Arteta admits that Smith-Rowe is “still not there to play 90 minutes”

After struggling to break into the team for the majority of last season due to injuries, Emile Smith Rowe has started getting minutes. He started his first game last week in the 1-0 Carabao Cup win over Brentford and in that game, he showed flashes of his previous brilliance.

The way he was drifting towards Brentford’s box was just brilliant. As fans, we expected him to feature prominently in our game versus Bournemouth, which we won 4-0, but he only got 9 minutes of normal game time.

About his limited game time, Mikel Arteta points out that it is too soon to anticipate more from the 23-year-old, who he claims is still working on a comeback plan.

Arteta said via “I think he had really good moments in the first half, and the game was much easier for him, the way he was developing with his qualities, and the game we started to play after five or ten minutes in the second half, and then after he was struggling more.

“Physically, he’s still not there to play 90 minutes; we have to bear in mind that we have four or five players in that field, and that was big concern for us today in the line-up because we have seven at Colney that are not fit now.”

It’s understandable that the Spaniard is treading carefully with the Hale End graduate. But what’s encouraging is that he hints at him being in his plans and that he wants him to play a significant role in the club in the long run.

Our No. 10 scored 10 goals in 33 league games in his best season for us, which was great. if he can try to reach those levels as the season develops, it will be crucial for us. Emile Smith-Rowe is a top player, and I’m sure we’re as eager as Arteta to see him get back to his best.

Darren N


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    1. Is this a joke or is this a serious comment?

      He’s not fit for 90 mins because he never gets game time even from the bench!!! If he was getting regular 20-30 mins from the bench and the odd start guess what……he’d be fitter.

      Absolute revelation.

      1. Bad idea mate, he’s now getting minutes so it’s good enough at this rate. You have no better idea how to manage injury concerns than insiders so it’s best you leave it to them. His healing process employed by Mikel has nothing to do with not being his signing just what’s best for all parties.

      2. Dude he missed the entirety of last season due to injuries. And even before that he was frequently out by minor ones.

        I think MA is trying to protect him and doesn’t want him to pull another groin injury.

      3. I think a choice between you managing ESR’s playing time or MA and a plethora of fitness experts is a no brainer…..

  1. Yes he is not, in order to avoid a Rosick,Diaby,Santi,Wilsher and Walcott scenarios fans have to respect Mikel’s idea considering his experience towards his team mates listed above. it has worked with Martinelli hopefully it does with ESR, i wished Kieran was patient as well but unfortunately he’s got other ideas and well,…..he’s still revolving in that cycle cos he’s injured again.

  2. Ma just pulled another blopper.. Saka limping of against Lens… Very poor on rotation… He will play him even if he have one leg

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