Mikel Arteta has hailed “respectful” Gabriel Martinelli for seizing his chance in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Newcastle.
Gunners boss Arteta also hopes the Brazilian forward will now push on after notching a fine strike in Saturday’s comfortable home win over the sorry Magpies.
Bukayo Saka opened the scoring before trudging out with a worrying thigh issue, but his replacement Martinelli sealed a vital Premier League win with a clinical finish.
And now Arteta has backed the 20-year-old to rediscover his best form after an indifferent run.
“It is a big moment and I’m especially happy for him,” said Arteta.
“Because how he behaves, some players are respectful when you make some decisions, and some are very respectful and patient, but at the same time he’s really pushing and challenging.
“It makes it harder because he deserves more, but hopefully he can push forward from here.”
A delighted Martinelli admitted he must keep on biding his time for chances in Arteta’s side, with concentration and focus coming to the fore.
“I need to be patient, and if I play 10 or 20 minutes, I have to play well and be ready,” Martinelli told Arsenal’s official club website.
“I thought I would go with my head but I managed to finish when the ball came, so I’m very happy to have scored.”
Winless Newcastle could not even be inspired by new boss Eddie Howe’s first appearance on the touchline having recovered from a bout of Covid-19.
The league’s basement club will now take on Norwich next in a massive relegation scrap.
And former Bournemouth manager Howe admitted the Magpies have a big job on their hands.
“It’s difficult enough when you’re fighting for points in the Premier League,” said Howe.
“But with a big deficit it is very difficult.
“We all want to get that first win as quickly as possible.
“We have to look at the next game as a very important game, and we have to give everything in the match to win it.”