Arsenal supporters were shocked to see their normally reserved manager Mikel Arteta physically heave Gabriel Martinelli to his feet when he was suffering cramp.
During the Gunners’ 2-0 win over West Ham – a game that saw them climb to fourth spot in the table – the Brazilian attacker went down injured on 80 minutes when his side were 1-0 up.
He was treated on the pitch before making his way to the sideline, where his manager furiously ran toward him and ordered the 20-year-old back out to the green, presumably as it would waste time until the final whistle.
Fans reacted to the footage online.
One said: "I know I’m not seeing Arteta force Martinelli back on the pitch to time-waste against ten men West Ham."
Another said: "Arteta teaching Martinelli the dark arts. Go on the pitch and stay on the floor."
A third wrote: "Arteta telling Martinelli to get back on the pitch and lay down with cramp is up there with Diego Simeone chucking another ball on the pitch when Athletico Madrid were once being counter attacked late on in a game they were winning."
Martinelli scored the opening goal at the Emirates before West Ham suffered a huge blow with Vladimir Coufal being controversially sent off.
Alexandre Lacazette had the subsequent penalty brilliantly saved by Lukasz Fabianski, but Emile Smith Rowe secured three points for the Gunners with a superb solo effort.
The game was marred slightly with talk of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being dropped out of the squad for the second consecutive game. The 32-year-old had breached disciplinary measures set by the club.
Arteta refused to provide a date in which the striker – who’s also been struggling for form – will be making a return, saying Lacazette will be having the armband once again: “It’s just to give some continuity to what we did in the last game.
But prematch on BT Sports Martin Keown said his piece on the saga?
"Well it is one hour before what is a really important game," Keown said. "I think he’s anxious to put him behind him.
Can Arsenal maintain their top-four spot come the end of the season? Let us know in the comments section.
"I do feel as if it was a very bold decision to pull the captaincy from Aubameyang. I do feel it could’ve been left until the end of the season because I just fear for Aubameyang and how we get him back onto the field because he’s going to be an important player at some point.
"You don’t have that sort of quality and just disappear from the group. That’s my biggest concern.
"Obviously there’s an appetite for change and he must be a serial offender in terms of the misdemeanours that have gone on off the field but over the years there have been captains who have offended far more than this with ill-discipline and kept the captaincy because they were leaders of men.
"They don’t feel, clearly, that he’s a true leader."
Source: Read Full Article