Emi Martinez – from humble hero to arrogant villan

From sitting on the pitching crying whilst speaking to his parents in 2020 to making rude gestures in 2022. Emi Martinez has gone from humble hero to arrogant villan in a little over 2 years.

After the 2020 Fa Cup final, whilst his team mates celebrated around him, Martinez took the time to sit down with a phone and call his parents. He was in floods of tears.

Martinez left his native Argentina to join Arsenal shortly after his 17th birthday. Despite heaps of talent, it was beginning to look like it would not happen for him.

Loan spells took him to Oxford United, Sheffield United, Rotherham United, Wolves, Getafe and Reading. It was only in that final loan spell that he began showing that he might have the talent to be a Premier League football.

His breakthrough at Arsenal came through injury to Bernd Leno. The infamous incident at Brighton saw Leno’s season end and Martinez come in for the final 6 Premier League games and 6 FA Cup games.

In that short period he would become a fan favourite. Making fantastic saves, showing brilliant distribution, and becoming a key player as we won the FA Cup.

His actions at the final whistle just further added to his connection to the fans. He was our humble hero.

And then it all changed.

With a year left on his contract, he made it clear that he would only sign a new one if Arsenal guaranteed he would be number 1. A club like The Arsenal can never guarantee that.

He might have been key in the closing stages of the elongated 2019/20 season, but he had no right to make those sort of demands.

Now 28, he had been at Arsenal for a decade. During that time he had played just 16 Premier League games for us; and a toal of 38 first team appearances.

To demand to be guaranteed a start ahead of Bernd Leno – who had over 400 senior appearances in England and Germany – perhaps showed the arrogance that was bubbling under.

He had been fairly unimpressive on loan and had the reputation of “being a good shot stopper, but has a mistake in him”. A poor mans Wojciech Szczesny

Arsenal did the right thing and told him “no”. They could not guarantee him the number one spot. Especially with so few top level games under his belt.

Martinez probably expected a whole host of clubs at home and abroad to come in for him. But the interest di not materialise.

He ended up joining Aston Villa – who had finished 17th and just one point above the relegation zone.

In his first season at Villa, he showed that he was a decent Premier League season.

Plenty of game winning performances, but he always had the mistakes in him.

The media would hype him up to paint a negative picture around Arsenal. About how we let go one of the leagues best keepers. But he has never really been one of the best in the Premier League.

Playing for a lower team, there is a lot less scrutany on performances.

A mistake for Villa is probably not live on Sky Sports. Will not end up with Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, et al over analysising a poor performance. Will be hidden away towards the end of MOTD as Linekar, Wright and Shearer dedicate their time to more relevant games.

And will not be spoken about for days after the games on Sky Sports News, TalkSport, newspapers and social media.

I call it the Jussi Jaaskelainen.

If the Finish keeper had a great performance for Bolton, it would be highlighted for weeks. Any poor performance would barely get a mention. This would lead opposition fans to think Jussi was better than what he was.

Martinez is of similar ilk.

A great performance for Villa gets highlighted, a poor one is swept under the carpet.

As he got more game time in the Premier League, he also broke through to the Argentine goal keeper. A fairly easy thing to do when their second choice is a 36 year old who plays for River Plate – and other competition are those that have spent careers warming benches across Europe’s mid-table teams.

And it was for Argentina his hype grew further.

2021 Copa America semi-final hero in a penalty shoot out. MOTM against Brazil in the final.

And then in the recent World Cup, he was once again their penalty hero and (probably) should have been Man of the Match in the final.

But at the final whistle, he showed he was a changed man from 2022. The behaviour could not have been any more different.

From crying on the pitch to mocking opponents and making rude gestures. A classless winner.

The humble hero was dead and instead replaced by an arrogant, egotistical villan.

He has been labelled “the most hated man in France” following his behaviour. There is now talk that Unai Emery plans to replace him at Villa.

And if he does leave Villa, where does he go?

In his mind, it will be Manchester United, Barcelona or Chelsea. The reality is many of the top clubs will see him for what he is – an error prone, inconsistent keeper who can be a match winner one day & lose you a game the next. Throw in the new arrogant characteristics and many will stay well clear.

If he does end up at top team, it will be interesting to see how he does with the increased scrutiny – lets remember his Arsenal performances came with no crowds.

A clearly emotional guy, will he be able to handle the Nou Camp or San Siro faithful getting on his back?

Martinez will probably say “so what, I do not care what anyone thinks” whilst polishing his World Cup winners medal. And he has every right to do that.

But I also imagine in years to come, he will regret his antics in the final. His behaviour. The pictures that will never be forgotten.

Final thought on me is that it is clear Arsenal made the right decision not guaranteeing him first team football. Winning the World Cup does not make you a top player. He has yet to show for Villa that he can perform consistently at the top level.

The final irony is that had he not thrown his toys out of the pram and demanded to leave if he was not first choice, he may well have ended up with our number 1 on his back. But he did not have the stomach for the fight.

If Aaron Ramsdale was Argentinian, he would be their first choice keeper.



33 thoughts on “Emi Martinez – from humble hero to arrogant villan

  1. TeeCee

    Over the years, we’ve seen many footballers who clearly have been blessed with a lot of footballing talent, but who have equally shown that in terms of overall intelligence, they are severely lacking. Ashley Cole springs to mind. If he hadn’t been a footballer he would have been nothing at all. In fact there have been some footballers who have admitted this.

    Emi Martinez is clearly one of those brain dead footballers. It’s taken him over 10 years to prove himself, and although he is rightly regarded as a decent keeper now, I suspect he would be bumming around doing nothing in Argentina without football.

    A detestable man.


    1. keenosafc Post author

      So good that when he left Arsenal, the best club interested were 17th. So good that he plays for a side that finished 11th last season and are 12th this. Not exactly the signs of a top keeper!


      1. keenosafc Post author

        16 teams that finished above Villa did not want him. The best team in Spain interested was Getafe. No one across France, Germany or Italy has shown any interest


      2. Lee

        That was 3 years ago. Be a different story now he has proven himself on the world stage. Stop being so ridiculously biased and open your eyes to facts.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. keenosafc Post author

        Proven that he is an idiot on the world stage! If he is as good as what you think, a top club will sign him in the summer and he will be their regular number 1 for the next 5 years

        My gut is he will go to someone, and they will clearly realise he is error-prone and he will be a second choice again


      4. Gavin Harris

        The lack of respect from Arsenal fans is a joke. Villa are a top club and have a fantastic history and infrastructure. The fact Arsenal fans don’t consider Villa a big club boggles my mind. Arsenal are 3rd on the most successful English clubs list with Villa 7th. But…. Arsenal have never won the European Cup / Champions League so have never reached the heights that Villa have…. UTV

        Liked by 1 person

      5. keenosafc Post author

        Aston Villa were the 17th best side in the Premier League when Martinez joined. just because you won stuff previously, does not mean you are a top team in the current era.


  2. Gavin

    This couldn’t be further from the truth. At Villa he has proven to be an excellent goalkeeper. He is commanding and communicative and instils confidence in his back four. Fantastic distribution and excellent shot-stopping make him pretty much the complete goalkeeping package. All goalkeepers make mistakes, it’s the nature of the position, and Martinez doesn’t make any more than other top goalkeepers. In respect of mistakes not being captured on Sky Sports, that’s a ridiculous comment to make as Villa are continually having games re-arranged for live TV coverage and he comes under plenty of scrutiny when mistakes are made. Finally, please don’t ever compare him to Ramsdale. Ramsdale couldn’t even displace Pickford to become England’s number one, so how you think he’s superior to the Copa America (Golden Glove) and World Cup (Golden Glove) Winning Martinez is a complete farce. UTV

    Liked by 1 person

    1. keenosafc Post author

      Using the logic that “he is good because he won the World Cup” is illogically. Using that logic, Otamendi is one of the best central defenders in the world…


      1. Gavin Harris

        He’s good for the reasons I listed. Winning the World Cup and Copenhagen America is just the icing on the cake. He’s levels above Ramsdale and you know it. Ramsdale is utter garbage….

        Liked by 1 person

    2. TeeCee

      Martinez is good at penalties, his general keeping is ok, not top drawer (he’s at A. Villa for gods sake)!!
      His distribution is not good.

      Martinez has 3 clean sheets in 15 games this season that’s joint 13th best. Ramsdale has 7 clean sheets in 15, that’s joint 1st with Pope.

      Ramsdale also had more clean sheets than Martinez last season.

      Ramsdale is playing for one of the top clubs in Europe at the age of 24
      Martinez plays for a middle table club at the age of 30

      Ramsdale didn’t play at the World Cup purely because Southgate always picks the ‘old guard’, ie: the same old players regardless of form. England would have gone further if he hadn’t of played players like Maguire, Mount and Sterling, all of whom have been poor for their clubs. You could arguably add Pickford to that because he hasn’t exactly excelled this, or last season!


      1. Lee

        Clean sheets are not a measure of a great keeper. They are a measure of an effective defence. For the record, look at how many clean sheets he kept in his first season at Villa if you insist.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. TeeCee

    Lee – You should think about your comments.
    Clean sheets certainly help in measuring a great keeper, winning trophies is certainly NOT any measure of a great keeper because if the team are great, the keeper can be average so you’ve blown your own argument out of the water. Martinez is an all round average keeper, not fit to lace Ramsdales boots and Ramsdale is 6 years younger!!

    Just 3 years ago at the age of 27, Martinez was playing for Reading LOL, top keeper that.


    1. Lee

      Done trying to reason with children. Get back to Fifa.

      You’ll look back in a few years with more experience and realise how one dimensional you sound. There are literally dozens of players that don’t get signed up initially. Why was KDB playing for Wolfsburg in his mid-twenties? Must be useless by your argument. Look at Salah before his move to Liverpool. Very average clubs and stats.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. keenosafc Post author

      That is Martinez for you though. Can be exceptional over a 6-7 game period, but over the course of a season he makes a lot of errors. They are just not highlighted as heplays for a small club


  4. TeeCee

    Villa cling to the european cup like a limpet. It’s a cup competition, get lucky and play well for half a dozen games and you can win it. Porto won it too and they were not the best team in Europe that season! Just like the FA cup, Wigan and Portsmouth have won it fairly recently.
    The true measure of how good a team is, is winning the league title. Villa have won it 7 times, almost all of those were in the 1800’s. Arsenal have won it 13 times. There is simply no comparison between little Villa with their average PL crowd of 32,000 since the PL began, to Arsenals 60,000.
    Villa are a mid-table sized club and usually finish there in the league. Villa aren’t even the biggest Midlands club FFS. Wolves have surpassed you and Leicester too.
    Best stick a Betamax video in and rewatch the european cup final and remind yourselves what could be if you were decent.


    1. Gavin Harris

      Leicester and Wolves hahahah….. ok mate…. keep on spouting your nonsense. You dream of being able to call yourselves champions of Europe. Have never done it so try to belittle those who have. Villa have over 25k on a season ticket waiting list, hence the recently announced stadium expansion. Arsenal never had attendances of 60000 at Highbury so were they a small team then? Like I said…. chatting nonsense

      Liked by 1 person

  5. TeeCee

    Highbury didn’t hold 60000 when all seated, muppet. There were 50,000 on the ST waiting list then, that’s why they moved.
    I’m done talking about a mickey mouse club like Villa, you’re irrelevant, you’re like Fulham or Everton. You’re not a threat or a challenger, you’ve got more chance of relegation than winning something……..come back in 30 years when you may be a top 10 team (in the championship)


    1. Gavin Harris

      Wow you are stupid aren’t you…. that’s the point I’m making about attendance…. attendances can only be as high as the stadium permits… it’s not a reflection of the size of support…. when Villa Park is expanded, we’ll sell out 50000 plus…. When Arsenal fans stop crying about Martinez then perhaps Villa fans won’t need to comment….

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Mani Thangadurai

    This is quite frankly a stupid, ignorant and clueless take on a world-class goalkeeper written by a fan who is bitter about the success he has earnt away from Arsenal.

    Basically Emi wanted to start the 2020-21 season as the No. 1 but with competition from Leno. And I’m sorry, but after some poor mistakes made by the German in stark contrast with the fine performances by Martinez himself which ended with a trophy to salvage a poor season, he had every right to expect to start the following season as No. 1 ON MERIT. It’s easy to say that Emi should have had faith in Arteta who considered him ‘a part of his plans’, but most managers pick a goalkeeper as their first choice and end up sticking with that person no matter what, which means that the second keeper invariably won’t get a chance to compete and that Emi would have had to wait for another injury. If anything, he deserves credit for making it crystal clear that he had bigger ambitions which Arsenal couldn’t support, and deciding to move away. In terms of his performances and how the defence felt so secure with him behind them, he was everything that Leno simply couldn’t be and I wanted Martinez to be our starting keeper. Sadly Arteta saw otherwise, and a fat lot of good that did us!! And the FACT that Arteta kept playing Leno despite some DISGUSTING errors from the German is proof that Emi was right to walk away.

    Aston Villa were willing to offer £20 million for him and made it clear to him that he would start the season as number one but face competiton from Tom Heaton once he recovered from his knee injury. Martinez responded magnificently by playing in every minute of every game and keeping 15 clean sheets, proving that he IS more than capable of maintaining good form over the course of a season. His performances next season were also quite creditable given that most goalkeepers suffer second-season blues, and he’s still on course to tally 100 League appearances for the Villa in three seasons. If and when he makes a mistake, the work he has done and continues to do with his coaches and psychologists means that he will not make the same mistake twice. A PROPER professional who is devoted to his craft. And in terms of ability, he’s NOT just a penalty expert. He’s magnificent on one-on-one situations, covers his angles well, he’s a great shot-stopper and an absolute beast on crosses. I have rarely, if ever, seen him come out for a cross and fail to cleanly claim it. His decision-making is also spot on and he exudes that authority that really adds more to a defence. He might not be willing to aggressively play from the back like Ederson and others but his distribution is more than decent as well. In short, he is the complete old-school goalkeeping package, reminding me very much of David Seaman in his pomp for Arsenal and England.

    For you to also mock his breakthrough with Argentina is also crass. That ‘second choice’ keeper played at the previous World Cup and was first choice under Scaloni, but lost his place due to illness and with Martinez coming in and dominating, he kept that spot. With wins in the Copa America, Franchi Trophy and now the World Cup, he has completed the full set, something with the likes of Ubaldo Fillol couldn’t do, and is well set to sealing a legacy as Argentina’s greatest goalkeeper of all time, potentially with 3 World Cups and 75-80 caps under his belt by the time he turns 38. I will accept that his antics with the Golden Glove trophy were distasteful, but when you consider the uncharitable comments made about Argentina towards Argentina by Mbappe and company, I think there is some justification in taunting him after the game. And to be honest, it was tame. Messi has also been criticised as being arrogant, but when you’re 5-foot-7 with skill to die for and you have people trying to kick lumps out of you and discredit you all the time, you’ve got to punch above your weight. But aside from a now required streak of arrogance, both Messi and Martinez are at heart two fine people and still very humble and dedicated to their game. That is something you will never understand.

    Emery won’t replace him at Villa, in fact he sees the big fella as key to his plans going forward. Martinez is also committed to Villa until 2027 and loves the club, the fans adore him, and he won’t be going anywhere soon. And there have been a few top clubs who have been interested in him, so that rubbishes your false narrative.


    ABSOLUTE RUBBISH. As proven earlier. And Ramsdale will NEVER compare to Martinez until and unless he is able to win silverware and make the most of his opportunities. Until then he will always be a 2-time relegated goalkeeper and England’s Number 3. Fact is, Emiliano Martinez IS one of the BEST goalkeepers in world football today, and a WINNER who is set to get better and achieve even more for club and country.

    So keep your sour grapes and bitterness to yourself. And while you’re at it, swallow an antacid!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mani Thangadurai

      “Final thought on me is that it is clear Arsenal made the right decision not guaranteeing him first team football. Winning the World Cup does not make you a top player. He has yet to show for Villa that he can perform consistently at the top level. The final irony is that had he not thrown his toys out of the pram and demanded to leave if he was not first choice, he may well have ended up with our number 1 on his back. But he did not have the stomach for the fight. If Aaron Ramsdale was Argentinian, he would be their first choice keeper.”


      Liked by 1 person

      1. TeeCee

        I have never read such fanboy drivel in my life!! I can picture you there with a framed photo of Martinez in front of you covered in a sticky mess.

        After 10 years at Arsenal Martinez finally had a good run of form in front of no crowds. Yes he deserved his place instead of Leno but Arteta decided otherwise. Because of his arrogance, Martinez got the hump and said he’s off rather than fight for his place, totally his choice of course. He then bad mouthed/took the piss out of Arsenal several times with comments showing just how classless and crass he is. He moved to a mid-table club, the only club who made an offer, and helped them to a mid-table finish and surprise surprise, even after spending a lot of money, that’s where they are still.

        Then at the world cup, he does brilliantly for Argentina mostly in penalty shootouts ( a mixture of luck, homework and ability). He then behaves disgracefully again several times, showing yet again, he’s a man with zero class. He’ll be embarrassed about those photos in years to come. No other clubs have yet come in for him or are rumoured to be making a bid, no surprise as he’s had a good few weeks in the world cup, he’s been nothing more than decent in the PL and is probably struggling to get in the top 6 keepers in the league (how often do you see/hear how he won the game for Villa)? Never!!

        He’s a decent keeper, good at pens with no class and who is arrogant on the back of 2 years of decent goalkeeping at the age of 30. He should be able to go to a much better club than Villa and he’ll probably have a few decent years left in him.

        He’s nowhere near world class, to be world class you need to be doing it week-in, week-out and he DOES NOT do that for Villa. He’s already make errors this season and he did last season.


      2. Mani Thangadurai

        Well TeeCee, I can say EXACTLY the same for you and Arteta/Ramsdale!!

        You basically shot yourself in the foot by agreeing that Martinez deserved to be the number one ahead of Leno. So because he refused to ‘stay and fight for his place’ and ‘prove his class and love for the club’, he’s a tosser? WHAT RUBBISH!! And as for his feelings towards Arsenal, I go by the beautiful farewell message he left wherein he said that he became a man at the club and that he would always be grateful to have finally had his chance to play, but that he wanted to move on and fulfil his ambitions. It isn’t the club towards whom he had ill feelings, it’s Arteta for basically saying that merit isn’t a criteria and that it’s jobs for the boys. OF course he’d get the hump and move on and he hasn’t said ANYTHING that other players who left clubs after spells on the sidelines haven’t said. He moved to Aston Villa who made a play for him, and of course he’s played a big role in helping them solidify their position in the Premiership. HE HAS done the business for them and has had FAR MORE great games than poor ones. In fact, you can count the number of poor games he’s had on the fingers of one hand. There isn’t any shame at all in moving to a slightly lower club in the League in order to play and make the most of your talent, but football snobs like yourself are incapable of seeing the bigger picture. I’d sooner have more respect for players like Martinez who are ambitious enough to move on, play football and prove their worth than for some pretentious, unambitious fools like Jerzy Dudek or Carlo Cudicini who, in the words of Grimsby Town legend John McDermott, “…would rather sit in the reserves at a big club and drive around in a Ferrari than go out on loan and play.”

        Martinez was excellent during the World Cup, not just in penalty shootouts but also making great clutch saves in the dying seconds against Australia and France. Didn’t make a mistake during the tournament. And I have said that his antics with the Golden Glove Trophy were distasteful and he should regret them in due course. But his ‘antics’ in trolling Mbappe were tame, and in many ways justified. Also, there HAVE been clubs who were interested in him, Bayern Munich in fact were strongly considering buying him as a potential replacement for Manuel Neuer. As I said, he’s with the Villa until 2027, happy to stay and Emery values him highly. SO don’t try to stir the pot here. And with the confidence of that World Cup behind him, he WILL get back to his best with the Villa and under Emery I can see them rising higher and making a push for Europe between now and the end of the season.

        Seriously, stop embarrassing yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Mani Thangadurai

    And a few more points:

    1. Emi wasn’t expecting ‘big clubs’ to come in for him because he knew his situation and that he just wanted to join a club where he would have a better chance of first-team football than at Arsenal. Another example of you uttering complete waffle in order to support your stupid narrative. And now he has had big clubs show a good interest in him. So there.

    2. Argentina’s 3rd goalkeeper is none other than Geronimo Rulli of Villareal, who if you had ANY memory or knowledge you would know was the starting keeper for the team that won the 2021 Europa League under Unai Emery, beating Arsenal in the process! CLEARLY though, research and knowledge are NOT your strong points.

    And DID I mention that your spelling and grammar are atrocious?!
    It’s ‘villain’. NOT ‘villan’!!

    Sadly both you and TeeCee have proven yourselves to be a couple of bitter, twisted numpties who can’t hack the fact that a player like Emi has had the balls to know his worth and say that he won’t accept playing second fiddle, and then go and achieve great things away from Arsenal. Simply put, you’re both PATHETIC and need to broaden your horizons away from Arsenal. People like you give Gooners a bad name. Simple as that.

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.