Mystery Emi Martinez substitution explained by Unai Emery - as Aston Villa problem revealed

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The reason has been revealed for Emi Martinez’s substitution at Brentford 1-1 Aston Villa and a potential return date has been set for the goalkeeper.

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has revealed Emiliano Martinez was replaced at half time in Aston Villa’s 1-1 draw at Brentford due to illness, not because of an injury. The goalkeeper, who has been suffering from a stomach bug this week, threw up in the changing room at the break and Emery had no choice but to replace him with Robin Olsen.

The substitution surprised everyone as Martinez performed brilliantly in the first half, but it now makes sense as to why he couldn’t carry on. Villa looked shaken after the change and Olsen made a huge mistake just minutes into his appearance - spilling a Kevin Schade header - but he got away with it when the Brentford striker struck the rebound wide.

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“He had a stomach virus and before the match he felt bad but we tried to support him to play the first half,” Emery told the media post-match. “After the first half, he was feeling worse and of course we have players waiting for their opportunity. He was vomiting - no temperature - but his stomach, he was not feeling good,” Emery explained.

It was a shame as Martinez was impressive before his premature exit from the clash, but there is hope he can return for Tuesday’s game against Fulham at Villa Park. Emery couldn’t confirm the Argentine’s availability but was optimistic that a few days should clear up the issue. The head coach also made sure to show his support to Olsen after a shaky showing.

Martinez was visibly distressed after every save, clutching his stomach.Martinez was visibly distressed after every save, clutching his stomach.
Martinez was visibly distressed after every save, clutching his stomach. | Getty Images

“Of course, we know at the moment Emi is fantastic, but it was the moment to help and support Olsen,” Emery said. “We need to be consistent with him as well because we are having some problems with injured players, which is normal. We have to use other players and support them,” the manager continued.

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