Emi Martinez has conceded 21 goals in his last four games for Aston Villa and has let in more for them in a season-and-a-bit than he did at Arsenal.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and West Ham United at Villa Park on October 31, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 31: Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and West Ham United at Villa Park on October 31, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Ever since he danced in front of United fans at Old Trafford, Aston Villa haven’t won a point and Emi Martinez has shipped 12, including three at the Emirates.

It didn’t have to be this way.

Arsenal fans didn’t have to gloat when it was going badly for Martinez.

Emi Martinez stats via Transfermarkt
Emi Martinez stats via Transfermarkt

But he didn’t have to keep going on and on and on and on and on about why he left Arsenal, how moving to Villa was a step up and how nobody at Arsenal appreciated his greatness.

The same greatness that saw him spend 10 years at the club only to walk away when he was on the verge of taking the number one shirt permanently.

Martinez is averaging a 61.9% save percentage this season, some distance short of the 85.7% that Aaron Ramsdale has managed for Arsenal.

Can’t wait for his next interview when Martinez tells us all how that’s Arsenal’s fault, too.

So-called ‘cruel’ Arsenal Emi Martinez chant explained

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal scores their team's second goal from the rebound after having a penalty saved by Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 22: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal scores their team’s second goal from the rebound after having a penalty saved by Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

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 the game at the Emirates this season, 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 last month, but it could have been so different for Emi Martinez.

The Birmingham Mail and Mirror called 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. There is no debate here on that point.

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 as a vehicle to slate the club and to re-write the history of their time there, well, fans are going to react.

Speaking before the game against Arsenal, 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.

“So, after 10 years, I decided to leave, and it was very difficult. My family didn’t understand why I was leaving when I was at such a good level at Arsenal, but it was my decision to leave and I’m really proud I did it.

“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 didn’t also feels like a dig.

He has been a lot quieter since that game at the Emirates.

Strange, that…

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.