Arteta could name a new front four after his latest comments

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has had to leave one of his most important players on the bench for much of the season, but with a number of attacking players in top form, he could well shuffle the pack to accommodate all of them.

While Gabriel Martinelli has been tipped to get his chance down the middle after the club failed to bring in a centre-forward in January, whilst allowing both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Folarin Balogun to leave, but the manager may now have other ideas.

He may well opt to name all of Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Martinelli all in the same line-up after he recently claimed that the English midfielder Emile could play as a number 9.

He said (as quoted in the Metro): ‘He can play as a left winger, he can play as a left attacking midfielder, right attacking midfielder and he can play as a nine — very, very well I think,’

This news shouldn’t come as a shock however, as those with a long memory may remember that he has already given Smith Rowe a chance as the forward previously, replacing Alexandre Lacazette against Man City previously when we were trailing 2-1.

With just Eddie Nketiah and Laca our only two senior options in the squad at present, it wouldn’t be too big a shock if alternatives were given the chance to play through the middle before the term was out, and considering that Emile is currently our top scorer this term, it could well make sense.

Should Emile be ahead of Gabi for the central role given he has proven to be the more clinical so far this term?


Tags Emile Smith Rowe


      1. you mean the same amount of goals as our present high-priced Striker has in 16 starts(18 app), so I don’t give two shits if the last one deflected off his d***, let alone his back

  1. Some fans have been saying this since the start of the season, play ESR or Pepe as CF because our current ones/one couldn’t hit the side of a bus.

  2. Personally I don’t think it’s the right time to try unforced changes, whether that’s Marti, Pepe or ESR in the 9, giving Patino or Hutchinson a start or moving Ben to right back

    We have a settled team playing well together and getting results at the moment with position for position cover on the bench/in the squad, as long as they are all fit, healthy and available we should always start with an 11 that started the game before in my opinion

    But of course that’s Mikel’s call

      1. Not really Rashid80?, he scored a few goals for Unai early in the League Cup and Europa but never made a League start until Freddie took over temporarily until Mikel arrived, he started his League goals count under Freddie and carried that on under Mikel until his serious injury

        But there is no doubt Marti could play down the middle if that’s what was needed at some point this season

  3. Agreed, the only thing I would say is that if it’s the plan for one of them to play CF once Laca leaves then I’d rather have them starting to learn ASAP.

  4. Lacazette is a team player and loyal. However, he hasn’t got the talents and options for a total playmaker. The fact that he continues to be featured as a starting 11 is not justified. There are players on the bench who now are in more form than him. At least 3 players and counting.
    The four players earmarked look ok. That should make Laca rest and come in when required.

  5. I’m not sure that’s the plan PJ-SA, I reckon we will buy at least one 9 in the summer, possibly two but in any event I don’t think it’s the right time to think about what happens if/when Laca or anyone else leaves, we’ve got a job to do right now with the players we’ve got right now

      1. It wasn’t easy in January PJ-SA and more time in the summer won’t make it much easier but there are good ones out there and I’m sure Edu and his team are working on it now, particularly now knowing that Auba has gone

        Fitting into our squad is just as important as goals record and all round ability, making it even harder but I think we will find a couple when the time is right

        They may not be the big names that fans are clamouring for though but we’ll see

  6. I don’t think this is the time to use Smith-Rowe as a 9, yes he’s a clinical person but the EPL offers more than that,
    Can Smith-Rowe ward off the big defenders?
    Is he good in Ariel duels?
    He isn’t too good with long range shots,
    He and Saka are the best with short passes,

    So IMO, I would prefer he’s placed on the left, with Lacazette replacing Ødegaard,
    Ødegaard is a fine player, presses fine, doesn’t shoot that much, great passes but with Lacazette out and no like for like change, the midfield would be in trouble,

    As for Pepe, I think he needs to be lectured, against Brentford, he was clueless, didn’t even know where to stand for tackles,

    IMO Nketiah should leave this minute.

    1. Winning aerial duels am not so sure , martinelli is best suited I have seen him score . Imo smith is better off at the wings

  7. Personally, I’ve seen the tight space footballing qualities in Smith Rowe for him to play well as a CF in an attack based team like Arsenal/Man City/Barca long before now.I wonder why it took Arteta so long. Pepe can’t cant play in this team’s CF role IMO because he doesnt press nor link up well.

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