Imagine young Emiliano, after a day at the beach of his home town Mar del Plata in North-East Argentinia, encountering a divine visit at the darkest hour of the night. Emi hears the sweetest voice telling him “to work hard at his local football club and good things will come to him”. “What do you mean with good things”, he mumbles still half asleep. “Well you will, one day, become the goalkeeper at the home of football, situated in North London”. “Ah” says Emi, much more awake now, “so I will become a hero for many years and the fans will sing my name again and again. We love you Emi we do, we love you Emi we do?” “Well I did not say that but you will one day make the fans very proud and happy. Sleep deep and well, Emi, adios.”
Imagine then becoming the second choice, ‘cup’ goalkeeper at any club, and especially at Arsenal. You get so close to playing for a great team and first team action week in week out – who hasn’t dreamed of this? – but you just have to wait and wait. Is there a more difficult position in football than being the nr.2 goalkeeper? Sooo close yet so far? With just 70 career league performances it has been a long nine years in the UK (and one season in Getafe, Spain) for Martinez.
Then, finally, came his moment. A bad injury to Leno meant that Emi’s unchallenged German competitor for the nr1 spot had to miss the rest of the season. “This is your moment” he told himself, and boy how he took it! I don’t think I have ever seen a more dominant, spirited and highly effectively nr2 goalkeeper stint ever. Martinez made a huge difference and was as important to our great run in the FA cup as Auba was on the other end. He gave us so much joy with fab stop after fab stop, his courageous striker-confrontations and sheer aerial dominance in the box. I have seldom seen a big, tall man get down so quickly to the ground as Emi did.
As a result, we will always remember Emi fondly and there are no hard feelings at all regarding his departure.
Every nr2 goalkeeper with a bit of pride about them will want to play first team football. Villa are giving him this chance and he just had to grab it. And even if it all goes up the proverbial he will always have these past summer months with us to look back to.
Live that dream Emiliano even if it is no longer at THOF. All the best at Villa and thanks for the great 2020 footie summer.
33 thoughts on “Farewell Emi Martinez And Thanks for the Unforgettable Post-Lockdown Joy”
This week’s BK competition games (for those who still need to enter them):
Everton v West Brom
Southampton v Spuds
Chelsea v Liverpool
Aston Villa v Sheffield United
Wolves v Man City
Wolfsburg v Bayern 04 Leverkusen
Please copy and paste games into a comment and then add: H for Home win, A for Away win or D for double Dutch Draw… 🙂
TA, I am not familiar enough with my new system to do the admin right now – but I will keep note of the choices and results so that when I’ve gained the competence I will take over over.
Here are my choices.
Everton v West Brom – H
Southampton v Spuds – A
Chelsea v Liverpool – H
Aston Villa v Sheffield United – A
Wolves v Man City – D
Wolfsburg v Bayern 04 Leverkusen – A
It’s a huge shame to lose such a good goalkeeper but if his sale his helping to fund Auba’s resigning then it’s a good deal.
He has been a model back up player, one who never complained and was always ready to seize his chance when it came along, I fear he will be missed – but that is the life of a footballer.
Yeah we will miss him, GN5. Poor Leno will have extra pressure on him not making a mistake… Every time he makes one there will be criticism/ link back to Emi…
No worries with the spreadsheet, GN5. We will get there.
Again, Thanks TA– appreciate the column inches!
Sponsored on the Premier League website– The 2020/21 Fantasy Premier League.
Please join my mini-league: “Arteta Knows Best”
Joining the league couldn’t be easier. Simply use the link below and you’ll be added automatically after you’ve entered the game.
League Code: 2xkb78
Pushing back the start of the mini-league to Matchweek 3 on Saturday, Sept 26th.
You have plenty of time to join and pick your own winning team!
My heart wanted Arteta to choose Emi over Bernd.
To a degree my eyes did too. Emi was a better fielder of balls in the air. Perhaps a bit better with the ball at his feet. A tad better at short distribution maybe. Emi also has the stickiest gloves I’ve ever seen. Balls that should have come off his one glove and rolled-in– would just stop dead as if glued to his mitt.
But we had suitors right away. For an age 29 backup GK– for £20M.
Good business every day of the week.
Good luck to Emi at Villa– except twice every season! 👌
I think you summed it up nicely, JW.
And to bring in the new…
A video mashup of our new backup GK Duran Dur… um, Runar Runarsson! 😉
That was a really nice post Total, you pretty much encapsulated all the sentiments of the fair minded Arsenal fan, of which there are many. Yes, I hope it wasn’t a flash in the pan for Emi and that he continues to perform as he did for us recently when the fans return to the stadiums and that he gets a shed load of Argentina caps. Even if he plays out of his skin against the Gunners I won’t begrudge him as he seems a thoroughly likeable, decent and genuine guy.
I’m amazed that Arsenal are still being linked with a move for the Brentford goalkeeper, especially as we seem so close to signing the guy from Dijon, do we really need two goalkeepers?
Dejan Iliev is 25 and that would pretty much be the end of him at Arsenal even if Matt Macey leaves as has been rumoured.
If we do get past the difficult tie at Leicester in the League Cup we could be onto another even more difficult tie with a visit to our old chums at Anfield. What a fantastic challenge, two successive visits to an empty Anfield – and how sweet it would be to stuff them on each visit…
Good comments Kev. I am NOT hoping he has a great game v Arsenal, well as long as we win, he can have one hahaha. It looks like we are going to have a bit of a keeper shake-up this autumn…
If we are still in the League Cup in October we may as well try and win it. Really hoping we play mostly a B team though..
JW1 I joined your FF league. Great fun! 🙂
Come on guys. Join us for a bit of banter!
My predicty picks:
Everton v West Brom: Draw
Southampton v Spuds: Away
Chelsea v Liverpool: Away
Aston Villa v Sheffield United: Draw
Wolves v Man City: Home
Wolfsburg v Bayern 04 Leverkusen: Home
That is an honest video, JW. I like his aerial ability and especially his distribution. The French league is a physical one especially during set pieces so he should be well prepared. But no doubt a work in progress!
Everton v West Brom – H
Southampton v Spuds – D
Chelsea v Liverpool – H
Aston Villa v Sheffield United – H
Wolves v Man City – D
Wolfsburg v Bayer 04 Leverkusen – H
Everton v West Brom – H
Southampton v Spuds – H
Chelsea v Liverpool – A
Aston Villa v Sheffield United – D
Wolves v Man City – A
Wolfsburg v Bayer 04 Leverkusen – D
Thanks for playing TA– it is going to be fun.
(Did I mention to everyone– it is FREE to play!)
I admire your dedication, TA.
I always liked Martinez, even after his horrible error in the unforgettable Reading 5:7 Arsenal League Cup game. But part of my sympathy was triggered by his patience and loyalty, putting his ambitions behind the club’s interests.
Now it has changed.
I’m not saying that is unreasonable to prefer a guaranteed starting spot (if that exists at all), or look for club with less competition for the starting line-up, but it is hard not to point out that Emi had the most playing minutes as a Premier Leagues’s #2 goalkeeper. And probably the truth would be intact if we discard the Premire League filter from the sentence and exclude those exceptions, where the #1 keeper suffered a season long injury.
Emi played 2030 minutes in 23 games. That is 40% more than Claudio Bravo had played, and Man City was interested in the FA Cup, the League Cup and the CL as well. So I cannot really say that he swapped Arsenal’s bench for the #1 jersey in Birmingham, but rather he opted for a possible 2600 minutes season for a relegation-escaping club instead for 2000 minutes in his boyhood club – right after he was given the chance to shine. I know that the life of a professional football player is a constant battle between his (understandable) selfishness and his loyalty to the club, but Emi’s decision was too close to the former extreme to my liking. We might say that the 16M is a good money in the post- or mid-coronavirus season to reinvest in other parts of the team, yet I believe it is just a fraction his true value, and if he would have stay for another season he could have either realized that he can steal the spotlight even in competition with Leno, or could have been sold for 45M.
I hope he will get to stand in the the Argentinian goal at some point, but let’s not forget this: https://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/aston-villa/news/aston-villa-boss-dean-smith-emiliano-martinez-must-earn-number-one-shirt_414839.html
Coming back to post-Martinez goalkeeper conundrum, I just don’t understand why we are considering moves for Runarsson, and especially Raya. Yes, I did read from reliable news outlets that both of them worked with our current goalkeeper coach Inaki Cana at some point of their career. And I really wouldn’t like to seem more of an @$$hole than it is absolutely necessary, but who gives a shit about his recommendations?! I know I’m being mean, but Cana has been a goalkeeping coach for 4 years, worked for 4 managers, who altogether share a single silverware from their professional manager careers combined. Alright, maybe the lad from Iceland is an unpolished gem (at 25), and is underrated now because of a poor season and a half. He could be a decent signing for 1-1.5M, even though he is 1,86m. But the Raya rumor is just crazy. Who in their right mind would pay 10M+ for a 25-year-old goalkeeper with 0 junior or senior international call-ups, and who is only 1,83m (!) tall – OK, he is still 5 cm taller than me, but that is practically a midget among goalies – after we sold a 27y 1.95m decorated keeper with several junior caps and a few senior international call-ups for merely 16M? Ans according to rumors (from less than reliable news outlets) Brentford has already turned down a 10M offer. If we turn up to buy both goalkeepers from the Emi-sales instead of adding the most of it to our transfer kitty, I will seriously doubt the competence – as well as common sense – of our club’s management – independent from the name in charge of the specific transfers.
As for the YouTube mashup of Runar– it was interesting how they compiled portions as it pertained to differing skills (even a goals conceded part at the end).
I didn’t see that first caption early-on when the video started– to know how it was segmented. As I kept watching Runar make, like, dozens of saves? With so many amazing ones versus PSG– I wondered to myself: “Why the hell aren’t PSG signing Runarsson– just to keep from facing him!?”
Until of course later, when the conceded goals portion ran. Runar can give up goals.
To PSG. A bunch to those guys.
Still, Runar is quite quick. His distribution really accurate up to midfield. In the box shot-stopping seems to be one aspect where he excels. Good coaching could elevate his abilities. Worth an investment at £1.5M.
Another bit on the Fantasy PL mini-league– it’s low involvement.
After choosing a team– there’s not a lot you would have to do.
You pick your XI each week. That’s the least.
Or? You make a Free Transfer. Then pick an XI.
You could make more transfers (you give up some points). Pick your XI.
No other involvement required.
League Code: 2xkb78
Nice to see how tactful, kind and diplomatic Arteta is:
on whether he’s under pressure to let go of players he doesn’t want to because he can’t move on players that he would prefer to let go…
No. Again, with all the players that we have here, we’re going to try to get the best out of them. We’re going to try to improve them as much as we possibly can and create the right environment for them so that they are happy at the club, because I believe it’s the most important thing for them to perform to the level that we want. After that, obviously in the market there are things that we cannot control. There are things that we can control and let’s try to manage in the best possible way.
Well argued comment, PB, with some fresh angles to the goalkeeper situation. I rather see a player in action for us before I make judgement but you are pointing out some decent question marks.
WOW, David Luiz is in full training and could play tomorrow!! 🙂 Great news we need in Pool especially.
If Luiz were to play tomorrow?
Moving Gabriel to LCB and Tierney to LWB– with AMN to RWB? Bellerin sits. Or does AMN sit?
Gabriel sits. Rest of back 5 same as vs Fulham? Tough thing to sit Gabriel after his debut.
Quite like to see ‘back five’ of Tierney, Gabriel, Luiz, Holding, AMN v WH and then Pool.
Luiz could also have his first game V Leicester, though. I just want him to be fit for the Pool game.. 👍
My preference as well– even if not tomorrow.
Arteta may have been fortunate by seeing AMN take his ‘big step up’ just in time.
Imagine had we sold AMN… 😮
The squad interchanges with the various possibilities are looking really positive – Arteta has the huge task of keeping the spirits high so that every member of the squad is ready and available when he requires them.
It’s been many seasons since I’ve felt such positive vibes from both the club and our supporters, lets hope it is proven out in the results.
It could well be that Arteta was the architect of AMN ‘s “big step” – but you are correct it was very timely.
Saliba will not play tomorrow. He is involved in the U23 tonight. He was dispossessed before the opening goal from BHA U23, but he is generally composed in the back, brings the ball forward with confidence, and contributed to our 2nd goal. (The tie is at 2:2 at the time of my comment, with only 12 minutes remaining. Steve Bould is a poor coach in my opinion.)
Nothing wrong with playing for the U23, PB. Good way of getting used to English footie.
New Post 🙂