Opinion: Arteta deserves a lot of credit for Smith Rowe’s England call-up

Emile Smith Rowe has just earned a maiden call-up to the England national team and it is great to see.

The midfielder has absolutely deserved it considering his form in the past month.

Mikel Arteta brought him into the Arsenal starting XI in a time when the Gunners needed a creative midfielder.

Smith Rowe had looked like one of those academy graduates that would flirt with the first team and then settle for a mid-table club.

However, Arteta saw things differently and the Spaniard gave him his Arsenal start before most people thought he was ready.

With Arsenal struggling for form and needing experienced players in the team, Arteta gave Smith Rowe his debut against a tough opponent like Chelsea.

The midfielder grabbed his chance and the rest is history.

He is now one of the most recognisable players at the club, but Arteta’s decision to hand him a start for the Gunners changed his career.

If he had delivered his debut performance in a match against lesser opponents, it may have been downplayed.

However, it was against one of the Premier League big boys and it was a big call from the manager.

Smith Rowe has worked hard to earn his place in the England team, but another manager may have sent him out on several loan spells away from Arsenal by now.

An article from Ime

Tags Emile Smith Rowe Mikel Arteta


  1. Pretty sure if I remember correctly that ESR was only called up due to multiple injuries, not given a chance above fit players based on what was seen at training.

    Also ESR was brilliant long before MA was manager to be fair for those that followed his development.

    Not taking anything away from MA with his continued development which is fantastic but let’s be objective.

    1. Aha, there it is.
      That information has been so so wrong bro.
      All the dates of his injuries, setbacks, and game minutes are all there on net, including the Arsenal’s site, but no instead of making those research folks chose to go down with the lazy route that he only got a chance cus others were injured.
      I’ve posted everything here as a comment before, unfortunately I can’t go into sorting those dates anymore to prove anything anymore.
      Everyone should believe whatever they choose to.

      1. I have been tracking ESR for a while, since his loan spell in RB Leipzig in 2019.

        ESR, SAKA, reiss nelson, AMN, they are all products of the accademy and the manager who should be credited with their success is Freddie. He produced them and got them into the first team. Arteta has done well to nature their talents and bring them to where they are

        1. What manager signed them as youngsters?

          Double checked the injuries, dates etc just to confirm:

          ESR signed in 2010
          MA signed 20/12/19 as manager.
          Two injuries in the 19/20 season for ESR resulting in 18 days unavalibility.
          Two injuries in the 20/21 season resulting in 44 days unavalibility.

          UE gave him his first taste of senior football on the 20/12/18 against Vorskia Poltava and his PL debut was on the 15/12/19…five days before MA signed as manager.

          It was under UE that ESR had his worst injuries, during which he was out for 198 day’s on four separate occasions.

          MA gave ESR his first full PL start on the 15/12/19 after our worst start in a campaign in decades… even though ESR was fit and ready to play.

          From memory, everyone was asking why MA was not using a creative player, when ESR was available – I’m sure we all remember it, because he had decided to freeze Ozil out.

          So, AW, FL, UE and MA all deserve credit for the player, as is the case with Saka of course and I would suggest that it is Freddie who should get the plaudits, it took MA nearly a year to realise what a gem he had.

          1. Mr Ken, big ups to you!
            I could never have put those any better myself – the bits of stats, TRUTH and the verdict.

          2. Ken thanks for that, I remember it was Wenger that signed him and it was Emery that gave him his first start in the Europa cup and he performed excellently in that match, I also remembered it took Arteta more than 6 months to use him because he was scared, but I think the main plaudits should go to Freddie who built his career along with saka. I’m 100% sure if it was Arteta then saka and Rowe will be on loan right now or worst still they will be getting the same treatment that Balogun and Martinelli are getting. It took lots of injuries and covid for Arteta to start Rowe.

      2. @PJ-SA
        You might be right but arteta had the likes of Ozil available but chose ESR instead.
        Had Guendouzi available but chose to exile him.

        I think all factors contributed. Smith Rowe was always injured. Hence why Arteta went for Odegaard too just in case.

  2. I don’t have any problem with anything about both of them.
    The only problem I had was when folks cooked up all sorts of lies and agendas saying he hates the kids and he wasn’t playing ESR, saying the only reason ESR played was cus of injury.
    When the facts and numbers are all there to be dug out.
    ESR was playing under him in the Europa league when he wasn’t injured.
    Plus all of ESR injury records are there on Transfermarket and The Arsenal site.
    I already pulled out all of the dates once and how contrary to lies cooked up, ESR was either recovering from an injury or a set back which was why he had less chance to play in the league.
    Plus before the season started, it was being said that ESR was gonna go on loan but Arteta preferred he stayed back.
    Good to see ESR has come a long way though.
    Hope to see both manager and player continue their growth in good health

  3. To be honest I thought initially that MA had a problem with giving the youngsters a chance. Signing fossils and playing Pepe who has the consistency of Boris Johnson. However, he has turned that perception on its head. I’m not 100% convinced he is the man for the job, but fairplay for the young signings and the improvements we’ve seen. Keep it up lads!

    1. Grantygooner, Aha!

      A fan who is starting to see the light that he previously shunned! BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!

      I respect people who change their opinion and judgement when the evidence shows them the clear way to go.

      I do the same myself in life as well as football. And I refuse to stubbornly never admit I am wrong when the mounting evidence points out my mistakes.
      I also freely admit to having had doubts on MA but the changing evidence now shows me those doubts were premature, so I changed.

      But some still prefer to MISREPRESENT my position and it is nearly impossible on social media to stop those who have a clear agenda against you from misrepresenting your true position, however many times you correct them. Sigh!

      The problem I have is that I use words accurately with clear meaning, but others who have not my language skills often fail to read PRECISELY, both what I SAY and do NOT SAY.

      Some prefer to put their own personal interpretation on what I WRITE, instead of bothering to read properly and fully what Iactually SAY (AND ALSO DO NOT SAY).

  4. Indeed. When many fans asked for Smith-Rowe to be assigned in the CAM position, Arteta had a different plan

    Arteta played him on the left wing, which turned out to be Smith-Rowe’s best position. This is because Smith-Rowe can cut inside more often and only a smart technical coach dares to make a drastic positional change for his good attacking player

    Nobody can dethrone Smith-Rowe from the left wing now, even the skillful Martinelli, Nketiah and Balogun. Arteta also did it for Saka’s right wing position and Saka praised Arteta’s vast knowledge

  5. There’s no doubt that he has done a few things right. But I will judge him at the end of the year. As long as we are in the top 6 at January 1, I’ll be fine with him staying

  6. It’s great to see Bukayo and ESR valued like they are. I’m sure for all of us we love to see the Academy lads make it to the first team through talent. It seems that Arteta at first got caught up in some egoistic willy waving over Saliba, Guendouzi and Torreira. Maybe he was willy waving at Emery and took it out on Saliba. Anyway I hope he has learned good players are good players and not ‘my player choices are better’. Adolescent. That’s just my opinion. I think now with the Cameras involved in the Arsenal dressing room and the club affairs, I think Arteta has had to ditch his grudges and be shown to be capable of handling players. This has made Arteta grow up and the players are following the change in Arteta. That’s purely my take on this. If the team keep this up then Arteta will get a lot of praise. Let’s hope this is a real change of gear that will last for many moons…….and…Xhaka is not playing and long may be it stay that way….if not I guarantee we will stutter.

  7. He does not deserve any credit (neither for results nor for developing any player) yet, even more so considering the mess he put us in the previous season.

    The results have been good and we are currently in an acceptable position but that is no cause for celebrating him. The current position should not paint him as a saviour rather it is an indication that he is starting to do his job properly. He was hired (without qualifications) to do just that.

    When we are in the top 4 (and stay there) then he can be given credit. We should not forget his predecessors one was fired and another resigned because they couldn’t secure top 4.

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