Emiliano Martinez exclusivity: the goalkeeper wants to repay the confidence of Aston Villa | Football News
“I have never loved football so much as I do now.” After a whirlwind year, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez is delighted to finally show everyone his talent and would like to pay tribute to the confidence Aston Villa has placed in him following his departure from Arsenal.
It hasn’t been an easy trip for the former Arsenal keeper.
Martinez has been an Arsenal player for a decade and there were loans to Oxford, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham, Getafe and Reading, as well as Villa opponents on Saturday, Wolves. But it wasn’t until the last few months of his stint with the Gunners that he saw a significant breakthrough in his career.
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Substituting an injured Bernd Leno at the end of last season, the Argentina goalkeeper has had a streak of important games and has shown everyone the talent he knows he has, producing remarkable performances to help the Gunners win. the FA Cup, to qualify for the Europa League and raise the community shield.
“At times during a loan period at Getafe I stopped loving football because the talent I had I couldn’t show to anyone. That’s why I was frustrated, but my wife lifted me up every morning. “
It was a race that seemed to have revived his career at Arsenal and he almost signed a new contract at the Emirates Stadium, but in the end a perceived lack of confidence and no guaranteed playing time led him to make the difficult decision to leave. its “comfort zone” in north London to open a new chapter at Aston Villa.
‘Arsenal did not deserve me’
“I like everything about Arsenal,” Martinez said Sky Sports. “I still love them and I’m still watching the games, but I just felt like they didn’t trust me like they should.
“It’s reality because they kept buying goalies to get past me and I was the academy goalie.
“When I was on a high note, I always felt like they didn’t deserve me because of the way they treated me. They couldn’t guarantee me the games I needed, so I figured if they couldn’t guarantee me the games. I needed, so I move on.
“They didn’t tell me I wasn’t going to play, they just didn’t guarantee me the games 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 that I did.
“It was a gamble, but I still believe that if you stay in the comfort zone, you will never achieve anything in life. I decided to take the plunge.”
“ Villa’s trust means everything ”
It’s a move that turned out to be right as Martinez, who joined for around £ 20million last summer, grabbed the number one jersey at Villa Park and made it his own, continuing the form he has shown in his final months at Arsenal. .
And it is the trust manager Dean Smith and Aston Villa have placed in him that drives him to continue his excellent start to his career at Villa.
“That says everything [to be able to show my worth and continue where I left off at Arsenal]”, he said.
“The way they greeted me, the gaffer trusted me from day one playing against Sheffield United.
“He could have said that you needed time to settle down and then play later in the season. But he played me in the first game of the season, and he trusted me. And when someone trusts me as much, I have to pay it back with good performance.
“That’s what this club deserves. The best of Emi Martinez.”
Martinez’s beautiful season
Martinez on his breakthrough at Arsenal …
“A lot of people said you only played 10 games and got good, but that’s not true. That season I played 24 games, and nobody counted the games. Europa League games I played, Champions League games, I played a lot of games on loan, good and bad, and that made me stronger.
“I’ve played so many games since I was six, so it’s not like I’ve only played 10 good games for Arsenal and getting good.”
“But I know what was going on behind the scenes, how hard I was working on a cloudy day, on Sundays when I wasn’t in the squad. Only me and the Arsenal goalkeeper coach know how hard I was. ‘ve worked for it. “
Villa fans have certainly seen the best of Martinez so far during his short stay at Villa Park.
He helped solidify a defense that was losing too many goals, keeping 13 clean sheets in Villa’s 25 league games this season.
But Martinez insists he hasn’t been able to do it on his own, praising the work of Aston Villa goalkeeper coach Neil Cutler and the partnership of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa, which he described. as the two best defenders in England.
“It surprised me [ how well I’ve taken to a new set-up],” he said.
“Neil Cutler is one of the best coaches in England. He constantly talks about the little details and even when I keep my sheets clean he always looks for those little margins where I can improve.
“The goals that I concede, we recreate them to see what we can do better.
“One of the reasons we kept so many clean sheets is because of him,” he added.
“He’s been helping me from day one to have the confidence I had at Arsenal and whatever clean sheets we get this season, Neil is a big part of it.”
‘Mings, Konsa the best defenders in England’
On Mings and Konsa, he added: “It was a pleasure to play behind them.
“I always thought they were top defenders. Obviously last season we couldn’t show that and the team conceded so many goals, but one of the reasons why I decided to come here was because I trusted them, and you can see how good they are.
“For me they are the two best defenders in England.
“The way they block shots, the way they run the ball, the organization and the communication, I haven’t seen them go wrong all season.
“It’s a huge relief for me when I have two big, fast guys like them in front of me. It makes my job a lot easier.”
“ Villa ready to fight for Europe ”
It has been a remarkable turn of fortune this season for Aston Villa, who are still firmly in the race to qualify for Europe despite a disappointing 1-0 loss to Sheffield United at 10 midweek.
Smith’s side are currently ninth, eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with two games in hand, and Martinez wants to put their disappointing loss to Sheffield United firmly behind them, starting against Wolves.
“We want to organize a race,” he said. “We obviously lost Jack [Grealish] and Matt Cash, but we have players on the bench ready to play and you can see it in the games. They are ready to leave everything on the pitch for the club.
“But we need this series of games where we need two or three consecutive wins and we hope to be able to start that on Saturday.
He added: “When I signed for Villa, from day one I said it was a step in my career and I want to qualify for Europe with the club. I don’t know if that ‘is this season or next season, but it’s something that I really want to do.
“After the Sheffield United game I saw a dressing room that is ready to fight. They did not accept defeat, which I like a lot. I was disappointed that I tried to get in. Europe and that’s something I’m starting to think about, and the other players are starting to think it could happen.
“By beating Wolves and Newcastle and our current games, we have a chance to be in the top seven with 10 games to play, and then anything could happen this season.
“Whatever happens, I’m proud of this team. We have a good season and there is good progress compared to last season.
“We still have two games in hand and we will still believe in it until the last game of the season.”
Watch Aston Villa vs Wolves on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm Saturday; kick-off 5:30 p.m.