Neil Humphreys: Gabriel Martinelli too good for Arsenal
If he continues his current trajectory, Arsenal will struggle to keep rising Brazilian teen
Two Brazilians pulled on Arsenal jerseys yesterday, but only one of them behaved like a Gunner.
He set off on a sprint, his legs pumping like industrial pistons as he thundered towards goal.
No one was going to stop him, not even his own brain.
And David Luiz got himself sent off.
That is the Arsenal we know and laugh at. Their players are court jesters, bouncing around and falling over for our amusement, which they did in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea yesterday morning (Singapore time).
So Gabriel Martinelli is getting it all wrong.
The kid was a dizzying blur of speed and goalscoring ruthlessness. He's got no idea.
Arsenal will do well to keep him.
The agency sharks must be circling the teenage sensation already, as shocked as anyone that the Gunners have produced a forward that is not cursed with an over-sensitive soul.
As the snow prepares to fall around the Emirates, Arsenal's snowflakes typically appear about now, tottering onto the pitch in their protective swaddles before disappearing down the tunnel until the sun returns in May.
Mesut Oezil is the highest-paid footballer at the club, offering his employers the lowest return on investment since the Lehman Brothers collapse.
Pepe joined Arsenal for £72 million (S$127.2m), a fee that looks increasingly ridiculous after another lacklustre display at Chelsea.
Martinelli out-fought Pepe and out-thought Oezil.
He shamed both men, revealing them to be the kind of overindulged archetypes that have long duped the Gunners.
The 18-year-old reversed the traditional roles of masculinity.
He was a man among wheezing children, running further, tackling harder and leading the erratic veterans to an unlikely draw.
A tale of two Brazilians highlighted a tale of two Arsenals - the old and the new.
The old Arsenal still have their comedic cheerleader in the frizzy-haired Luiz, who has never met a rational decision he could not run away from.
Once Shkodran Mustafi hit a back pass straight to Tammy Abraham, Luiz stepped in as his brain stepped out, chopping Abraham down to ensure a penalty, a Chelsea goal and a red card in one comedy skit.
This was the familiar Arsenal, the one in 10th position, the one with an overpriced squad filled with more prima donnas than the Singapore Lyric Opera.
But in the second half, there was a glimpse of the new Arsenal. As the Gunners cleared a corner, Martinelli broke free.
He had two Chelsea players ahead of him. One fell over. The other looked like he was chasing a feather in a wind tunnel.
Martinelli covered 60 metres in 10 seconds and slipped the ball into the only available space between Kepa Arrizabalaga and the post.
This was not Arsenal. This was an aberration. Martinelli was raised in Sao Paulo, but looked like the maverick who fell to earth, an alien presence.
He is not a first-team regular - indeed there is nothing regular about Martinelli - but his solo effort was his 10th goal of the season.
Of all the teenagers playing in Europe's top five leagues, only Jadon Sancho has been directly involved in more goals.
When Martinelli scored twice in Arsenal's 5-5 draw with Liverpool in the League Cup, he was labelled "a talent of the century". The praise came from Juergen Klopp, who has a fine record when it comes to incubating young players.
Hyperbole is easy with prodigious talent, particularly at Arsenal, where anyone who completes 90 minutes and executes the odd pass is at risk of being called a workaholic.
For every Cesc Fabregas, there have been many more like Mohamed Elneny and Alex Iwobi, who failed to live up to initial expectations.
But Klopp never suggested Iwobi was "a talent of the century" and Elneny never scored against Chelsea with a mesmerising 60-metre dash.
Martinelli already has the attributes to thrive.
Equally adept with either foot, he can fashion chances for others or finish off his own.
He is quick, cunning and comfortable on either flank.
No wonder Mikel Arteta likes him. Martinelli looks like a cerebral attacker from Manchester City, Arteta's previous employer.
In Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's absence, the teenager fills the void. His boundless energy allows him to knit Arsenal's ragged play together.
So Arteta's priorities must change. His first task was to remove the deadwood. The clock is ticking on the careers of Oezil, Luiz and Mustafi.
But that clock will not be as fast as the countdown to catch Martinelli. The race is on to nail down the Brazilian before bigger clubs come calling.
He was too quick for Chelsea.
And to be honest, he looked too good for Arsenal.