In pictures: Arsenal v West Ham
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Mikel Arteta caught the eye for his treatment of Gabriel Martinelli in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over West Ham on Wednesday night – and he has previous for his touchline antics. Martinelli was the star of the show at the Emirates Stadium last night, scoring a brilliant opener as Arsenal leapfrogged West Ham into fourth place in the Premier League.
And while he was rightly on the receiving end of plenty of praise from his manager, he also had to learn a valuable lesson from him too.
Martinelli’s coolly taken finish from Alexandre Lacazette’s pass saw Arsenal 1-0 up in the 81st minute when the Brazilian went down while suffering from cramp.
He hobbled off the pitch to receive treatment from the physios, but Arteta was having none of it, walking over to him, picking him up and trying to push him back onto the pitch.
Arteta was desperate for his side not to have to defend their lead with 10 men and wanted the youngster to use one of the oldest tricks in the book to delay play.
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After the match he was asked about his actions and explained that Martinelli needed to be “more mature” in his behaviour.
“No [I wasn’t having any of it] because you have the cramp, go… you are off [the pitch], or you are in,” he told BT Sport.
“No treatment in that moment. We needed to stay on the game and stay focused to win it.”
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Having scored and won the game, Martineli was not too bothered to be admonished by his manager either.
“Yeah, come on let’s go,” he said with a wide grin when asked about Arteta’s actions.
“But, this is a team and I want to play every time. And yeah, I’m so happy, as I said.”
Arsenal players should be completely clear about what they should do if they pick up an injury, given what happened to Thomas Partey last year.
The midfielder was openly criticised by Arteta in the wake of a 2-0 defeat by Tottenham in December 2020 after leaving the pitch with an injury, allowing Spurs to score on the counter-attack.
“Thomas is out, he’s limping, he’s in pain, he has to come off and we lost a man in that crucial transition moment,” Arteta told Sky Sports.
“He has to fall on the floor. I wanted him on the pitch, doing whatever he could for the team in that situation. No one expected him not to be in that position.
“I was trying to push him back on the pitch, I don’t think he realised the gravity of the situation when he left his position. That was probably because he was in a lot of pain. There is nothing we can do at the moment to resolve that.
“Suddenly they were coming to us and Thomas is walking to me and I am trying to push him.”
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