By Tom Finn
October 22, 2014
Arsene Wenger is not worried that he has to play rookie goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez in Wednesday night’s Champions League match against Belgium side Anderlecht saying he has every confidence that the 22-year-old will be up to the task.
Number two keeper Colombian David Ospina signed from Nice just last summer has suffered an issue with his thigh that will see him out for three months while regular keeper Wojciech Szczęsny will miss the match due to suspension.
So far Martinez has made just two appearances for the first team with one of them being a Carling Cup match in 2012 against Reading that saw him let in four goals. He has however since then spent last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday with manager Wenger believing he will be up for the match in Belgium.
“I am extremely confident, because he has experience from Sheffield last year and when he played for us, he did very well. I have no special worry about that,” said Wenger.
“He is two years older now, and has a good experience. He has grown in stature as well.
“We have to make sure that we make it as comfortable a night as we can for him, and that is by defending well as a team.”
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere meanwhile says that the entire squad is behind him.
“He is in our dressing room now so we know him well. He is confident and has grown up quite a lot in the last two years. He learned from Sheffield, playing in a tough league, especially as a foreign keeper.”
“We see him train every day, what he can do and we are confident he will be ready.”
When asked about Ospina Wenger said: “Ospina came to us injured after the World Cup, it took him two months to play again.”
“I had to bring him on against Galatasaray without a warm up and being prepared, so he had a recurrence of that injury.
“It means he is out for two to three months. Now we have to be really careful because it is a recurrence of a thigh injury, which is very difficult. It is a long-term injury.”
Arsenal could really use a positive result after having lost 2-0 against Borussia Dortmund and Wenger is well aware of the threat from Anderlecht adding: “We have enough experience to know Anderlecht will be a fierce battle, so let’s focus on our performance and if we produce the quality of performance we know we can, then we have a chance to win this game and that is what we want to achieve of course.”