If Emi Martinez is wondering why Arsenal fans have turned on him, all he has to do is look back at any one of the hundred interviews he’s given slating the club, including the one he gave before this game, something other reporters would be well served to do, too.
Chants of ‘Aaron Ramsdale, he’s better than you’ rang out at the Emirates as Arsenal brushed Aston Villa aside on Friday night, but it could have been so different for Emi Martinez.
So far, I’ve seen the Birmingham Mail and Mirror call the chant ‘cruel’ while the Express called it ‘brutal’.
It seems like they might need it explained to them why the chant was being sung.
Emi Martinez was at Arsenal for 10 years without doing enough to force his way into the first team on a regular basis.
After an injury to Bernd Leno gave the Argentinian a chance, he certainly took it. Over 10 games, he was excellent.
But 10 games in 10 years is not the basis upon which you start demanding Arsenal Football Club guarantee you a starting role.
Still, demand he did, so Arsenal held the door open for Martinez, a decision many fans were angry about at the time.
As Martinez impressed at Aston Villa, his reputation at Arsenal would have grown and he would have been applauded back.
If only he had kept his mouth shut.
That’s not to say that ex-players can’t speak about issues they had at Arsenal, of course they can. But when they start to use almost every interview in which to slate the club and to re-write the history of their time there, well, fans are going to react.
Speaking before the game on Friday, Martinez was interviewed by Sky Sports. I get that reporters ask leading questions, but Martinez doesn’t have to answer them over and over and over again.
But he seems to like doing it. Otherwise why bother?
In an article headlined: “Emiliano Martinez back to haunt Arsenal on Friday Night Football,” he said, “I love everything about Arsenal. I still love them and I’m still watching the games, but I just felt like they didn’t trust me like they should have.
“When I was on a high, I still felt like they didn’t deserve me because of the way they were treating me,” he added.
“They couldn’t guarantee me the games I needed so I thought that if they couldn’t guarantee me the games I needed, then I’m moving on.
“They didn’t say to me that I wasn’t going to play, they just didn’t guarantee me the games that I wanted to play.
“It was a gamble, but I always believe that if you stay in the comfort zone, you will never reach anything in life. I decided to take the step up.”
Perhaps Martinez means a step up to being a number one instead of number two, but given his comments previously, and the tone of this interview, I’d be lying if I said that doesn’t also feels like a dig.
I’ve yet to see any post-match comments from Martinez at the time of writing.