Gabriel Martinelli has revealed that Arsenal blocked his call-up to play for the Brazil Under-23 side. Martinelli admitted he was keen to join up with Brazil, but Arsenal overruled his decision and told him to stay in north London despite his wishes.
Gabriel Martinelli said “I said that if it was up to me I would play. But we already knew it would be difficult. It was a time when I was starter at Arsenal, and people preferred not to let me go. He [Brazil general coordinator Juninho Paulista] already called me, spoke to me and congratulated me on what I’m doing. I haven’t been called up yet, but I’m very calm about it. We talked a little after he went to the national team. He called me, said that this was the opportunity of my life, that I should give my best because things would go well. He was a fundamental guy in the four years that I spent at Ituano.”
Arsenal striker Gabriel Martinelli is flourishing under Mikel Arteta and his progress at club level has seen the teenager targeted by the Brazilian national team.
Mikel Arteta has told his players they can bring their families out to Dubai for the team’s warm-weather training camp.
Mikel Arteta said “It’s good to go away, the players have been through a lot. The last two-three months have been tough for them so I want to give them a few days off. Then we’re going to go to Dubai, start working and focus on Newcastle. We have to improve quality-wise. We’re very far in terms of what I want in sustaining attacks and being unpredictable in our play, but that’s a process. In the next two weeks, we have longer periods for training and I’ll use them. We need some players back from injury and try our best to improve the team.”
The Gunners do not play again until February 16 and will head to the UAE in an effort to stay sharp during the winter break. The team are due to fly out on Thursday for four days and Arteta has invited them to bring their loved ones with them.
Mikel Arteta criticized the dryness of the pitch, the length of the grass at Turf Moor and blamed it for Arsenal’s 0 – 0 draw with Burnley. The Spaniard did say there were other factors as to why his team couldn’t produce their best for 90 minutes but it all had a ring of deja-vu to it. In April 2019 Guardiola and Man City were in town and battled to a 1-0 victory over the Clarets when Sergio Aguero scored the only goal of the game as City kept up a winning run which eventually carried them to the title.
Pep Guardiola said “The pitch was so dry in the first half and the ball had problems to move. The grass was high, it was an idea from them but even with that we didn’t concede too much.”
Fastforward nine months and Arteta made an uncannily similar point.
Mikel Arteta said “The conditions were difficult, the grass was long, they didn’t put any water on it and that is not a very helpful thing to play football.”
The similarities don’t stop there. Before the game Arteta described Turf Moor as ‘one of the most English grounds.’ Guardiola, after that win over the Clarets in April had said that Turf Moore was the most typical English stadium.