Arteta gives detailed analysis on Smith-Rowe after impressive Arsenal return against Brentford

Mikel Arteta offered Arsenal’s No. 10 Emile Smith-Rowe a chance to shine against Brentford in the Carabao Cup, and the 23-year-old grasped it with both hands.

He made the most of his moment to shine; he was influential in our 1-0 win against London rivals Brentford to secure a spot in the Carabao Cup fourth round against West Ham.

Mikel Arteta was full of admiration for Emile Smith Rowe after the game, who was starting his first Arsenal game in 499 days; notably, that was his 100th senior appearance.

Arteta stated after the game: “I think he had really good moments in the first half, and the game was much easier for him with the way he was developing with his qualities. But then, with the game we started to play after five or 10 minutes in the second half, he was more struggling.

“Physically, he’s still not ready for 90 minutes. We have to bare in mind that we had four or five players in that field that were subs, and that was a big concern today for us in the line-up, especially because we had seven at Colney that are not fit now.”

He added on the midfielder picking up a knock: “He did; it wasn’t because of that.

“We have to manage his minutes. His load has been a big spike in the last few weeks, and he was struggling to finish the game. The same with Reiss.”

On if Smith Rowe brings something different to the team: “Yeah, he’s very vertical. You see when he’s running with the ball, the capacity he’s got in short spaces, his arriving in the box.

“He’s got different qualities to do that attacking midfielder. It’s great to have him. We need him at his best. Now he’s starting to get some rhythm and minutes, which is great for the team.”

Reiss Nelson, who scored our winner, echoed Arteta’s words, admitting how impressive Smith Rowe was and noting after the game that he would understand his teammate if he (Smith Rowe) had been frustrated not to score considering what a nuisance he was for the opposing defenders. He said after the game, “I am really pleased (for Emile), but I know he’s going to be upset because he done a nice bit of trickery in the box and should’ve scored 100 percent.

“But he’s a great player, great lad, and one of the best players I’ve played with, been through the whole rankings with him, so congrats on your 100th game, mate!”

Smith Rowe demonstrated effort and drive in another game where Havertz did not shine. While the ex-Blue handled the ball with care, our academy graduate handled it like a weapon.

If Smith Rowe and Havertz were auditioning for a spot in our starting lineup, Smith Rowe would be the one to get the job. Did you watch the game? What did you think of our No. 10’s performance?

Daisy Mae


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  1. He couldn’t make diagonal passes as often as Odegaard and De Bruyne usually do from the half-space on the right side of the field, because his weaker foot isn’t as adept as De Bruyne’s

    He’d likely play better in Xhaka’s position, where he can make diagonal passes, cut inside and shoot more often

    Trossard played well there against MLS All-Stars in preseason, so Smith-Rowe must also be more comfortable in that role

    1. Gai, yea he couldn’t make diagonal passes ESR skill set is totally different. Odegard can’t make ESR runs and pace to get into attacking position. I bet ESR will do well in Xhaka’s positions. He still needs match fitness which will come if he plays regularly the signs of a good player are there during Carabao match yesterday.

  2. ESR was playing Odegaard role so it suited him very well. Havertz had and always has more defensive responsibilities as left no 8. Havertz never had pre-season training like he had with Arsenal camp this season so he will recover physically soon enough. ESR can play LW since Martinelli and Trossard are injured. Different player with different attribute. So it’s up to him to shine and help the team forward. Backup players or squad players, it’s time for the such players to perform in time like this. Kiwior and Tomiyasu was solid and Jorginho redeemed himself in midfield. Nketiah wants to play so I prefer him to play as much as possible, tired or not. He will get better as time goes. Fans better calm down. I don’t want any doom and gloom at the club. Let’s fight for all fronts harmoniously.

  3. I think i’d rather have both him and Havertz in the same starting line up while using a sole DM in any of the ones available in our squad if not then a guy like Rice is best to play the box to box role with another DM at centre not to leave us vulnerable. ESR can only come in place of Havertz if we have a back four of CBs like last night to compliment the numerous creativity going forward in Midfield and attack hence no inverted FB like Thomas and Oleks. That said Emile had a nice game so does Kai who excelled in executing their roles in the game. we boast a strong squad now full of top guns. COYG!!!

  4. Remember this was his first Arsenal game for a long time. He starred for the England U21 in winning the Euro’s…..and needs to be given responsibility. Arteta has become even more controlling. Sometimes plant the seeds, water and leave the ‘flowers’ to grow. Flowers ‘know’ how to grow.

  5. ESR is a wonderful player and Arteta will have to manage his minutes to get the best out of him. That said, I would love to see ESR getting minutes in the PL instead of Havertz, ESR has so much to offer.

  6. Got to give ESR more game time, cant let such a good player on the bench. I get that arteta already has his starting 11 but there is no excusing not subbing him on earlier.

  7. ESR is being managed responsibly. He has needed time. If he continues to show to the manager that he can play at a high level without breaking down he will get game time.

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