Kieran Tierney has already shown Mikel Arteta how to avoid Gabriel Martinelli issue at Arsenal

Mikel Arteta dropped a rather surprising hint about Gabriel Martinelli and Kieran Tierney following Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United.

Whilst the latter missed the trip to St James’ Park, the 19-year-old was restored to the starting XI for the first time since the 1-1 draw with Fulham and rewarded his manager’s faith with a confident display.

Martinelli was one of Arsenal‘s standout players on Sunday afternoon and capped off an impressive performance with an assist for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal to double the lead.

Interestingly, the Brazilian wonderkid had a spell out of the side following the goalless draw with Manchester United at the end of January.

And his return to the side and subsequent increased game time has coincided with Tierney‘s absence, with the Scotland defender having missed the last seven matches in all competitions through injury.

Speaking after the win over the Magpies, Arteta hinted at a slight problem in the link-up play between Martinelli and Tierney, suggesting the teenager benefitting from Granit Xhaka filling in as a makeshift left-back.

“Yeah, it is a connection there,” the Gunners boss told reporters. “I think having Granit behind him helps him in a way because he’s more in the line, in the last line, on the left when he is more comfortable.

“With Kieran it’s a little bit different.

“Those relationships we have to feel.”

At 3pm today until 11:59pm on Monday, all sports channels across the entire Reach network, including, will join the boycott of social media as part of the campaign against online hate.

So far this season players at all of the capital’s top-flight clubs have been subject to horrendous abuse – from Arsenal’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Willian to Tottenham’s Son Heung-min, Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Reece James to Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.

No dressing room has been spared this disgusting plague. Enough is enough.

That is why the Premier League, FA, Kick It Out and Women’s Super League have been joined by clubs up and down the country as well as organisations from cricket, rugby, cycling and horse racing in staging the boycott. Above all they want the social media platforms to take more responsibility for keeping hate out of our sport.

As journalists this is not a decision we take lightly but we believe it is important that Reach titles add their voices to the calls for greater action against the epidemic of online hate and be a force for good in the communities we serve.

As the nation’s biggest sports publisher we will of course continue to create the outstanding sports content – from Premier League to local matches – for which we are famous. We just won’t be sharing this content on social over the weekend.

Our news accounts will also continue to share the biggest breaking news this weekend, including covering the impact of this boycott.

There is a simple way for Arteta to avoid this issue when Tierney is available for selection again and that’s by making one small tweak to his lineup.

Instead of playing Martinelli as a left-winger in front of the Scotland international, he could just ask the Brazilian to operate as the central striker and replicate a lethal partnership that fans got a glimpse of last season.

Martinelli certainly benefitted from Tierney’s pinpoint crossing to help himself to a couple of goals in the Europa League during the group phase against Standard Liege and Vitoria.

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