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Emi Martinez takes his chance, his ambition demands a decision

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Emi Martinez takes his chance, his ambition demands a decision Emi Martinez takes his chance, his ambition demands a decision

Emi Martinez takes his chance, his ambition demands a decision






Good morning, and welcome to Friday. It’s been a strangely muted build-up to the FA Cup this week, but I suppose in some ways that’s apt. It’s been the most surreal season in living memory, and ahead of a game at an empty Wembley, with no fans in the stadium to share what should be one of the showpiece events of the football calendar, the fact there’s been so little focus on it seems just par for the course.
Mikel Arteta’s press conference was due to take place last night but was postponed until this morning due to ‘technical difficulties’. I don’t know whether someone had failed to renew the Arsenal Zoom subscription (pay for a year Stan, it works out cheaper!), or something else, but even that is another indication of how different this year is. Typically, there’s almost a full week of stuff, players are made available to the wider media ? not just the ones who traditionally get privileged access week in, week out ? and very little like that has happened.
You don’t need me to tell you why. The impact of Covid-19 is ever-present, and it has taken a bite out of FA Cup final preparations. However, there was some stuff with Emi Martinez who is hoping to put the cherry on top of the icing on his end-of-season cake with a winners medal on Saturday.
Having joined Arsenal in 2010, he is our longest serving player, but incredibly his start at Wembley tomorrow will be just his 37th senior appearance for the Gunners. His career progress has been … well … slow. He’s had loan spells of varying success at Wolves, Reading, Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday, Oxford United and Getafe, but until this season nothing better than third choice with us. The retirement of Petr Cech last summer meant the club could have gone out to find a second choice, a back-up for Bernd Leno, but looked in-house and Emi was the obvious choice. Still, even though he played 11 games before the injury to the German, and Arsenal won 7 of those, few people would have considered him genuine competition for the established number 1. Since Leno’s enforced absence, he has come into the team and taken his chance in a way that you rarely see in football. We all try and find a positive when a player is injured, how it presents an opportunity for someone else, but generally speaking the pecking order remains the same and the injured player comes back as and when he’s fit again.
It’s to Emi’s immense credit that there’s even a conversation about who should continue in goal when you consider how good, and how important, Leno was before that Neal Maupay shove put him out of action. I recall in the immediate aftermath of that incident, when it was feared the prognosis would keep him out for 9 months, there was little talk of how Martinez might be capable of filling the gap, but plenty about how a difficult summer in the transfer market was now even more complicated because we’d hav...


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Fuente de la noticia: arseblog.
Fecha de publicación: 31-07-2020 08:45
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