To call Josef’s five-game stretch a “slump” would seem to hoist him by his own petard. After all, he scored twice in his lone scoring match in that span. And outside of this five-game stretch, Martinez has only failed to score in seven other games this entire season — an incredible feat in its own right, and one Atlanta United manager "Tata" Martino is quick to point out.
“My advice, maybe not for the fans, but for media, would be to focus on the 20 games in which he has scored goals instead of the last two games where he has not,” Martino said with a smile on his face Thursday prior to training. “We're going to hope he goes back to that this game."
Martinez had a torrid run of form this summer, scoring six goals in June, nine in July, and four more in only three games in August. His friend and teammate Miguel Almiron looked downright perplexed when asked if the Venezuelan's recent struggles were a concern.
“When’s the last time he scored? San Jose? So that’s two games,” Almiron said through a translator Thursday. “We're not worried about that. Josef can score a goal at any moment. The most important thing is that we're a really united group."
Martino agrees that the form and confidence of the group is a higher priority than for any individual.
“I think everyone wants to reach the playoffs in the best form possible for individuals in the team,” Martino said. “The important thing for us is to not look back so much and just focus on these three games that we have still to play. We're still in control of our own destiny and in control of what can happen in the league.”
Martinez will look to get his name back on the score sheet when Atlanta United host Saturday to the New England Revolution (3:30 pm ET | Univision, Twitter - Full TV & Streaming Info). He has four goals all-time in league play against the Revolution, including one in a 1-1 draw at Foxborough in May, and a hat trick in last season's 7-0 blowout at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.