regularly moved from club to club.   He was last heard of as youth offensive coach at Lille, a post he took up in November 2018.

But much more to the point: Martinelli is not showing any of the personality problems that were a central part of Anelka’s make up.

Aged 18 he has played in 21 games this season.   Five times in the Europa League, twice in the League Cup, once in the FA Cup and 13 times in the League.    So far he’s got three league goals, four league cup goals, and three Europa goals. That is a goal scoring rate of 0.48 goals per game.  Not that far off Henry in his first season.

But by way of comparison, when Henry joined Arsenal, he had already had six seasons playing with the big boys and had reached 31 goals in 160 games. In his first season at Arsenal Henry got 26 in 47 games. One in every 0.55 games.  Only just a little above what Martinelli is currently achieving with far, far less experience.

Thus, based on any reasonable comparisons, Arsenal have got themselves a young goalscoring sensation who can both lead the line and play out wide.  (There was considerable condemnation of Mr Emery when in one Europa Cup game he moved Martinelli to the wing for the last 15 minutes or so, but this was clearly to see how Martinelli could play out wide with the main striker of the club on the pitch at the same time.  The continuing goal scoring suggests that centre forward is where he should be playing – but out wide is also an option).

If this is the case comparisons could be made further back, with Cliff Bastin, who like Martinelli saw himself as winger. Bastin was signed aged 16, having played 17 games for Exeter and scoring six goals.  He scored 150 goals in 350 games for Arsenal, all from the wing, and would have played many, many more had not the second world war curtailed his career.

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Internationally Martinelli could still play for Italy instead of Brazil, as he has an Italian father and has not yet been selected for the Brazil first team.  His transfer fee to us was said to be around £6m although before last night Transfer Market had his current value at £16m.  I suspect that is about to go up again.

Arsenal’s bid for the player when he moved from Brazil was not the highest, but several interviews with Martinelli’s father Joao Carlos, have reported that the club stated clearly that they did not want to loan him out – but like Anelka, wanted to get him playing for the first team from the start.

Joao Carlos is quoted as saying that Arsenal “have a plan for him and are expecting to see him reach his peak within one to three seasons. It would have been no use picking an offer, say, £10 million higher, if he did not get a proper chance in the end to grow. I have no doubt that he’ll develop further training with the first team.  I believe that in six months’ time he’ll be delivering the goods.”

And in many ways he has already done that, having been included in the training camp with the senior Brazil squad, ahead of the Copa America.

When Arsenal did enquire about the player he was said to be about to move to PSV Eindhoven but Arsenal scout Everton Gushiken was insistent that this was the player the club should go for.

And what seems to have impressed everyone is his attitude.   Carlos Correa who is one of Martinelli’s mentors said recently in an interview, “He stands out for his attitude on the pitch—when you watch him play, you get the impression he’s been around for a long time. And then you realise he’s still a boy and has ridiculous potential.”

At Ituano, Martinelli worked under Juninho Paulista, who in an interview said of the player, “He has a big character, always tries to play the same way, whether it’s against great teams or smaller ones. I’ve told him to carry on and maintain his playing style—driving the ball forward quickly and skilfully and finishing his plays accurately.”

And when we read that Martinelli models his game on Cristiano Ronaldo, the potential starts to become really apparent.  Let’s hope we can keep him.

.

 

 

19 comments to Martinelli: the new Cristiano Ronaldo. This is going to be amazing.

  • Les Martin ( LeMmy )

    A very interesting well researched article got this on my home screen for quick ref!!
    Keep up the excellent work.
    Herbert Chapman’s ghost.

  • Masterstroke

    Your comparisons with Ronaldo & Anelka are valid and most definitely not hyperbole. It’s difficult to say right now what position he will settle into but he looks so exciting when anywhere around the age of the box.
    Keown says he ‘has the club in his hand’, by which I think he means he is in a position to make demands. If he keeps these sort of performances up his agent will be very busy and Arsenal will be fending off interest from Spain again for one of our best young players.
    Get him signed up now!!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    It was a very impressive solo goals , which took less than 10 touches , and all of 70 yards ! Well done young man.

    And the ref could not do anything to prevent it . Neither could the Chelsea defence.

  • Gily

    What an enchanting young man we got in our hanhs!
    Since Arsenal is beginning to stabilise, it seems the new instruction from the PGMO to their puppets now is to give us red card at the slightest chance. They are no longer contented with a lot of yellows alone. That red card on Luiz was hardly a foul let alone yellow.
    Well, at the end of the day, we shamed them all.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Love his finishing, his work rate. let us hope he keeps his feet firm on the ground and keeps on working like he does. We got a real diamond in our hands….

  • Nitram

    Very interesting read. Thanks for the incite.

    It seems we really do have a special player on our hands. You do not have to be a genius to see that.

    Expanding a bit on the team, or more accurately the squad in general, as I have said a few times, I think this squad is easily, and I mean easily, top 4.

    Lets have a look at how we have faired against our traditional top 4 rivals:

    Spurs home drew 2 – 2

    I believe we were the better side.

    Man Utd Away drew 1 – 1

    Liecster away lost 2 – 0

    Beaten fair and square

    Chelsea home lost 2 – 1

    A game of 2 halves, Fairly close.

    Man Utd home won 2 – 0

    We were the better team.

    Chelsea away drew 2 – 2

    A well earned battling point under very difficult circumstances.

    So without going into all those games at great depth I think it is indisputable that we are easily in the mix. I think that lot are all much of a muchness, which includes Wolves, Sheff Utd and Southampton.

    And personally I think we have been robbed of at least 6 points by PGMOL/VAR which would have us sitting in 5th spot, 4 points off of Chelsea in 4th spot.

    Without the machinations of the cheating officialdom that is where we would be, and I think that is probably where we belong.

    But this is the point, we would be there without actually reaching anything like the potential I believe there is within this squad.

    As for how we will end up this season. Well I think 4th is gone. Even if we really hit our stride 10 points is too much to make up, and PGMOL simply wouldn’t allow it anyway.

    As has been pointed out already the yellows have been stepped up to reds. yes I believe the PEA incident was a red but as we have also seen, not when Liverpool do it.

    Last night was very harsh. It could of easily been interpreted as a desperate clumsy attempt to play the ball in which case a penalty and yellow card would of been the correct call. The referee and VAR saw it as a deliberate foul. Okay, that’s an interpretation, but without being able to prove it you just know if it was Liverpool for example a Yellow would of sufficed, and what’s more the media would of been in full agreement.

    And this is how we have been refereed for years and will continue to be so.

    Any 50/50, 60/40 etc will, if at all possible, go against us. The pitch will remain tilted against us, and the closer we may get the worse will be the tilt.

    But despite all that I do believe we have enough about us to achieve a Europa League finish, which is bellow where we want to be of course, but all things taken in to account that would be a very acceptable result.

  • Gideon

    I am scared though. Nearly every time we locate a diamond, someone (under the nose of the PIGMOB) steals its shine. They just give them career-ending injuries that take them out for long periods and thereafter, make them always doubt their bodies – RVP, Wilshere, Ramsey, Diaby, Walcott, Eduardo, and even Bellerin… I am happy for Martinelli but very scared.

  • Les Williams

    Once again I say this as a non Arsenal supporter. If that was a red card we should see loads more in the EPL. Yellow was sufficient but as this was Arsenal etc…. need I say more.

    @Brickfields Gunners The only way teams can negate the “tilted pitch” is to score a lot of goals. I dont watch the premier league. For me it is like watching WWE where everything appears to be staged.

    I watched an article on German TV regarding the Earling Harland transfer to Dortmund. It was hinted that his father told him not to go to Manure as payback for a horrific tackle from Thug Keane that ended his career.

    How did Thug Keane get away with horror tackles all through his career ahh yes – Kipper Riley.. again. Yet Keane is now a “respected” pundit – Isn’t that ironic!

  • Nitram

    Gideon

    Very good point.

    Although Eduardo, Diaby and Ramsey were on the end of the worst assaults I believe it was, overall, the treatment of Wilshere that was the most diabolical, for several reasons.

    1) It went on for so long.

    He was targeted by the opposition thugs throughout his career.

    2) The referees complicity

    They never gave him an ounce of protection.

    3) It was all fully endorsed by a complicit media.

    Every time he was taken out they somehow managed to portray his injury as somehow his own fault.

    4) The above conspired to rob England of their most promising talent since Gazza, Hoddle and La Tiss.

    A shameful trashing of a brilliant talent, and all because the lad played for Arsenal.

    If they can allow this to happen to one of our own, what chance one of those pesky little foreigners we seem so keen to get rid of?

    So yes, I completely understand your concerns.

  • Mikey

    @ Nitram

    I think the other thing that needs to be said about where we should be (and I agree fifth is about right), is that we’ve achieved what we’ve achieved without ever having a chance to play our first choice back four all together and, if I’m not mistaken, probably never more than two of them. Bellerin (nice comeback!) has made four starts; Tierney has made four; Holding has made just one; and Chambers has made 13. So with 24 games gone my first choice back four have made 22 out of a possible 96 starts.

    People moan about buying defenders. We bought Tierney and Saliba who is yet to come and we had Holding (our best defender last season until his injury in my opinion) still to come back from a bad injury.

    We have managed what we have managed despite having less than 25% of our first choice defenders all season as well as playing against the PGMOL.

    People need to think about that for a little while.

  • Sammy The Snake

    It look like we are going to break a record this season for the most drawn games in a season. Last night was our 12th draw of the season, if we keep it up we can easily pass the current record of 17.
    Last night’s draw was worth 3 points!

  • Nitram

    Mikey

    Another good point, but ironically, as I think an article by Tony a few weeks pointed out, it’s our lack of goals which has arguably been more of a concern.

    This is the average goals for/against of the 6 clubs above us compared to us.

    FOR

    6 Clubs average = 34

    Arsenal = 32

    AGAINST

    6 Clubs average = 30

    Arsenal = 34

    So despite our depleted back 4 our against numbers are actually not that bad, all things considered.

    But regarding goals for, yes we are only a couple of goals shy of the average but Arsenal are by tradition an attacking team. Just look at our front players:

    PEA, Lacca, Pepe and Martinez.

    Any of the aforementioned 6 Clubs, and possibly even the top 2, would almost certainly take any of those off our hands if they could. That is an impressive array of strikers, and yet we score bellow average. Why?

    Despite improvement and impressive wing play Pepe just doesn’t score enough.

    Despite all his industry and endeavour Lacca just doesn’t score enough.

    And where is the midfields contribution?

    Ozil, despite unfair critisism of his general play, isn’t scoring anything like enough. In fact he isn’t assisting much either. I love the guy but the truth is I’d rather he strutted around like a peacock and scored and made a few rather than running around like a headless chicken, but contributing virtually nothing in terms of goals.

    It’s not just him, none of the midfield or any of the wingbacks have contribute enough goals.

    The bottom line is, despite all our injury problems at the back, we have defended relatively well, it’s our attacking that seems to be the problem. Get that sorted and we’ll fly.

    As you suggest, Tierney and Bellerin may well make that difference. We just need them back and flying.

  • Gord

    For those who understand financing, World Football has a blurb on 23 Capital.

    https://www.worldfootball.net/news/_n3930618_/financier-banking-on-flexible-football-transfer-strategy/

    To me, the premise sounds far too open to manipulation. There might be a bubble to burst in there somewhere.

  • Dublin Gooner

    @Nitram,
    you could say the team is in transition. Maybe Arteta’s strategy was to make us difficult to beat (which he has done) and build from there. So far so good, id say.

  • Nitram

    Dublin Gooner

    Indeed it could be as simple as that. Or it could also just be a form thing. A confidence thing. A luck thing. A bit of each. Who knows?

    In any case I wasn’t really criticising, just pointing out the reality of the situation.

    Whatever it is I’m extremely confident Arteta will sort it.

    As you say, so far so good.

  • Steve Vallins

    @ Dublin Gooner & Nitram ,
    Do agree , make us hard to score against first then expand on play .
    Since the loss of Aaron Ramsey we’ve had no midfield player making runs beyond our forwards into the penalty area .
    It seems to me also our forwards make straight line runs ( easy for defenders ) no diagonal runs dragging defenders out of position across the pitch or if zonal they get passed on ( not always ) so maybe there’s a couple of reasons why we’re not creating as many chances or scoring as much .

  • Menace

    A few things that seem to be forgotten: Chelsea at ours was a PGMOL fix when a clear Jorjinho yellow was ignored and Laca got one instead – mistaken identity 😉 just a corrupt official. The unfortunate punters who were promised a Chav victory were lost when Hector scored the equaliser.

    The VAR appointees are part of this evil plan to satisfy the gambling markets by manipulating the truth.

  • @Steve,Nitram,Dublin gooner i agree,we need someone who runs to defenders instead of passing the ball back at any other given minute.@Menace i think the agenda was to relegate us but it won’t work if we fight for each other as a team.

  • The Pigmob are a major contributor to our lack of goals scored this season. Look at how many times Laca and Pepe are fouled. There was a single dribble in the Chelsea match where Emerson kicked Pepe 5 times. Only one foul was given, obviously. At least Emerson got a yellow for that, but note that the four fouls that went unrecorded don’t make it into the match stats. It’s difficult to score when you have to play against 11 players in addition to the officials.

    Add to this all of the the disallowed penalties and goals, and it’s not difficult to see what we are up against, and why we have difficulty scoring.