At times of trouble, hope is clung onto wherever possible.
Whether that comes in the form of a change of tactic, the likelihood of winning the next game or by making one simple switch in the team lineup, there has to something to stop the rot. At Arsenal, we’re looking for anything we can get.
Being crushed by an Aston Villa side who, let’s not beat around the bush, have a more exciting midfield for attacking purposes than we do, as well as a forward line that was interchangeable and fluid in their running, is the simple matter of it.
Alexandre Lacazette and Willian were so bad it was almost comical, leaving the hopes of fanbase resting, however dangerous a ploy it may be, on the shoulders of Gabriel Martinelli. A 19-year-old who will remain sidelined for the rest of the year with a long-term knee injury.
Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has taken a similar viewpoint while speaking to Football Insider.
"“I think Martinelli is the one, I really do. Martinelli was sensational when he came in last season,” he said. “He is a real handful – strong, direct and reminds me of the Brazilian Ronaldo.“The way that he picks up the ball and runs at goal is phenomenal. Players tend to get long-term injuries and then come back and pick a niggle up somewhere else. He will need time to get back into the swing of things.”"
There will be no sudden fix when Martinelli returns, which Campbell is aware of, but there is no denying his talent and the impression he made in such a short space of time at the club. His ability to retain possession and still be dangerous when running with the ball is one of the many traits Arsenal lack.
Such a static front line needs invigorating in some way, and it’s the aggressive, diverse movements of Martinelli that will go someway to ailing our wounds.
But this is a situation we’ve been in countless times before. During Unai Emery’s tenure, he was given a let-off for months when Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney were out injured, but their returns did little to prevent failings from his part.
William Saliba was supposed to be the defensive saviour, and he’s yet to kick a ball competitively. It’s a risky path the tread when so much is expected of one individual. Let alone one who is 19 and missing around nine months of action.