Martinelli’s World Cup dream comes true

Good morning to all.

The World Cup is just around the corner and the teams are being announced. From Arsenal’s perspective, we have seen Takehiro Tomiyasu named for Japan, despite the fact that he was injured in our win over FC Zurich last week. Obviously that’s a concern, but Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu said:

I heard that it is possible that he will return before the start of the tournament.

Good news for him. After the injury problems he suffered last season, it would be a real shame on a personal level if he missed the World Cup. Especially since he’s started playing a little more regularly this season, even if he’s in a position that causes a lot of pregame discussion when team lineups are released!

Meanwhile, two of Arsenal’s three Gabriels will leave. Jesus always felt like a certainty, and yesterday it was reported that Martinelli and Magalhaes would miss out. However, when the squad was announced, Martinelli was on it. Brazil coach Tite said:

We like the aggressiveness of Martinelli. He is one of Arsenal’s best players, the first ranked in the Premier League. He is good in 1v1, very fast in transitions, he has been keeping a good level.

As fans, we have a tendency to want our players wrapped in cotton and rested so they are fresh and ready for Arsenal. But the other side of the coin is how someone like Martinelli can benefit from going to the World Cup. It’s not easy to brush away everything else about this tournament and as it progresses those themes will need to be highlighted for those of us who talk and write about it, but in this specific context there are obviously footballing benefits for a youngster. player like him.

In the summer, he spoke at Wrighty’s House about how this was basically his dream, telling Ian and Musa Okwonga:

It means a lot. I am trying to do everything possible to go to the World Cup. Ever since I was seven years old, when I started playing football, my dad would tell me ‘When you turn 21, we’ll have the World Cup and you’re gone!’

Every day he said ‘2022, work hard!’

Well, that hard work has paid off. His form and consistency so far this season have been spot on, and you can’t argue against his selection. For a young player to be part of a World Cup squad is something special to them and ultimately Arsenal should benefit from this as they gain experience and confidence from being part of the biggest football tournament in the world. How much he plays remains to be seen, but given what he’s done for us this season, you wouldn’t bet against him making a contribution or two down the road.

As for Big Gabi, there must be some disappointment for him. There has been a lot of talk about William Saliba this season, for very obvious reasons, and Gabriel has also been in the spotlight. There have been some mistakes, but perhaps not enough is said about how strong his association with Saliba is. I can’t say that he knows enough about the center halves that have been chosen to know if Gabriel’s omission should be considered severe, but with his two companions out of it, he will surely feel a bit sad. If we care about the players who will leave, I think we should also consider the ones who won’t, especially if they feel like they’ve missed out.

Speaking of missing out, I still can’t wrap my head around the idea that Ben White might not get selected for England. I don’t think there has been a better English defender in the Premier League this season, and for a manager to ignore form because his game plan is married to giant lumps like Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings, who have been very poor this season in which have played, it just doesn’t make any sense.

Obviously, as an Irishman, I’m not going to stress too much about what an England manager does, but as chairman of Ben White’s Ben White Official Fan Club, I’m taking it personally. Seriously though, it’s ridiculous. He is such a fine player, still vastly underrated by too many people who would like you to think they know something about football and Gareth Southgate would be completely out of his mind not to pick him in my opinion. But well, let’s see.

Finally, for today, you may have heard this on Arsecast Extra, but the official Goodly Morning mug is now on sale. We’ve often been asked for merchandise, so here it is. I believe there are two sizes you can choose from, and all proceeds from these sales will go to charity. As Christmas approaches, we’re giving the money to Great Ormond Street Hospital and Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children here in Dublin, who do amazing work for these children and their families.

I know shipping etc is a bit expensive from some places, and I’ll see if I can do something about it, but every penny made will go to those hospitals. You can get yours here: https://p1r.es/GoodlyMug

Also, as we head into that festive period, remember that you can support other Arsenal fans who run businesses of their own. Now more than ever, small businesses need your support, so if you’re looking for a gift or service, there may be a fellow Gooner who has what you need. Take a look at arsebiz.arseblog.com to see if there is something for you.

Right, if you haven’t had a chance to listen yet, Arsecast Extra is up next, while we on Patreon continue our series of ‘The 30’ Premier League rounds, looking back on all the action from the weekend. Have a good.

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