Out of all the players at Aston Villa, you wouldn’t have expected Emiliano Martinez to be the one letting the side down in the Premier League.
Although the Villans were already a goal down at the start of the second half against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Sunday (5 November), the game was pretty much over when Martinez, 31, completely botched an attempt to save Orel Mangala’s attempt at goal from outside of the penalty area.
Leon Bailey had just come on to replace Nicolo Zaniolo to add some cut and thrust to a struggling Villa attack but any momentum that could have been built up after Unai Emery’s half-time team talk was killed off in the 47th minute.
Martinez has just been named as the best goalkeeper in the world after winning the Yashin Trophy and finishing 15th in the running for the Ballon d’Or award.
But surely the best goalkeeper win the world would have done a better job at keeping out Mangala’s effort?
As seen in footage on Sky Sports Premier League on Sunday, Martinez seems to go to save Mangala’s shot with the wrong hand, leading to the ball just going up in the air and then dropping back down and over the goal line.
It was a bit of a tactical meltdown all-round by Aston Villa.
As seen in the image below, Mangala was afforded way too much space on the edge of the penalty area and you would have thought that after Ola Aina opened the scoring from outside the box in the first half, a bigger effort would have been made to stop the same happening again,
Kamara has spotted the danger and started to close down Mangala, but there’s a good 10 to 15 yards between him and the Forest goalscorer.
He’s so far away that Kamara is given time to get his feet right, tee up the shot and fire it in at goal before the Villa midfielder has any impact.
Now, Martinez could argue that his line of sight is impeded by the three or four Villa players between him and the ball but there’s so much distance in the shot that he should be able to get his head around where it’s headed.
And he does that and dives the right way and he even gets to the ball.
In the zoomed-in image below, you can see Martinez try to make the save with his left hand when it would have made way more sense for him to go with his right hand – or even both of them.
Due to him using his higher arm, he doesn’t get any purchase to push the ball up and over the goal or wide of the target to prevent Mangala’s shot from going in.
As a result, it loops up and back down just a couple of yards behind him and into the goal.
Martinez conceded two long-range efforts at the City Ground and while the first one could have probably been saved, the second one definitely should have been.
It’s a view shared by former Birmingham City striker Clinton Morrison.
“It’s the goalkeeper’s [Emiliano Martínez] mistake and he has got to do a lot better,” said the Sky Sports pundit while speaking on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra on Sunday, as quoted on the BBC Sport website (3:10pm).
“I think it’s a good strike from Orel Mangala. Martinez should have gone with his other hand.”
Morrison’s faced off against enough goalkeepers over the years to know what they should and shouldn’t be doing and Martinez will no doubt be disappointed with that effort from Mangala.
Villa’s outfielders didn’t do anything to try and rectify the Argentina goalkeeper’s blunder but still, you’d have thought that if anyone in the team was going to step up, it would be the so-called best goalkeeper in the world.
In other Aston Villa news, this £216,000-a-week player was blasted for his “worst” performance in the loss at Forest.