Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Smith Rowe: One-on-one coaching from Emery is ‘surreal’

Emile Smith Rowe says his involvement with the Arsenal first team this season still feels like a dream and that benefitting from one-on-one mentoring from Unai Emery is ‘surreal’.

The 18-year-old came to prominence during the Gunners pre-season tour of the Far East and has since consolidated his claim to a first team spot with eye-catching performances in six appearances across the Europa League and Carabao Cup.

The attacking midfielder, who is still technically an academy player, has even helped himself to three goals this season and hopes he can continue to repay the faith shown in him by the club’s new coaching staff.

“I’ve said the word too much, I think, but it’s surreal,” he told Sky Sports ahead of Thursday’s game with Qarabag.

“I’m just sitting there thinking, ‘What is going on?’ I look up to these players so much. To get a chance to be in the same dressing room as them – let alone on the same pitch – is unbelievable. I still feel like I’m in a dream.

“I was shocked that I even went away with the first-team in pre-season, so to get the chances that the manager has given me has just been great.

“It’s a bit surreal to think about the players he [Emery] has worked with. Now he’s there giving me advice. I’m grateful for what he has done for me. All I can do is just play really well for him and show him how good I am.”

After impressing in the summer, Arsenal were quick to tie Smith Rowe down to a new long-term contract. He’s now being tipped to fill the boots of Aaron Ramsey who looks set to leave the Emirates by next season. From the sounds of things, the club seems intent on honing his game in a creative role behind the strikers.

“We had conversations at the beginning about what positions I like to play and what my attributes are,” Smith Rowe revealed. “Since then he has been giving me a lot of help and advice.

“The manager has done one-to-one stuff with me a few times after training, working on one-v-one attacking and just being patient.

The assistant manager [Juan Carlos Carcedo] has been helping me a lot too with turning on the ball when I play in the No 10 position.

“It’s good to get that help on the pitch, so I can actually practise it, instead of in the classroom. But even in the classroom, they have both had one-on-ones with me which I’ve found really useful.”

Apparently, Smith Rowe has been nursing an injury in the last couple of weeks. It’s not clear whether it’s serious or not – the medical team didn’t include him in their weekly bulletin and we didn’t spot in him in the training pictures – but there’s a chance he might not be in our heavily rotated squad this evening. That would obviously be a shame.


You can read Smith Rowe’s full chat with Sky Sports, in which he discusses coming up through the ranks at Arsenal, the players who’ve helped him settle and screaming at the north London derby on TV, here

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Hope he plays, that would be so real.


Can’t argue with that.

Lord Bendnter



Think you missed the joke/pun there Nicky B.

The Old Git's Whistle Test

Good luck to you son, enjoy the journey, work hard and live the dream all of us fans wish for.


There are times when I watch him play and I think there’s nothing there and then I go back to some of his youth games and see why he’s highly rated. Sort of reminds me of what Wenger said when Iwobi first came through about thinking there’s nothing special at first look but the more look, the more you see.
It’s a good thing he keeps it simple when he plays in the first team.
Funny it’d have been great if he came up under peak Wenger. He was always good at giving the young ones freedom to express themselves.

Frank Bascombe

Nothing there?

Bacary Lasagne

Seems like he’s grounded and has a good level of humility, which is important for a young player with his clear talent and potential.

Faisal Narrage

Has the attributes for the modern no.10/8 hybrids ala De Bruyne and Erikson. We know that’s exactly the type of CMs Emery is looking for in his system(s).

Old Bloke.

With the self sustaining model that the owner favours we are going to be reliant on bringing young players through the academy more than spending big transfer fees. We seem to have a great bunch breaking through with others not far behind them. There is hope for the future and I am looking forward to seeing some of the young talent on show tonight.


There’s also Brexit impact to consider.

If they should decide to put a minimum stipulation for 12 home grown players, we will need to lean on the academy for product.

Thus far Gazidis/Wenger’s revamp several years back has paid dividend with better quality players coming through.

BUT prices of local and young players will set to inflate further with Brexit so we need to develop inhouse.


Word is that his injury is a sore heel.

Bring back David Hillier

Rumour is he has a sore ‘gooch’. Sounds painful. Like the look of this lad and a hyphenated name adds to shirt sales revenue too.


I was just trying to make a terrible joke on sore heel = surreal. Absolutely love him as well, hope he gets to play today.


Definitely starting.

Probably just behind Nketiah (or Laca if the Frenchman needs a bit more time to sharpen up)

Prob see Mhkitaryan for a bit as well. Saka may feature, the youngster was impressive coming on against Volskra.


Amongst the youth in the last EL game he looked the most accomplished in terms of doing the right things at the right times, i didn’t for one second think ”will he make the right decision here, will he keep it tidy”. He has stepped up and his final step will come with age and games… Excited for them all.

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