Liverpool's Anfield proved hostile once again for Arsenal, as the Gunners stumbled to a frustrating 1-1 draw, failing to capitalize on key chances. Amongst the underperformers, Gabriel Martinelli has ignited a debate amongst Arsenal fans, questioning his place in Mikel Arteta's starting XI.
Martinelli, a fixture in Arteta's lineup, cut a disappointing figure against Liverpool. His inability to put pressure on Trent Alexander-Arnold, a recurring weakness this season, left many supporters fuming. The Brazilian's lack of impact has fans wondering if his time as a guaranteed starter might be coming to an end.
On Reddit's popular /r/Gunners forum, frustration boiled over. "Martinelli gets excuses every game," declared kits_. "Fact is he hasn't been good enough for months." Viveora chimed in, highlighting an inconsistency reminiscent of Alexis Sanchez: "I just get strong Alexis vibes from Martinelli, and we just have to accept the worst with his best."
The sentiment was echoed by JR: "Martinelli shouldn't be a starting winger for Arsenal, I'm sorry. He runs and hustles a lot but his footballing IQ is so poor. Head down running into anything." Others, like iAmWrythm, found his solo ambitions counterproductive: "Martinelli is becoming Sanchez-light with how often he's trying to take the whole team on by himself and it's getting annoying."
Perhaps the most damning criticism came from FPL Dylan: "Martinelli has been beyond wasteful and it's an ongoing issue this season. That poor touch led to a Liverpool counter attack when Arsenal had a numerical advantage in the opposition half."
While Martinelli's undeniable work ethic and attacking threat remain, his recent string of underwhelming performances has fans demanding accountability. With Arsenal's title aspirations still very much alive, Arteta faces a crucial decision: does Martinelli remain a key cog in the machine, or is it time to consider alternative solutions on the wing?
The debate has only just begun, and the pressure is squarely on Martinelli to rediscover his spark. Only time will tell if he can silence the doubters and reclaim his place as a vital part of Arsenal's title charge.