Emiliano Martinez, his time to shine for Argentina


In the first part of the goalkeeper articles, we looked at why Franco Armani should keep his starting spot for the Argentina national team as we now look to why it should be Emiliano Martinez in goal.

Emiliano Martinez has arguably been the best Argentine goalkeeper since the end of last season. Not necessarily only in terms of numbers and clean sheets but also in terms of overall play. His reflexes, goal distribution and penalty saves have made him stand out.

Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni does not have any friendly matches to test out players in key positions but that does not mean it’s a bad thing. Current national team goalkeeper Franco Armani played his first match for Argentina at the 2018 World Cup and has kept his spot as the starting goalkeeper. However, for World Cup qualifiers, sometimes form trumps experience.

Martinez left Arsenal on loan a few teams throughout the years to gain experience and regular playing time. While it was in the second division in England, Martinez received his first opportunity for Arsenal late last season after starting goalkeeper Leno was injured. Martinez took the opportunity and ran with it.

Winning both the FA Cup and Community Shield, Martinez was not content in remaining second choice for this season and joined Aston Villa where immediate results were a success. As mentioned in the previous article, current goalkeeper Franco Armani hasn’t necessarily put a foot wrong but he hasn’t looked full of confidence.

At times poor positioning has resulted in difficulties in stopping a rebound and his ball distribution doesn’t appear to be at the same level as Emiliano’s. While coach Scaloni at times often plays with the likes of Lucas Ocampos who is quick on the wing, faster ball distribution by Martinez could lead to a better or sharper counter attack.

Penalties are also another department which sees Martinez do better than Franco Armani. While no one can truly blame a goalkeeper for not stopping a penalty, a large reason for Argentina going far in recent tournaments have been because of Sergio Romero’s heroics stopping penalties. Be it against the Netherlands in 2014 or against Colombia in 2015 at the Copa America, having a great penalty stopper and not having a good penalty stopper can easily be the difference between a team advancing in the tournament or being eliminated.

In regards to age, time is more on the side of the Aston Villa man. At 28, as a goalkeeper, Martinez is entering his prime and Argentina could benefit from that. Giving him the reigns now as the starting goalkeeper for Argentina could see him potentially hold on to the spot, should current form allow, until the 2026 World Cup where he would 34 years of age.

Faster reflexes, more command in the penalty area, a better penalty stopper and going out for the ball when a cross comes in are areas which Martinez is arguably better than Armani. A lack of experience may or may not play a factor but the likes of Javier Mascherano had zero experience with the first team before being given a chance with the senior Argentina team. Not comparing Mascherano to Emiliano as both are two completely different cases but we have seen situations with the Argentina national team where experience doesn’t play a factor.

We have seen Emiliano shine against the very best the Premier League has to offer. And while the South American leagues are respectable, Martinez has already provided several note worthy saves both for Arsenal and Aston Villa. Enough to show that he is ready to compete not only in the Argentina squad but also for the starting position.

Should coach Lionel Scaloni decide to start Emiliano Martinez instead of Franco Armani, it could easily give the team a potential boost with his demand of the penalty area. We’ve seen Emiliano Martinez wear pressure like diamonds and Argentina can use a real gem as the starting goalkeeper.


  1. Hopefully soon enough Argentina NT starts to play players who are in form and not on basis of their past or clubs and hopefully soon the likes of Armani, Otamendi (Utmost respect to them for their services to NT till now) are phased out and replaced by likes of romero,Senesi and Musso or Martinez. If not for injuries then Foyth would have surely started as RB for NT in these World cup Qualifiers and most like Pezzela (if not injured) would have Partnered Quarta Martinez instead of Otamendi in these qualifiers . Hopefully Argentina NT qualify for WC 2022. Atleast Scaloni is calling the players like Lo celso, Palacios , Emiliano Martinez , Joaquin Correa, Guido Rodriguez and Lucas Alario and he might start them as starters sooner or later if it was some other local coach like Tata Martino or Bauza then these players(mostly europe based) would have never been selected even as substitutes in National team and those coaches would play the likes of Milton Casco, Meza and Salvio etc. as starters or even call as substitutes. So compared to those type of coaches Scaloni is much better and the most important thing is that Scaloni learns from his mistakes while in the past some coaches were even reluctant to even think that they made a mistake in team selection or team formation.

    • Sampaoli was a disaster for us but we must never forget that he sacrificed a huge pay to work for us almost freely comparatively. Also the time he took the job was insane and chaos thanks to the previous coaches. Of course he got flaws but we expected too much from too little time. It’s Bielsa foundation and Sampaoli’s smart continuation was the reason for Chile’s success and it took nearly 8 years for that. Guys like Pochettino who is without work for a long time not even giving any one hope for our NT. Sampaoli made a huge sacrifice financially. We must never forget that. He must have continued to work with peace at least for some time.

    • You are calling him the disciple of sampaoli, criticizing him and also expecting scaloni to chop and change the team every other game like sampaoli… You are making contradicting comment.. He is trying to give stability to team by sticking to same playing 11(also making change like in form nico in place of ocampos).. Just stop your nonsense view and try to understand the logic behind sticking to same playing 11…even in clubs where more than 40-50 matches are played in a year, the coaches stick to same playing 11 as much as possible only making small changes on the basis of form or injuries.. In NT where you play 10-11 matches a year its disastrous if you cannot find a set of playing 11..so well done to scaloni.. Regarding some small changes, players with better performance gradually will cement their place in the team

  2. As I’ve said before this is the weakest Argentina national team in ages. The quality level is just not as good as the past Argentinian national team. And in terms of talent this is the weakest Argentina national team in decades. Youth team success was what made the Argentina national team stay at the top level since the turn of the 20th century…If nothing changes I doubt Argentina qualifies for the next world cup.

    Most likely outcome in CONMEBOL WCQ:

    1. Brazil
    2. Uruguay
    3. Colombia/Ecuador
    4. Ecuador/Colombia
    5. Argentina/6.Chile/7.Paraguay/8.Venezuela (Tossup for the Playoffs)
    9. Peru
    10. Bolivia

    • Kydalthood this weakest Argentina team had beaten Bolivia after 15 yrs.. this weakest team currently no 2 in the WCQ.. haven’t Messi goal disallowed they would have 3 win out of 3..so called over hyped Brazil struggle to bear venezuela..

    • Honestly kid, you used to be the NT’s most ardent defender (to the point of fanaticism) and now you are so critical of the team it borders on trolling! Honestly man try to find a happy medium.
      Brazil ahead of Argentina I can understand, even if it’s very debatable considering how Argentina outplayed them out of the park during their last friendly, but to put Uruguay (who got trounced by Ecuador who were in-turn beaten by Argentina 2 months ago) and Colombia (who got their butts handed to them by Uruguay) ahead of Argentina is just silly, or are you just trolling?
      What is also silly is trying to predict the outcome of the WCQ after only 3 games.

      Quote : “And in terms of talent this is the weakest Argentina national team in decades”

      Depends on what you mean by “talent” because the way I see it when it comes to forwards (Dybala, Lautaro, Icardi, Alario, the 2 Correas, Buendia, N.Gonzalez and Ocampos), midfield (Celso, Paredes, De Paul and possibly Palacios/Dominguez) and GKs (Musso, Martinez, Ledesma) this is one of Argentina’s most talented squads. Heck even the defense is full of potential world beaters if things go right for them.

      Quote :
      “Youth team success was what made the Argentina national team stay at the top level since the turn of the 20th century”

      Nope Argentina’s most successful period is during the mid 80s to early 90s (WC, 2 copas and 1 confederation cup) where Argentina’s youth teams weren’t doing that well.
      During Argentina’s most successful youth period (97-07) the NT has won absolutely nothing at the senior level.
      What makes a NT successful is smart coaching and stability within it’s federation. Scaloni by himself isn’t all that convincing but Scaloni accompanied by Ayala, Samuel and Aimar seems to be doing the trick thus far. The AFA was and will always be corrupt, but alteast for now ,after the debacle that was the previous AFA management, things seem to be stable and I say we have ourselves atleast until 2022 before Tapia’s AFA shows it’s true corrupt colors.

    • I know kydultass you are diehard Brazil or Ronaldo supporter.. You are just here to criticize Argentina and Messi.. I have followed Argentina since Maradona days.. In 1994 wcq even with Maradona we got to the worldcup playing qualifiers against Australia.. These qualifiers in South America are always tough.. Team is doing perfectly fine especially with new players.. If scaloni can continue with same players for next 2 years and small changes in between we can become unstoppable.. But you don’t care for this as your mission here is to spread hatress

  3. This continuity of Armani for the sake of stable backline is false, our defence is weak and gets exposed against better strikers, amiron proved it, against European teams we will concede 4-5 goals with Armani and this back 4
    Scaloni has to fix it, look at Brazil they have already tried 2 goalkeepers in qualifiers so this is a lame logic,
    We should make a solid cb pair imo Romero -pazella should be the duo, rb foyth, lb tagliafico (even though he is yet to show his real worth in nt jersey)
    Lautaro should be dropped for alario since lautaro is having poor form + his first touch and ball control has become horrible nowadays
    Lastly, no matter how many excuses afa and scaloni gives truth is that Lord armani is playing because local favouritism, internal politics and media pressure there can be no footballing logic to start a shaky below average gk

  4. As per current form, the next Copa squad should be-

    GK: Emiliano, Andrada, Armani ( considered him for his previous exp.)
    Defenders: Fyouth, Montiel, LMQ, Otamendi, Kanneman/Pazzela, C. Romero, Taglafico, Lisandro Martinez
    Mid: Paredes ( for Exp..), Di Paul, Lo Celso, Palacios, Guido Rodriguez, Alexandro Pappu Gomez, Lucas Ocampos

    Attack: LM10, LM10 lite ( Lautaro I meant), Dybala/ Aguero, Alario, Nicolas Gonzalez.

    But the irony is- Scaloni would
    drop Pappu, take Nico Dominguez or Roberto Perreyra
    drop C. Romero, take Medina
    drop Lisandro take Acuna
    and his 1st choice would be The great LoRD Armani.

    after Copa from this squad,

    Armani, Otamendi should be dropped; based on Performance, Guido and Pappu can be axed or continued with… in place of them Musso, Balerdi/ Senesi, In place of Guido I want Battaglia or Buendia and in place of Pappu, a new striker like Gio Simeone can be considered.

    I don’t see a place of Nico Dominguez with his all average performance …If Paredes increases his work rate he might be continued…

    The final consideration is their Fitness.. it is very hard to get all the key players fit in the right time… 2018 WC, injuries of Lanzini and S. Romero costs us in the big margin, we got two Lords- Enzo Perez and Sir Manuel Lev Armani in their place respectively

  5. Haha And We think ARGENTINA Will win 2022?😅
    With this Fuckin’ AFA
    They don’t call a top striker of Europe , Mauro Icardi! Because of Family Issue ! I don’t know that is his family or personal matter so why this get into sports?
    Striker like him they never deserve!
    Icardi You should play for Italy!

    • Icardi is not the top striker of Europe he rarely plays in PSG. He has no chance against Mbappe, Neymar and Di Maria to be selected in PSG front three

      • the guys who ask for Icardi, I am sure they don’t watch matches LIVE.. Icardi is a dead wood… He doesn’t deserve a place… He never presses, no coordination with midfield.. all he wants is a tap in possible through ball or cross …

        Lautaro without scoring is not that bad, at least he makes the defence busy always and also his linking up is good so far … and We have good striker like Alario who is also good in the air… just need a proper rotation plan between them, in the last match, Scaloni made the change in very late…

  6. I can’t blame Scaloni only…there whole Team Management and AFA is involved.
    Macro Icardi….because Icardi married Girlfriend of one of the Argentine National Team Football Star and friend of Lionel Messi….. Ezequiel Lavezzi. So I am not sure he’ll ever be called again….however I have read a lot of articles about the issues of Icardi and AFA.
    Anyways, Scaloni should give chances to Emiliano and Alejandro Gomez at least. He can try and go for few changes in the playing 11. I feel 4-4-1-1 will be good…GK- Emiliano, Lisandro Martinez in place of Tagliafico, Nehuen Perez in place of Otamendi, Martinez Quatra and Leandro Balerdi in place Gonzao Montel. Nicolas Gonzalez as a LW, Lo Celso in place of Peredes, De Paul as a RCM, Lucas Ocampos RW.
    Alejandro Gomez AM and Messi should start as a Lone Striker. If Alejandro doesn’t play then Scaloni should go with 4-4-2…Joaquin Correa in place of Lautaro and Messi.

  7. When Brazil can even test with Aderson instead of having proven number one, Argentina can not test with proven better goal keeper to replace Ok type Armani. Ridiculous! When Brazil defeat Peru easily, peru are still huge panic for Argentina! They can have only 5 on target shots agains Paraguye! But they say we have best attack at front! Conceding goal in almost every game but still argue that our goal keeper doing great!

  8. Argentina always do stupid thing like leaving the best player out of the starting lineup or refusing to hire the best available coach.

    That’s the main reason Argentina NT is getting worse and worse.

    We played ugly football after 2010’s humiliation, but we could win some games under Sabella.

    Now, we can’t even find a win with ugly football. Sad.

    • Argentina doesn’t feel like they are not luky is because of armarni that’s martinez place I’m very sorry for argentina if the playing armarni for next games they are loosing because this guy curse the team they coach staff better take him away if they want argentina to win the next games because the nature is not in favor of armarni they want Emiliano Martinez period

  9. Nice post Roy, better than previous one 😜 ! Thank u! & Best of luck Emi..ur time will definitely come soon….
    Anyway, I became really scared when I saw Armani’s face & body language during game! I don’t know why!!
    At last..we the fan only want one thing, whoever plays, we just want to see Argentina’s win, thats it.
    Thank u all!

  10. Confirmed the presence of the Benfica defender, Argentina will visit Peru with : Franco Armani , Montiel , Martínez Quarta , Otamendi , Tagliafico ; Rodrigo De Paul , Leandro Paredes , Giovani Lo Celso ; Lionel Messi , Lautaro Martínez and Nicolás González .

    • Nice to see Gonzalez gonna start on left. This would make Correa and Ocumpas give their everything when they would get chance again. Good competition

  11. why Armani,when Argentina have Musso and Emi Martinez like GK?
    Why AFA avoiding Papu Gomez? who was the best playmaker in SereA last season.Why they are avoiding varsetile talented player like Lisandro Martinez,Who is doing great with Ajax?AFA even know about Buendia?who was one of the top 3 chance creator in EPL last season

    • After Musso’s last injury he was not considered to be in full shape to be called back. He just started playing again and when he gets in a groove again he will probably be called.

      Scaloni is concerned with peaking the team in time for Copa America right now which are in plans for being played at home in Argentina in front of full crowds. With just three official matches and possibly only two warm ups remaining till then, he is not concerned with disturbing the chemistry – considering that 60% of his back line (armani / montiel / martinez quarta ) have very strong familiarity.

      Not sure where the idea of AFA avoiding Papu Gomez is coming from. He is in the squad now. It has been clear for a while that Argentina has huge problems creating chances through packed middles. Since his day 1 against Iraq it has been Scaloni’s holy grail search to find a set up that can instead generate danger from wide while keeping the wide channels locked down – hence even the Gonzalez experiment recently. With that in mind you can see why he is not yet in full favor of trying to play with two playmakers like Messi and Gomez in the middle. Maybe you mean to ask – why not abandon the wide areas altogether and punch it through the middle. That is a question of coaching philosophy only.

      While Lisandro Martinez might be talented, it is a stretch to say he is doing great at Ajax. He is doing better than ok so far. Ajax consider him a back up CB, back up LB, back up midfielder in exactly that order. The position that most fans on this site wish for him is something that not even Ajax use him in for well over a year. Plus as mentioned above, the focus of Scaloni’s experimentation is focused on the wide areas. There is very little chance of him adding another layer of experimentation right in the middle of the team when he seems to have found decent balance between – parades, lo celso, de paul, dominguez, palacios.

      Buendia was well considered in the youth teams. There were rumors very early on about attitude problems with him, but that may have changed. Even then, right now thankfully that is not a huge need and we may still see a call up for him.

      • > ….Scaloni’s holy grail search to find a set up that can instead generate danger from wide while keeping the wide channels locked down …… you can see why he is not yet in full favor of trying to play with two playmakers like Messi and Gomez in the middle. Maybe you mean to ask – why not abandon the wide areas altogether and punch it through the middle. That is a question of coaching philosophy only.

        Great point. I often make the mistake of focusing players instead of tactics. Totally makes sense the way you put it. With this said, we have incredible 9’s with Aguero, Martinez, Dybala, Alario, and central mids like Gomez, Lo celso, Messi, Palacios, etc.

        I would focus on optimizing central tactics to take advantage of our surplus of talent instead of focusing on wide at the expense of better players. But i guess that isnt prudent as Scaloni needs to be able to adapt by leveraging other formations when the opposition neutralizes his starting game plan.

        • “I would focus on optimizing central tactics to take advantage of our surplus of talent instead of focusing on wide at the expense of better players.”

          That is a reasonable argument to have. It is ok to criticize the plan by pointing out its pros and cons or not agree with the plan. It is another thing to say ‘there is no plan’ like many here say. That is simply not true to all of us who have been observing him very closely since his start.

          • when you have better option to optimizing central tactics to take advantage of our surplus of talent instead of focusing on wide at the expense of better players then why not abendon the wide area? I will ask this question again and again.

            And instead of using guido as a sub of Paredes why not Scaloni trying Lisandro martinez?Lisandro is btr DM then Guido.
            And you said the chemestry of backline.okay….you mean Armani is better ball distributor thn Emi Martinez?btr ball controller?have Better positioning sense thn martinez?
            And Otamendi is not our old otamendi.He is out of form for so long.Then why not using senior like kanneman though Argentina have Christian Romero who is doing good.

            For doing and organizing plan for Copa then i should say Copa is more important thn WC?if Scaloni want to re organized Squad and formation after copa will it work properly?cause then they have only one year to try new formation and combination.And if after copa coach has been changed then new coach will come with new and different philosophy.It will only harm Argentina and with fans like us.Who is eagerly waiting to lift a worldcup trophy.

            The problem is in Coach.Who are not talented enough to using his best player and find out the best tactics.He using same squad same formation and same tactics again and again.Even he announce the squad one day before game.Why?for opponent coach to understand which tactics and formation scaloni are going to use?We are fade up seeing this over and over again.

            Argentina have so many fan allover the world.And you don’t have idea how we are pissed of seeing Armani instead of Emi Martinez,Papu,lisandro martinez,buendia not getting chance.Using Otamendi,Montial over and over.It hurts mate,its hurt us so much.Our love for Argentina are not less then yours.
            When worldcup come we color the road,house with Argentine flag.
            We love Argentina.

  12. best starting line up for Argentina

    Papu gomez Lucas alario/dybala Messi

    Lo celso ascersiber / lisandro Emi buendia

    N gonzales senesi Pezzella/ Romero foyth

    Emi martinez

  13. This is the best time for Scaloni to experiment as Argentina is looking good they will surely end up in top 3 position in Qualifiers.This is start so he can experiment, towards the ending of Qualifiers if point table became tight he will not have that freedom. Even this is not the best Argentina team.
    Many key players are missing still they will qualify. Aguero, Dybla
    Lamela,Pezella,Foyth,Sarvia ,Acuna are missing and best players like A.Gomez, Alario, J. Correa, Emi Martinez, Di Maria are not starting. There is great depth in this squad they will easily qualify.Brazil and Argentina will easily qualify

  14. I think by time Scaloni will change his GK. For now it’s Armani wheather we like it or not.

    In our eyes Emiliano is better in all aspects. But may be Scaloni feels other way.The Coaching staff is more qualified, I trust Scalonis instinct than ours. Give him time…

    It’s great that finally we have a great GK. Who is looking good in almost all aspects of GKing. Emiliano will eventually make it hopefully.

  15. Folks in South America , howz the Peru political unrest shaping ? Is there a risk of match being cancelled or postponed due to security threats ? I am assuming if match has to be cancelled due to Peru’s internal security issues ,Peru will forfeit points to Argentina.

  16. The reason for Armani, I found somewhere is Menotti … he is strongly River-based.. only bcoz of him the Boca young talent Maradona was ignored in 1978 WC… now he has imposed some strict bindings to take 2-3 players from River Plate and ironically Armani is a must …

    This is 2020… and look at the different part of the world, this sort of attitude and politics can’t win just ruin …

    They have made the greatest player of the game ‘a Joker’ just because your stupidity, You don’t deserve Messsi in a team like this … Even, Spain can’t deny taking Catalunian players for their Glory but here? Shame…

  17. This is more refreshing Roy. Emi Martinez deserves to start between the sticks. I do not know when Argentina had such a complete package in goalkeeping. Emi Martinez is wise enough to understand his role in the team.
    We should always support better talent this is the way to go forward.

    • I guess benitez is clearly not in scaloni’s plans. Though not fair, I guess this won’t hurt us that badly. Finally not that benitez is a big upgrade compared to EMI or musso. Pretty comparable levels. So as long as EMI starts & musso in top3 , team not losing much by benitez exclusion.

  18. Scaloni will take the team only until group of 16. He has no plans whatsoever. Turned Argentina into a Toyota Cressida. It was a Rolls Royce during the Pekerman era flamboyant in every way but just could not reach the finish line due to the mechanic applying mustard oil instead of petrol.
    Then on the Rolls R became Land Cruiser and then a Toyota Corolla and now a Toyota Cressida.
    We can keep staring at the beautiful blue and white stripes but world cup is just a distant dream. Messi will never win it anymore. It’s beyond him.
    Those who think Argentina will win 2022 are only dreaming.
    Argentina can’t walk on water.

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