Jamie Redknapp has raised concerns about Gabriel Martinelli’s performance following Arsenal’s disappointing defeat at Fulham. Despite a strong start with Bukayo Saka’s early goal at Craven Cottage, the Gunners could not dominate the game, leading to Raul Jimenez equalising and Bobby De Cordova-Reid scoring from a set piece due to defensive lapses.
This defeat marks Arsenal’s first back-to-back losses in the league this season.
Martinelli, who was substituted in the 67th minute following a lackluster display, has struggled to make a significant impact this season, managing only four goal involvements in 18 league appearances.
Arsenal’s recent struggles in the attacking third have seen both Saka and Martinelli finding it difficult to create space due to increased attention from opposing defenses.
Redknapp, speaking on Sky Sports after the match, acknowledged Arsenal’s position in the Premier League title race but singled out Martinelli’s recent form as worrying.
“In wide areas, I certainly think Martinelli needs to do a lot more,” Redknapp commented. “I’ve never had a problem with Saka. Martinelli needs to add more. He got taken off against West Ham, and got taken off again today. That’s not good enough in terms of his performance.”
While acknowledging the challenges posed by teams doubling up on their key wingers, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will need to find ways to reignite Martinelli’s effectiveness. Despite the recent setbacks, Arsenal remains just two points behind league leaders Liverpool, leaving room for a potential turnaround in their fortunes.
Arteta was asked before the Fulham game if his wingers are facing increased pressure and the Spaniard dismissed suggestions they are suffering from that.
“I don’t know, obviously there are a lot of games, but they looked really good, they looked fresh and when you win you don’t look at that. They are young – if they were 35 then maybe it’s a different question. They have a lot of energy, they can keep going, that’s for sure.”
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