Villa keeper Martínez on leaving Arsenal, importance of mental health

By Manuel Sánchez Gómez

London, Apr 2 (efe-epa).- Emiliano Martínez made a tough decision last summer when he left Arsenal, where he had spent 10 years, to become the first-choice goalkeeper at Aston Villa.

He left the Emirates with two trophies — the FA Cup and the Community Shield — under his belt. After lifting the FA Cup, he was reduced to tears as he spoke with his family on the phone.

Faced with the prospect of continuing as Bernd Leno’s understudy at the club, he made the leap to Aston Villa where, as a first-choice keeper, he is on the cusp of equalling the club record of 15 clean sheets.

The 28-year-old keeper sat down with Efe for a chat via videoconference, where he talked about the importance of keeping your mental health in check and the possibility that he could debut for Argentina in the Copa America.

QUESTION: You’re in contention for the Golden Glove in the Premier League, did you ever imagine that would be possible?

ANSWER: I always set objectives for the year and I wanted to have more than 10 or 11 clean sheets by the end of the season. It was of my goals to get at least 40 points with Villa. When we made that, we had a look at the club record, which turned out to be 15, so I set that as my objective. We’re close now, and if we reach it, I’ll go for another, which could be the Golden Glove. The reality is you are competing against the best team in the Premier League, which is (Manchester) City.

Q: Why are things working out so well at Aston Villa?

A: The signings fit well with the coach’s system. They didn’t sign too many, rather few actually, which is what the manager wanted. We won the first three or four games and we got to know ourselves on the pitch. There were a couple of blows, of course, as we had some big injuries. We have 10 really important games to go, let’s see how far we can go.

Q: What is Jack Grealish like?

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