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'Infuriating': Jesse Marsch insists £17m player Tottenham want to sign didn't play that well at the World Cup
Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

'Infuriating': Jesse Marsch insists £17m player Tottenham want to sign didn't play that well at the World Cup

Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch has commented on the performances of Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez during the World Cup.

Martinez was the man of the moment in the penalty shoot-out win over France, saving Kingsley Coman’s spot-kick and sparking debate with his antics.

The Villa goalkeeper has been linked with a move to Tottenham as they look ahead to replacing his opposite number from Sunday – Hugo Lloris.

Marsch told the Athletic that he didn’t actually think that the £17 million man was actually that good over the tournament as a whole.

Photo by Ercin Erturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Marsch on Martinez

He said: “In talking about doing what you have to to get a result, we should probably chat about Emi Martinez.

“I’m talking from experience here because not so long ago, he played for Aston Villa against my Leeds team and used a few antics to work the clock and subdue the crowd. I mean, it was infuriating, but that’s the point, right?

“His mind games in penalty shootouts seem to give him an edge — and he knows they give him an edge. The gains he gets from those add to the fact that fundamentally he’s a big goalkeeper. In reality, the football goal is massive and you should score just about every penalty you take. But he has this way of making it look and feel very small.

“I actually don’t think Martinez had a brilliant tournament as a whole but to take his save from Randal Kolo Muani near the end of extra time as an example, that ability to make big plays in big moments is exactly where this Argentina team are at with their mentality.”

Marsch spoke out about what he perceived to be Villa’s timewasting tactics during their 0-0 draw with them at Elland Road in October.

It seems he is not a fan of that side of the game but perhaps gives it a grudging respect in terms of its importance to getting a result.

Martinez will not really care about what people say about what he did during the shoot-out as he returns home as a national hero with the World Cup in his safe hands.

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