Are Odegaard and Martinelli keeping ESR out of the team?

I am still not a fan of his as I believe he lacks some serious industriousness and defensive awareness but Odegaard has been one of our stand-out players in the past 4 weeks. He has created chances and scored goals and it seems that his understanding with Saka and the rest of the attacking players is growing.

I am a fan of Martinelli, though. I like that he plays very direct football, he is brave, he is fast and he is hungry. With the right coaching, he can develop into a fantastic player in World Football – barring injuries.

Saka is an obvious starter on the right side of our attack and with Odegaard and Martinelli being in such good form, we are not seeing much of ESR. ESR is a real gem too, he is also young, talented, hungry, decisive when he plays for us and is a AFC academy product…but at the moment, he is not starting many games. He has not been helped by injuries but still, he is still our top scorer – just ahead of Saka.

What can he do to reclaim a starting spot?

Here are the EPL stats for our attacking players:

ESR – 9 goals, 2 assists

Saka – 8 goals, 5 assists

Martinelli – 5 goals, 2 assists

Ode – 5 goals, 3 assists

Laca – 3 goals, 7 assists

Pepe – 1 goal, 1 assist

Nketiah – 1 goal


39 Responses to Are Odegaard and Martinelli keeping ESR out of the team?

  1. RC78 says:

    It is vey much out there but there is a Dutch player who is currently playing for Toulouse in Ligue 2 and is having a sensational season. He plays as a Central Midfielder, his name is: Branco van den Boomen.

    He used to play in Netherlands and was in the Dutch youth set up for many years.

    I have seen some of his games – he can definitely improve defensively but the guy has a very good eye for an assist and is really really impressive as a dead ball specialist.

    He is currently valued at around 5 Mln EUR and apparently, he wants to play in Ligue 1 with Toulouse next year but if an EPL team came knocking, it would be hard for him to resist and he may force a move out of Toulouse. Is he a right fit for AFC? I don’t know but he is worth a look. In any case, he could be a good player maybe for Brentford or another EPL side…

    Is he a bit like Xhaka? Maybe…although he does not defend as much and he may be slightly faster but also have a similar if not superior passing range..

  2. Didrik Plehn says:

    No, injuries and Covid-19 keeping him out of the team. ESR is a wonderful player but he needs to be more resilient 🔴⚪️

  3. Jeff Clark says:

    At least having 31 goals shared between 7 players is better than having them all scored by Henry or Wrighty !

  4. RC78 says:

    True…injuries and Covid-19 have affected him but if fit, do you put him in the starting line-up? If so, ahead of whom?

    @Jeff – a fair point indeed. The interesting thing is that Laca is our leading assist provider. He still needs to score more though – Laca should always aim for a 10 goals-10 assists per season at a minimum and I believe that Saka could do the same.

    Odegaard, ESR and Martinelli should aim for a total of 15 decisive contributions each per year.

    We still need more assists from Tomy, Partey/Xhaka and of course Pepe. Our wing backs should aim for a minimum of 5 assists each per season and our central midfielders too…Partey should definitely have 5 goals, 5 assists per season minimum

  5. Las says:

    Hello RC, interesting question.
    First of all, ESR is injury and Covid prone. But I think it is more than that MA wants both wings to be effective to be able to provide goal threats. On the right-wing are Tomi (Cedric) and Saka on the left-wing are KT3 and Gabi. ESR is a power player in the middle and so he is competing with Ode and not Gabi. When he is OK he comes on for Ode as a very effective and successful power sub a very useful addition to the team. He is driving, leading the team but not with his balls or passes like Ode but with his movements like carrying the ball forward or arriving as the second wave in and around the penalty area and scoring goals. Ode and ESR like complementary colours it would be great to have both in the team at the same time but there is a defensive risk.

  6. fred1266 says:

    One good thing with ESR he a great super sub ,

  7. Las says:

    For me, it is clear as daylight that we need an upgrade on Xhaka and La’ Cassette. I love Laca, really he is one of my favourite players in the recent squad. But he’s lost his goalscoring touch. But still, I love his attitude and his fighting spirit and his final balls.
    For Xhaka… pffff…. we talked an awful lot about his shortcoming his occasional brainfarts and he does it again and again. Last time against Watford second. It is simple as that he needs to go.

  8. RC78 says:

    I think it is easy to see that we need an upgrade in our double pivot – Partey-Xhaka.

    I d like us to seriously consider a player like K. Philipps…

    Option 1: Partey, Philipps
    Option 2: Lokonga, Xhaka (or El Neny?)

    As for Lacazette, I hope he gets more goals but he did provide 7 assists and maybe, he can add a few goals and a few assists to reach a respectable 5 goals, 10 assists by the end of the season? Who knows? Anyways, we will go and get a CF this summer for sure.

    Now, C-Lewin would be a decent option but there would be other options too. I think we need a player like Benzema rather than someone like Auba…Let us see but I am quite sure we will see a CM and a CF join us this summer…

    And as for ESR, I hope he powers through and takes Ode’s place in the starting line up

  9. fred1266 says:

    Partey fed player of the month

  10. pbarany says:

    For the title question: yes, Odegaard and Martinelli are indeed keeping ESR out of the team. That is obvious, and was obvious by the time we signed signed Odegaard.

    Understandably this is not good news for Emile, but it is not necessary bad for the club, as albeit ESR became the successor for Özil for some month it was unclear if he could cover the AM position for the entirety of a season, even without European games. He is only 21, and was only 20 when Odegaard was loaned in the first place. And there were no proper back-up; even though Laca had some games operating behind Auba, he could never replicate a genuine AM performance.
    So now ESR is the back-up AM and apparently the back-up LW too. Meaning that if everybody is fit he should start on the bench, but with injuries, suspensions and occasional rotation he should only come up for the last 20 minutes, which is sub-optimal, but wouldn’t call it terrible. The departure of Auba was a huge favor for Martinelli, and in some extent to Lacazette and Nketiah too, but didn’t give more minutes to Pepe.

    The problem with the planned/requested summer transfers, that we don’t need anybody for the 3 places behind the striker. The current bunch of Martinelli, ESR, Ode, Saka and Pepe are quite capable, still gives some opportunities for youngsters like Hutchinson, KTH or even Nelson. Even if Pepe is sold in the summer buying another RW would only make sense if Arsenal buy someone who won’t mind playing second fiddle. An established player like Sterling could be a short-term improve on our attacking performance, but by displacing either Saka or Martinelli he would hinder the youth revolution efficiency at the end of the day/year. And I just don’t see ambitious starlets like Antony from Ajax to chose Arsenal when there isn’t – and wouldn’t be – real competition for the RW position.

  11. RC78 says:

    I am not sure about why Partey got Player of the Month in February…I felt that Odegaard and Saka were better and even Tierney…anyways 🙂

    As for the summer transfer plans, we know that:
    – The club needs a CM to play next to Partey
    – The club needs a CF

    I think we have a big decision to make with regards to Soares, Saliba and AMN especially

  12. fred1266 says:

    No decision needed on soares he needs to go, wonder if bellerin would want to play for us next season

  13. LB says:


    Do you really think that Hector is a better defender than Cedric?

  14. RC78 says:

    Quite a few calls to make really:

    GK: Leno – out, Runarsson?
    DF: Bellerin, Soares, Saliba, Mavropanos, Mari?
    MF: AMN, El Neny, Azeez, Patino, Hutchinson, Ouland
    FW: Laca, Nketiah, Pepe, Reiss-Nelson

    We expect to have the following with us next year:

    Ramsdale, Turner

    Tomyasu, Holding, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Tavares

    Partey, Xhaka, Lokonga

    Saka, Ode, ESR, Martinelli


  15. pbarany says:

    Cedric is playing really well, guys. At least in his past 4 games. And he doesn’t mind playing the backup, which is a major advantage. I don’t see Aarons or Mazraoui interested in joining to play second fiddle behind Tomiyasu. Which makes the prior question irrelevant: Bellerin is maybe a better player than Soares, but he won’t be interested in the cup games and the bench either. Maybe AMN would, but albeit I love the lad, I don’t see him an upgrade over Cedric.

    Leno would be the best #2 goalkeeper in England (or perhaps in the world), but he wants to play regular football, that’s why he must be let go.

    And while I agree that a quality midfield signing could come in handy, I’m less sure about Ruiz, Camavinga, Tielemans or Gravenberch starting alongside Partey, but rater Xhaka…

  16. RC78 says:

    Tielemans, Camavinga are better than Xhaka for sure.

    As for Ruiz, I think he is also better than Xhaka and so is Tchouameni but I would rather see our club target K. Philips from Leeds or D. Rice…

    Gravenberg, great prospect but we need a confirmed midfielder

    Leno is going and Turner is coming so that’s good.

    As for Bellerin, if he does not want to compete for the RB spot, then he must also be let go. I would also let Soares go and ask Lamptey to join us and put pressure on Tomyasu.

    As for AMN, I want him to stay. I think he is a great squad player but if he wants to leave, then let him go but not cheaply. Maybe he could do well at Newcastle?

  17. RC78 says:

    Partey, Phillips as a double-pivot would be quite nice 🙂

    Partey, Rice as well 😛

    Ramsdale – Tomy, White, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, PHILLIPS – Saka, Ode, Martinelli – Schick/C.Lewin/I.Toney/D.Nunez/Antonio?

    Then, if we want a Left wing player, I believe Kostic would do well. He is quite versatile and great at crossing…anyways…

    The point is: We want to see more of ESR in the team 😛

  18. RC78 says:

    Kessie, Neves and R. Sanches also linked to us

  19. fred1266 says:

    Well from what am seeing from him in la liga yeah

  20. fred1266 says:

    Well from what am seeing from him in la liga yeah

    It also must be noted that he was my favorite player for a few years

  21. LB says:

    Hector was everyone’s favourite player for a few years, I must admit I haven’t seen him play in La Liga so I will take your word for it.

  22. fred1266 says:

    Anyone following how AMN doing in Roma

  23. fred1266 says:

    How is partey Phillips a good combo shouldn’t we have one holding and one box to box from what I know Phillips isn’t that good going forward

  24. RC78 says:

    I think if Phillips can take care of shoring things up, Partey would have more liberty to break lines moving the ball forward while still providing good defensive cover when needed…again, I may be wrong but that was the initial thought

  25. fred1266 says:

    I would prefer someone like tieliman next to parteey

    One great option would be playing ESR there but not sure if he could cope with defensive ability

    But if someone like jorginho can then can’t see why ESR can’t

  26. RC78 says:

    Ideally, you get Verratti, no? 😛

  27. RC78 says:

    I think PSG will lose tonight 3-1 and will be out of the Champions League. The defending is horrendous and the team is too dependent on Mbappe. With that loss, Pochetinno’s fate will be sealed and he will be asked to leave at the end of the season.

  28. fred1266 says:

    Why hasn’t Ramos been playing I doubt he still injured

  29. fred1266 says:

    Have faith Rc78 we going to destroy real

  30. fred1266 says:

    Verrati are u insane what you smoking over there, ideally it would be KBD

  31. fred1266 says:

    Psg should play a back 3 would give the FB more freedom

  32. RC78 says:

    There you go – I should have put money on the result! Damn it! Well, PSG gave the game away: we scored first, we were dominating until Donnarumma’s mistake, which was followed by two other mistakes including one by our captain Marquinhos…

    The only good things coming out of this loss are:
    – The upcoming sacking of Pochetinno (by the end of the year);
    – The probable departure now of Leonardo and some deadwood players.

    The sad thing is that Mbappe will leave for sure now and now we will have an aging Messi and Neymar as our frontline, which is not bad but it is clear to see that Mbappe is the key player so it is a loss…

    Pochetinno has a lot to answer for choosing Donnarumma ahead of Navas and then clearly Kimpembe cannot play big games and Ramos has been an injured fraud…PSG will go for a CB for sure.

    Bring in a good coach now…What a mistake to let Tuchel go after a year with 4 trophies and a CL final…

  33. RC78 says:

    Fred – you are right about the back 3 but Ramos has been injured the whole season…but the idea for this hear was to have:

    Donna – Marquinhos, Ramos, Kimpembe – Hakimi, Paredes, Verratti, Nuno Mendes – Neymar – Messi, Mbappe

  34. fred1266 says:

    Yea Donna reminded me of Leno when he tried passing out from the back lol

  35. fred1266 says:

    Messi is horrible, can’t believe how he has dropped in quality, wondering if it because it his first season and talk some time to gel with teammates

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one RC.

    Fitting in both ESR and the Ode is a bit of a challenge for game starts but the stats show that all are contributing so Arteta has got it right. Martinelli is CF potential and that could mean an attack that includes all four of them.

    Re Xhaka it keeps amazing me that bloggers I rate still don’t seem to get what he brings to the game and that there is no better left footed central midfielder in the PL. First on Mikel’s team sheet each and every game. In fact, his name is pre-printed on it. The captain without an armband, the undisputed leader among his peers.

  37. RC78 says:

    Total – I think Xhaka does bring stability to the team and he has a good passing range but I do believe that we can find better players than him to complement Partey. Partey,Xhaka is by no means our worse option but Partey,Rice or Partey,Phillips could improve us just because both Philips and Rice are more dynamic than Xhaka on and off the ball. This is not to say that Xhaka is a poor player and he does not add value to the squad, especially in 2022 but still, if you look at our squad, the CM and CF are the potential areas where upgrades could be needed.

    As for Martinelli, for now, I believe he should stick to the wing. He has got that drive and pace and little by little, he ll find his way to being a CF. He has time and I think he is more dangerous taking players on rather than just running behind them although he is good at that too

    As for Messi, he is no longer prime Messi and our system does not suit him. I think he will do better with a new CF once Mbappe goes. I think with Mbappe, Di Maria and Icardi leaving, there will be a shuffle to build the team around Messi so he will do better next year even if PSG would have less quality without Mbappe. The best news will be that Pochetinno will not be our coach anymore – he has been a total disaster.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers RC, Granit is indeed not the most mobile. I like Philips and Rice but I don’t think they are better all round. Granit gives shape and structure to the team and managers know these players are rare. Partey cssnot do it for example.

    I don’t think Martinelli has the first touch and passing ability to be great on the left. Not bad but just not great there.

  39. RC78 says:

    Fair enough Total 🙂

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