What a mistake 🙀 🙀 – I taught Emiliano Martinez how to save penalties at Arsenal, but I couldn’t save him from leaving revealed by Arsenal Staff

Martinez’s former goalkeeping coach says Argentina hero is ‘a typical down-to-earth family man’ who just ‘loves being a goalkeeper’

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Gerry Peyton can’t take any credit for his post-penalty save dance, but the former Arsenal goalkeeping coach’s handiwork was everywhere you look during Argentina’s tango to a third World Cup crown.

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Emi Martinez was outstanding throughout the tournament but came into his own in Argentina’s shoot-outs against the Netherlands in the last eight and in Sunday afternoon’s epic finale against France.

Martinez’s ability to get inside the head of those waiting to take their spot kicks was as impressive as the crucial saves which turned the tides of those contests in Argentina’s favour.
“When it comes to a shoot-out, he’s waiting to make saves – he’s waiting to be a hero,” says Peyton.

“A lot of the countries have analysts so there will be lots of information given to Emi as a result. But you still have to act on that.

“Look at him physically – when I was working with him as a teenager, you could see that his power and his technique were extraordinary.
“Take a look at that first penalty he saved in the shootout against Holland, he’s able to process information so quickly.

“His brain picks up the movement of the run, then he looks at the body angle of [Virgil] van Dijk and then once he has given that information to his muscles and his tendons, his technique pushing off on his right leg means he gets there so quickly.

“We would work on everything when he was at Arsenal. He was with me for a long time, seven years altogether and we worked on every aspect of being a goalkeeper. Penalties, crosses, reading situations from angles, long shots. We worked through thousands and thousands of situations and scenarios.

“To see what he has achieved now is just remarkable.” Equally astonishing is the fact that this World Cup winner – not to mention Copa America champion in 2021 – hasn’t had the gilded football upbringing bestowed on many of his team-mates.

This, after all, is a player who spent part of the season after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on loan with Rotherham United. His first professional appearance in this country was for Oxford United back on the final day of the 2011-12 season. Port Vale stuck three past him.

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