Alex Scott questions Arteta’s decision to start Odegaard ahead of Smith Rowe

Mikel Arteta made the curious decision of starting Martin Odegaard ahead of Emile Smith Rowe in Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City.

His decision confirmed the fears of some Arsenal fans who felt that Smith Rowe would eventually be sacrificed from the starting XI for the Real Madrid loanee.

Odegaard struggled in his time on the pitch as City kept their early lead to extend their winning run to 18 games in all competitions.

After his fine performance against Benfica, Odegaard was average in the City game, according to Alex Scott.

She was on Punditry duty on Sky Sports and says Arsenal’s struggle in a time that a team like Leicester City is picking up points could be a problem for them.

She then questioned why Arteta started Odegaard ahead of Smith Rowe who has been in fine form when he has played for the club.

She says the next few games will show if the Norwegian is worth keeping beyond his current spell.

“These couple of games when you’ve got Leicester, Burnley trying to pick up points,” she said on Sky Sports as quoted by Express Sport

“The way this season is going with this Arsenal side that are not consistent in their play [it could be a problem].

“Today you’re looking at Odegaard, for me who was bang average, you have to question the decision for Smith Rowe not to be selected ahead of him.

“We are going to see his qualities put to the test in the next couple of weeks.

“Is he good enough to be in this starting XI for Arsenal or is this loan spell going to be a short one?”

Tags Martin Odegaard

11 Comments

  1. Reggie says:

    I think everyone questions starting Odegaard ahead of ESR.

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      Made perfect sense for anyone who actually watches Arsenal. ESR looked knackered lately, and his performances took a slight dip, so a rest was logical, especially given the run of fixtures we have coming up.

  2. Fred Umaka says:

    The manager is under pressure and thinks any new entry is better than the existing ones at his disposal.
    My take is that given the same level of support and belief Smith and Nketiah will prove by far a better decision to take.
    If Arteta does not have faith in Nketiah he should let him go so that his soccer career is not ruined.

  3. ozziegunner says:

    ESR can’t start every game. The bigger error was playing Xhaka and Elneny together; one or the other should have started with Ceballos in midfield.
    Odegaard took up free positions in open areas, but his team mates would not pass to him and when they did there were no forward runners.

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      Completely agree. We can just about get away with one of Elneny/Xhaka starting, but not both of them.

  4. RFrancis says:

    If the last statement is true then there is certainly a “crisis” in the team. If the players are not working together in the interest of the team then the season is over.

  5. Ad says:

    Wasn’t the best game for odegaard but some of these experts need to realise he hasn’t played too much football this season. He has had good loan spells previously . They were however full season. Smith rowe cannot be depended on just yet as he himself has had injury issues in the last two years. Yes it would be great to see him play but he has looked tired in the last game .

    Commentators especially ex players clearly sometimes are dumb. As an ex player you would assume better research on her part regarding odegaard and actually analysing smith rowe in his last game.

    It’s just lazy

    1. Goonerbeall says:

      You need to realise we are not an experimenting but a real team that get points playing well. Emile is fine and not in need of resting it’s the Norwegian who shd be eased in slowly if Arteta knew what he is doing. What about playing kids like Balogun coz Auba is firing blanks. When does he start to see that? Perhaps he will never see that if he could’nt see goal keeper he sold to Villa.

  6. Shine says:

    From my point of view.
    This is the stage where I might test Martin. See how he’s gona take it up against stronger match ups and as well as giving a rest for our wonderful Emile. All players need some kinda of rest if playing in and outs.

    This shows Martin still need abit of time n more authority n chemistry.
    In fact I was surprised Gabriel is not in.
    We really need a few quality rotational players to maintain the long playing matches ahead. That’s what worried me.

  7. Goonerbeall says:

    Its perfectly reasonable to wonder what’s going on at Arsenal. People are questioning Willian, Pepe, Odegaard etc but it’s all wrong. The problem is Arteta. He has no idea of what he is doing. I would replace him with Alladyce who would improve the individuals in that team by playing them with superior tactics. Arteta is learning on duty and we are the losers. There are plenty English managers out there, managers who dont need to apply favouritism to gain respect
    Tell Kroenke to correct his mistake and sack that novice and look around, not abroad for replacement. Dont mind reverting to 1-0 Arsenal coz they knew how to defend.

  8. Emma Upoh says:

    Mikel Arteta seems to be confused in his team selection and is a big flop. Why will he start Odegard ahead of Smith Rowe that is in super form and playing well in the midfield.

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