Emile Smith Rowe started his second Premier League game in a row in the 1-0 win over Brighton this evening, and the 20 year old impressed again as the Gunners took three points at the Amex Stadium.

The attacking midfielder, like everyone else, struggled to impose himself in the first half, but in the second 45 he produced some excellent moments, and his desire to drive the team forward was evident in the way he played.

Speaking to the official site afterwards, he expressed his delight at being given the chance to play.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said.

“It’s a dream for me to play for this club. I’m so happy and grateful that the manager’s shown faith in me and given me the chance.

“I’ve just got to keep training hard, and then when I get the opportunity I’ve got to take it.”

On the game itself, he continued, “Mikel told us the game would open up in the second half so we just tried to keep the belief, the confidence and you could see we started to create more chances.

“Laca got the goal that helped us.”

The win moved the Gunners up into 13th, with a 7 point gap to the relegation places, and just 6 points off 5th.

Brighton 0-1 Arsenal player ratings

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Man

Isco – no thanks. Costa – no thanks. No more lazy old stars. These kids are the future.

Domi

If we sign that primitive creature (Costa) I am done with arsenal til we get some self respect and proper people at the club.

Kumargunners

Don’t worry, Jose has his eyes set on Costa ready.

Domi

They’re a match made in h…ell, so it makes sense! 🙂

Matt P

Yep. Promote, and sign, hungry young talent please.

2highbury

Absolutely m. It’s time to get value of the players we have or ship them off before we go spending money again

Chelsea show how a fifa esque transfer policy can lead to underwhelming results

Snc

Would like to see our academy players supporting the attacker. Saka – ESR – Nelson and Balogun… And let’s not forget our young Brazilian Martinelli. Future is promising.

Blink

Me too unfortunately it looks like Balogun is not as grateful to the club as ESR. Im sure he would get chances if he signed a contract & showed he wanted to be at the club that has developed him for years. Needs to show commitment. Not sure what is happening with Nelson injured or shown an ‘attitude’ issue. I think he has got promise but he has not pulled up any trees when played is not at the level of saka, martinelli etc.

Zet

Yes young players have to take their chances seriously. Eddie kind of blew it, hope he come on stronger. ESR , Martinelli, Saka, Tierney…these players should start regularly. But the big test is against big teams like City and Pool.

John

I don’t think it’s about Balogun being ungrateful. If he were being given as many chances in the first team as Nketiah I suspect he might have signed a new contract already. And even if he has made up his mind to leave, playing him a bit more would showcase his exceptional talent (greater than Eddie’s in my opinion), driving his price up for a January sale. I think the manager has been wrong to limit him to late sub appearances in the Europa League.

Bleeding gums murphy

He will leave for nothing at the end of season. There’s no driving price up unfortunately

TJOY

Nketiah was also a prolific striker at youth level for club and country, and is three years older than Balogun. Of course he deserved his chance ahead of Balogun. Balogun is now being shown a path into the first team at 18. If he signs a new contract and works hard he could be a first team regular at Arsenal in the next couple of seasons and he’ll still be under 21 . Compare his attitude with that of Smith-Rowe and Saka.

santi's thigh grab

I agree, there have been some PL games where he could have closed out the game looking for a goal. I would like to see some more bravery from the manager is using the kids, like he has done for the pst two games. Should have come to the realization this was the only way out sooner but Arteta has many other good qualities. He’s learning like the kids, let’s hope he’s a quick learner.

Cultured Determination

i wouldnt give him any chances either if he doesnt sign da thing. i’d give him a blueprint and plan on how to use him, and give examples like Saka, ESR etc, but i wont give him extra game time just to convince him to sign because it’d be like developing someone only for him to walk out on the club.
i know it’s a chicken and egg thing, but they sign da thing, then they play da games.

Domi

I also don’t agree there with the “gratefulness” part. He didn’t get many chances from Mikel, is basically a 4th option for 1 position, after Auba, Laca and Eddie, so I understand he is hesitant. He is hot now (at least a bit) so for example if Dortmund sign him who are now chasing young British players he could be a 50m player in a year. Path to that level is less open at Arsenal, we have Auba signed for 3 years, Laca could leave but also Eddie is also here.

Grumbleduke

This lad is the way forward.

Far East Stand

It’s a tiny dataset to work with but I have a feeling Lacazette is the right elder statesman to play alongside the young attacking players like ESR. Laca’s style of play complements what the youngsters bring to the table very well.

Of course I’d love to see what happens if Balogun could complete an attacking quartet including ESR, Saka and Martinelli. I imagine there would be a lot of traumatised defenders out there.

Blink

Agree Laca is very good as the elder statesman. Balogun needs to show he WANTS to be at Arsenal be part of the future like the other kids & sign a contract. Its no good playing him if he is not committed & off in the summer.

Far East Stand

Yeah, this is true. I’m hoping the recent inclusion of ESR and Martinelli in the first team will sway his opinion about his chances of getting a run in the team if he stays.

It’s a fine balancing act for the club. He has to be given some game time between now and the end of the season to convince him he’s going to get chances but we can’t become too reliant on someone who isn’t going to be around next season. Tricky situation.

Robert

I agree. He surely has to see that there’s an opportunity to claim CF due to the ages of Auba and Laca and Eddie’s inconsistencies or unsuitability to our style of play.

AMN's cheeky grin

IMO Balgoun should have extended and pushed to spend this season on loan. He could then have come back next season with first team experience under his belt, and when we might possibly sell either Laca or Eddie. This season is just wasted for him this way. I wonder if the fact he didn’t do that shows he’s determined to leave? I guess from Balogun’s perspective, even if we sell one of Laca/Eddie, he may just move from fourth to third choice striker (assuming the future is Martinelli is playing on the left and Auba central). In retrospect, I’m seeing… Read more »

Man Manny

If Lacazette at 29 is an elder statesman, what is Ibrahimovic at 39?
Ancestor?

Domi

He’s a legend, not visible to mere mortals except on matchdays.

Russ

It is bonkers how things can quickly change at the moment. A few more wins would be lovely 👍

jimbo

The problem is smith cant play every game we look much better with a player in the 10 role.
Time Arteta admits his mistake and brings ozil back into the fold. he would be useful to rotate with the young players and we have no one else with his talent in the midfield,

Keeming

Get over ozil. He’s dead to us.

Pete Plum

I have to say I don’t get this. I’m a bit biased because Ozil has been one of my favourite players of the last few years. I went to almost all the home games for years pre covid and sang his name and just can’t understand Arsenal fans saying he’s dead to us, and downvoting in droves someone who wants him back in the squad. These comment sections are my main social media and they seem divorced from the Arsenal I know

Qwaliteee

Top post, well said. My advice, mate. Just remember that this is a global website. Many of the people who frequent this page have probably never been to the Emirates in their lives; never mind being a season ticket holder like myself and, I suspect from the tone of your post, you. Online sites, with posters from abroad, are the only places I have witnessed vitriol towards Mesut Ozil. At the Emirates, the new ‘North Bank’ and the pubs surrounding it, he has always held a healthy respect. Up until his last game in March, before the first Covid lockdown,… Read more »

GoonerD

Let it go man, that train of thought has no traction here and for good reason. One of the things im looking forward to most is getting ozil off the books.
He was great for 2 seasons, then faded in an instant.

jimbo

i dont care if it has no traction im not looking for your approval
i can give my opinion the same as everyone else

RVP

I support your right to give your opinion. However, the voting related to your comment suggests that Arteta didn’t made a mistake with Ozil

A P

The voting reflects sentiment which follows recent results. I won’t bother with the votes.

Qwaliteee

The votes only bear witness to this blog’s subscribers – not the Arsenal fan base as a whole and certainly not the Emirates faithful. In my experience- and I’ve been an Arsenal season ticket holder for nigh on 40 years – it couldn’t be more different.

Local Arsenal fans – and I can spot one a mile off on here (J4H, Pete Plum, Jimbo, etc) tend to display a far superior knowledge of the club, understandably, and, interestingly, the game in general.

Hank Scorpio

Completely agree. From a pragmatic squad balance perspective it was insane to omit Ozil from the squad for petty reasons and we have suffered as a result. Few will admit to it (the same people who bitch and moan about the rest of our central midfield options Partey aside). Arteta most certainly won’t. His ego won’t allow it. I’d happily send Ceballos back to Spain and have Ozil play Europa & FA Cup games. It means the team can persist with this formation, better familiarising themselves with it with a proper 10 every game, keep ESR fresh, and give him… Read more »

Tapps

How do you know they are ‘petty reasons’?

santi's thigh grab

Exactly. What if Ozil’s transgression was undermining the managers authority with the other players behind the scenes. No manager would put up with that. To me, this is the likeliest explanation because keeping him out of the squad isn’t entirely football reasons, he does have something to add to the club. Either undermining the manager or he has a lot of incentives in his contract which they don’t want to pay him. Whatever the reason, he’s done.

Qwaliteee

And how do you know they aren’t…..?

Whatever it is, this team has suffered badly without his creativity.

And that’s down to this manager. A man who has overseen our worst start to a League campaign for 40 years, playing the most boring ‘football’ ever.

MojoWillneny

If Ozil is valuable to us, why only use him in Europa and FA Cup? Why not use him in the Prem as well? I have got no problem with Ozil’s “controversial politics”, though upon a closer look you can understand why some poke hypocritical holes in it. I don’t subscribe to grand conspiracy theories about Ozil and the management either. I just don’t think he’s very good anymore. In order to get something out of him the team has to be structured almost solely to the benefit of his talents—absolutely nothing wrong with that if, when you make that… Read more »

Cultured Determination

about this ozil thing. let’s explain on a level that we non-footballers can understand. say you get a job as a manager one day at a Company. you set your team meeting with the sales team of 11, and tell them what you expect – be on time for work, do the job according to company expectations, and bring in the $$$. one of them, who WAS top salesperson (no longer is), defies all your instructions – doesnt do what you say, and doesnt produce results you expect. what are the chances that the rest of your team is going… Read more »

Qwaliteee

What a load of old bollocks.

It helps if your ‘top salesman’ is given the opportunity to pick up the phone and sell….

gooner

Do you see any top clubs lining up to sign Ozil on a free in January now that he is free to negotiate with any foreign clubs?

The way people perceive him makes you think we are at a great risk of losing him to Bayern, Real, Barcelona or Juventus.
The man is done at the highest level

jimbo

i dunno if youve noticed but we arent really at the level of bayern real barca or juve
more crystal palace, newcastle wolves and leeds.
this club doesnt operate at the highest level.
we need players who will make the current team better for the rest of the season
i find it hard to believe ozil couldnt get into this team and make it look better

Qwaliteee

Yeah, well, in case you hadn’t noticed, thanks to Arteta’s omission of Ozil, we’re not exactly competing at the highest level….

Qwaliteee

Well, funnily enough, Juventus have made inquiries – so, yet again, you Ozil Haters are wrong.

Goonertic

I will be extremely surprised if Ozil goes anywhere until his contract expires. Good players are like good cars…. They don’t stay in the showroom for too long.. Unless of course there are underlying reasons.. And my understanding is that Juve will take him for next to nothing while we still subsidise his wages!!! Smacks of wanting him out real bad. Why don’t he just fuck off instead of stinking out the place.

Qwaliteee

Who picks the team? Ozil or Arteta?

Our best creative midfielder omitted from the squad, costing the club £350k a week. An over the hill Chelsea has-been supposedly replacing him on a three year deal wasting a further £250k a week. No creativity, no cohesion, no goals and football that would cure insomnia. Our worst league campaign for four decades, finally sinking to 15th in the table. The laughing stock of world football.

I think you’ll find that it’s the manager who has stunk the place out this season.

DaDude

Fellatio Istanbul or whatever their name is.

Old but Gold

I’m sick to death of this ‘bring back Ozil’ nonsense. It’s been proved over and over, he can’t fit in to a team where EVERYONE has to pull their weight and work their socks off. He was a fabulous player but needs others to do his share of the pressing, tackling and tracking back. How short memories are, people were screaming for him to ‘do the right thing’ and just go, suddenly he is our saviour?

jimbo

what has been proven? we are 13th in the league what exactly has been proven?

Hank Scorpio

He covers more ground than just about anyone else in the team. What is this ‘pressing’ you refer to? Is it that thing that Arsenal is ranked bottom 3 in the league? Ozil isn’t our saviour & past his best but from a squad balance point of view it makes sense & he can contribute just as he was at the end of last season. I say this as someone who’ll be glad to see the end of the Ozil-related circus. He’s said he’s not moving on in January. Given our current plight & typical inflated January prices we will… Read more »

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

I’d rather we ship Ozil out in Jan and buy the new number 10 we need, one who can also mentor ESR.

Qwaliteee

And who do you think ESR has been naming as his mentor to his rise to the first eleven…?

Take your time, mate….

MeSoHornsey

Ozil, oh poor Ozil, what has he done to deserve this treatment. Hmmm, let me see: Openly and publicly disrespected 3 managers in a row. Refused a covid paycut nearly all other players agreed to. Issued out a lie about being dropped due to his political views. Publicly tried to humiliate the club with the Goonersaurus debacle. Publicly slated Arteta for not making the squad. Tried to get other seniors to insurrect against Arteta. Aside from all this, he’s created about 6 assists over the previous 2 seasons. When are people going to realise the guy is rotten to the… Read more »

jimbo

i dont really care about any of that bollocks

im not his biggest fan but would

would this team be better with ozil in the squad/ team

answer yes.

Duny

Shut the fuck up William

Qwaliteee

Who the fuck is William…?! 🤣

Hank Scorpio

Most of this is unsubstantiated BS & your opinions & perceptions. Hardly evidence of a nefarious evil mastermind. Fact – Wenger and Freddie both publicly stated he should be in the squad. So much for falling out. So what if he refused a paycut? You mentioned he was not the only one. It wasn’t political views it was statements he’s made about the treatment of a Muslim minority. He might believe that & it is a plausible argument.The so-called public humiliation of the club is just you cherry picking. Firstly the club were hardly humiliated and secondly it is fair… Read more »

Qwaliteee

You forgot to mention he was also responsible for Covid 19, the Black Death and Brexit.

A P

Nobody would know you are an idiot before you comment, but thanks for confirming.

Chris

Yep, this really is nailed on. I cannot see why he shouldn’t at least be in the squad to give an option, I think it’s clear that Arteta wants to play 4-2-3-1 and ESR is the only real option behind the striker right now. Shouldn’t Ozil at least be given an opportunity to earn the money he’s getting paid?

santi's thigh grab

One track agenda. Ozil is dead to us now with 6 months to go, no way he gets back in the side. If he’s such a great player now, why aren’t teams knocking down the door to get him?

Qwaliteee

Juventus? Hello…?

DaDude

More like Fellatio Istanbul

Artetas Assistant

You often eat your vomit ?

Ozzie

Wonder how Reiss Nelson’s feeling tonight?

Qwaliteee

After checking his bank balance, a lot better than a good many of us.

Qwaliteee

Keep going sunshine.

The team, the fans, the club and the manager (after the sheer utter stupidity of his Premiership squad selection) need you.

A quality Number 10.

Hank Scorpio

And to think, if not for Arteta favourite Willian’s misfortune, ESR would likely not have had the opportunity.

Qwaliteee

And we would probably be sat here this morning staring relegation in the face….

Iyke

Arteta have to drop Ceballos because his not among the fighters, look at his approach after losing ball to opponent his too slow for premier league system and can’t compare him with Ozil by creativity midfielder, if not Arsenal need youngster creative midfielder fighters and Lacazette is more needful in the squad with young kids because of his ability to force opponents than Aubameyang. No more recruitment of abandon projects. For me Balogun is better than Nketiah and need a better chance because he has a spirit of fighting and not just waiting for chance to breaking to score. Football… Read more »

Big Mac

We all rave about Saka and rightly so, but can he take a corner that gets past the first defender ? So frustrating

Big Mac

Ps, who are Atlantic Madrid ?

Deano

Would agree about Ceballos, except last night he actually pulled his finger out. I doubt he has a long term future with us but can change gears and needs to for the rest of the season.

Need a few more wins under our belt before we can start getting excited but yeah it’s great seeing the youngsters get a run in the team.

jimbo

what is his role? pointless signing. would have been better off putting ozil in the squad aand leaving ceballos in madrid.

jimbo

add this to the pointless signings of soares mari and luiz and you begin to see why our squad is so bloated

santi's thigh grab

You didn’t think Mari had a good game?

jimbo

I think he looks pretty average. not bad not great. the problem is we are adding average players to a squad that finished 8th last season.

Diaby's Left Peg

Barca are going down because their shower of a board has shown up even us in how not to run a football club.

At their peak they were one of the best pressing as well as passing teams, absolutely suffocated you.

Unless you’ve got Jack Wilshere ofc 👍

santi's thigh grab

Ozil an even bigger shadow runner.

benjmin

The best is yet to come

Tony

What’s wrong with high paid star? Auba look like ozil nowadays

Qwaliteee

That old chestnut – yawn….

All strikers go through lean spells and anyone with an elementary knowledge of the game understands.

Still, why let common sense prevail when one can unwittingly put it down to his salary increase….as if that had anything to do with the amount of goal scoring chances created by our pass back and sideways midfield…

MojoWillneny

Smith Rowe is a brilliant prospect.

The volume of high quality prospects being produced by our academy is inspiring—one of the few signs of late of a club that is being run positively, with effective long term strategy and good execution.

I criticize the club’s administration quite a lot but I also want to highlight its successes. The academy is definitely an important one at the moment.

Cultured Determination

yup. you gotta take the opportunities when they come! they dont come easy cos you’re not one of those who walk into the team regardless

Santori

Good to see him take his chances He’s work hard (as could be envisioned by the state of his jersey at end of game) Some decent work with forward passes from left side. He’s got something there. BUT I would have personally liked to have seen Ceballos in the position. The Spaniard came on late on and I felt he would have been better on earlier. We lack that incisive pass to release runners into the box and Ceballos could be key. Somewhere between the two of them, we can develop some sort of better forward generation from high midfield.… Read more »

MojoWillneny

Hey…To Andrew,

Listened to today’s Arsecast and I want to say congrats on the 1,000th episode.

Best pod in the business by a country mile. Really appreciate what you are doing man, your work has become a staple of my support of the club. Looking forward to writing this again when you hit 2,000.

Thank you!