Argentine newspaper Clarín today features a very interesting interview with Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez.
The 27-year-old talked about the tough childhood he had in Mar Del Plata, and the hard path following his move to the Gunners back in 2010.
Before having his first chance to play for Arsenal, Martínez had loans at Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Getafe and Reading. He says that was enough for him, and he threatened to leave the club.
“The first loans were always with the option of returning to the club. When I came back from the last loan to Reading, I said that I didn’t want to leave anymore, that now was my time,” Martínez told Clarín.
“I wanted to be given the chance or if not, yes, leave. I didn’t want to know anything more if they didn’t give me the opportunity. Unai Emery gave me the chance to go toe-to-toe with Leno this season and it ended as it ended.”
Asked why he had so much belief that this would be his year, Martínez said: “The trust. I had come back from Reading where I played very well and felt important. And this season I was able to show at Arsenal the same thing I did at Reading and that’s why things turned out so well for me. Next season I want to start in the same way.”
On what’s next for him, he said: “This is just beginning for me. My goal is to play as much as possible at Arsenal and that’s why when I return I will speak with the coach to decide my future. I went on vacation and turned off my phone so for now I had no contact with anyone.”
The goalkeeper was questioned about the pressure of doing well for the club after so many years waiting for his chance, but he claims this wasn’t a problem for him.
“If you feel pressure at Arsenal, you can’t play. Arsenal have fans all over the world, it’s a super big club and if you think about your surroundings, you won’t make one save. When I start playing I did it like I played all my life at San Isidro of Mar del Plata or at Independiente. I like to play under pressure and perform against the best. When it comes to playing I forget everything.”
With Bernd Leno now coming back from injury, there’s a chance Mikel Arteta could use the German goalkeeper as his first option. When quizzed about this possibility, Martínez suggested he’d rather go play somewhere else then watch from the bench.
“Leno was already recovered for the final and I played the same. We’ll see. I don’t want to go back to the bench and go months and months without playing. I’ll decide the best option for my career.”
Asked to confirm if it means he’d leave the Gunners, he said: “Definitely, yes.”