Video: Arteta admits that he risked Smith Rowe despite knowing he wasn’t 100%

Mikel Arteta has admitted that he already believed that Emile Smith Rowe was unlikely to last the full 90 minutes against Southampton on Tuesday, but played him regardless.

The attacking midfielder was left out of the FA Cup tie with injury, before being thrown straight back into the starting line-up last night, and the manager may have to take blame if he is now sidelined for longer.

ESR has been instrumental to a lot of our attacking play since emerging in the first-team, and will be missed, although Martin Odegaard’s signing earlier on today could well help us cover his absence if needed.

Did Arteta have no choice but to play Smith Rowe with no suitable cover available?


Tags Emile Smith Rowe mikel arteta


  1. PJ-SA says:

    Difficult choice for MA

    Possibly Saka could’ve played in ESR position and then Martinelli start on the wing.

    1. Alex says:

      Hopefully Odegard hit the ground running and reduce the burden on Smith.

  2. Grandad says:

    Managers take a risk with players who are not 100% in virtually every match.It’s part of the game.

  3. Khadii says:

    I don’t blame Arteta one bit as desperate times call for desperate measures.
    Its just a big shame on the useless Willian as it goes to show that a half fit ESR is considered better

  4. jon fox says:

    I would like to know why Willian – when at Chelsea never a lazy player and then considered a top player, even though over 30 – has morphed into another Ozil; lazy, lethargic and just unconcerned in actually EARNING his obscenely high wage contract. Usually lazy players are identified while still young, eg Walcott here at 18 and never a worker.

    But Willian had no previous form as a lazy player, UNTIL he got his hands on that Arsenal contract from Heaven. So the question then is WHY is he now playing out of character from all his pre Arsenal career! I am stumped as to why! Anyone got any sensible ideas why?

    1. PJ-SA says:

      I honestly think he just doesn’t gel with MA and his style of play. Possibly so used to the Chelsea way he just not clicking yet.

      I agree he has never been a lazy player so it’s very strange. To me he doesn’t look lazy just completely lost and clueless as to his role.

      1. Neo says:

        Exactly; more like clueless and lost

    2. durand says:

      Jon your question as to “why” reminds me of the famous response by Roy Williams; still coaching the University of North Carolina men’s basketball team.

      A reporter asked Coach Williams why his players didn’t match the intensity of their rivals after a game they lost. He responded, “I’m here to coach tactics, not motivation.”

      I take from that he meant the players job is to bring intensity, motivation, passion, and hunger to the game. He focuses that drive into his tactics to defeat the opposition. By combining individual talent into a team dynamic they overcome opposition.

      I must say I believe there is a lot to what he said, and more than a grain of truth.

      He also is the same coach who got so frustrated with his starting 5 during a game, that he subbed them all out before halftime, made them sit at the end of the bench, and didn’t play any of them the rest of that game. In fact, some rarely saw any game time after that as well.
      The rest of that bunch went on to have a great season; both individually and as a team.

      1. durand says:

        Forgot to add that I’m a Duke fan, not UNC. However, I still admire and respect a good coach when I see or hear one.

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