Monday, June 17, 2024

Arteta: Smith Rowe has huge potential

In 2017, England’s U17s won the World Cup. Emile Smith Rowe was in the squad, along with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Calum Hudson-Odoi.

The Arsenal man’s career hasn’t quite taken off in the same way as his contemporaries yet, but his emergence this season has been a real light in the darkness, and he played a significant part in the recent turnaround with three wins on the trot.

He’s a player Mikel Arteta was asked about ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Newcastle, and while he acknowledged his compatriots were a little further down the line in their careers, the 20 year has got what it takes to match their achievements.

He has a huge potential,” said the manager. “He really wants it and he has the personality when he goes on the field to express himself and play the way he can play.

To do it in a consistent way is a different thing, the boys that you mentioned [Sancho, Foden], they’ve done it.

“It’s true that they are ahead in their development phase because they’ve played many more minutes and games in the last two season but he’s capable of doing that.

“Whether he’s going to do it will depend on how he continues to develop, how he takes the chances that he has in front of him and then how much we can help him to achieve that.”

Smith Rowe’s brave display against Chelsea, his first Premier League start of the season and only the second of his career, highlighted his quality, and Arteta wasn’t surprised by the level of performance.

I expected what I wanted for that game, and that’s it,” he said.

“You have question marks, of course because he hasn’t done it at that level and in that calibre of a game.

“But you see the potential and I, and the coaching staff, really liked what we had been saying so we decided to make the decision and it worked.

“He earned the right to play the next game [against Brighton] and he did it again and he earned the right to play the following game [against West Brom].

“I think we have to go game-by-game in general. I think with individuals and young talent, even more so.

“Sometimes you need to give them a little bit of a breather and protect them like we had to do with Gabri [Martinelli].

“He didn’t play for seven months and he could not play three games in a row in seven days, it was too much for him.”

Arteta is tipped to rotate his squad for the cup tomorrow, and it might well be a sign of how well Smith Rowe has done that he might sit this one out to make sure he’s ready for the clash with Crystal Palace next Thursday.

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Toure Motors

Hopefully ESR continues to show what he can do over the next few months. Thought that Amy Lawrence got it spot on in the recent podcast, his speed of decision making and anticipation is already so good and we look so much more fluid with him in the team


Moving Saka to the right & ESR to the mix means the attack is much more unpredictable and harder to stop. We still need to bring in another attack minded midfielder this winter as losing ESR for any period of time would really be challenging.


I agree that obviously shifting away from our reliance on him as, well, the only player we have in our PL squad who can do what he does in January should be our priority in terms of incomings. On the flip side, I was kinda heartened by the Athletic’s report that we’re reticent to charge in full steam ahead because of our need there and don’t want to repeat the mistakes we’ve made with other recent recruits. Much as we’re devoid of creativity there, I’d rather we made a considered signing and muddled through the rest of this season than… Read more »

Public Elneny

Yeah. Even if he manages to stay fit it’s still inevitable that he’ll suffer a dip at some point this season. And at that point it’s best to give him a little break, as we did with Saka post-lockdown It happens to every young player who breaks through. They’re a total unknown at the very start, playing for their careers. Opposition haven’t developed a gameplan yet to deal with them yet, and enthusiasm levels are through the roof with legs fresh. A young player’s first few professional starts are often some of the most effective of their entire career The… Read more »

The Arsenal

He has great dribbling and trickery…But you wouldn’t know it because unlike alot of young players he does not overplay or hold onto the ball..
Very simple and logical in his game and his constant movement is quite intelligent whether it makes space for others or he himself is trying to penetrate…..Decision making is spot on.

Artetas Assistant

Kevin De Bruyne
Emile Smith Rowe



We’re 11th in the table, we’ve beaten an off colour Chelsea and Brighton and a shite West Brom.

And you’re now comparing ESR to Kevin De Bruyne.

Hmmm. 🙄

naked cygan

Hopefully, the rise of ESR should be a wake-up call to Willian and Pepe to step up. It would be amazing if Willian can also get his form back and Pepe starts scoring a bunch of goals. Competition amongst players is always good.

Chris Breezy

I know that you’re right and we will rotate but I can’t see any reason to rest anyone on a Saturday so that they are OK for a game the next Thursday. I’d go full strength which includes ESR and that shows what a good 3 games he has had.


It’s not really about Thursday though….it’s the volume of games across December & January…and the season as a whole to be honest. Personally, I’d rotate massively tomorrow


I agree. There is a fine line between resting players and keeping them engaged and focused by playing them. It seems to me that ESR has already had a good rest since the WBA match and there is also enough time from Saturday to Thursday to recuperate. Anyway, Arteta certainly will know better since he sees them in training and I trust him to make the right call.

Steve Vallins

Circumstances dictate the opportunities young players get and what position the team you play for is in any competition , can they be risked . Foden was blooded in a successful team over a 2 year period and being blessed with good health , was ERS being kept out of the team because of Ozil ? So next best thing you go on loan to get games ( Huddersfield ) other than injury since his return I’m sure he would have been used before Willock

49 49 undefeated

Please someone tell me how did Willian manage to earn the right to start so many games
Someone .. anyone ..

No not you Kia.. you can f*** off

Hank Scorpio

He did the ‘non-negotiables’ of course.


Certainly by taking a trip to Dubai.


We know what’s non-negotiable at this club – the terms of Kia’s clients contracts.


Crazy that right now such a massive club like Arsenal is so dependent on a 20-year-old and a teenager. Hope Nelson could also make the big step.


I get your point, but Dortmund is dependent on Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland. Which dampens your point significantly.

Public Elneny

Yes, but better that than to be over-reliant on one 30 year old, as we were last year

We do have to be careful not to overplay them though

naked cygan

Mbappe was 20 when he joined Paris. Phil Foden has been amazing with City, and like Toni said Sancho & Haaland. Age is just a number!!


Actually Mbappe was on loan at PSG when he was 19. Was a key starter in their squad for that season, capping it off with a World Cup win with France.

After the World Cup PSG activated their purchase clause and made him a player for them.

Goodly morning

Put your feet up Emile we’ll need you for the rest of the season. Pepe and Willian need to start showing some form and the cup gives a chance for them to do that. Although we do struggle without the number 10. Maybe Ceballos will play further forward?


The sentimental part of me wants to see Jack Wilshere back, but I guess there is a good reason he’s been a free agent for so long.


Sentimental dream number 2: When I saw Ozil linked spuriously with Juventus a loan swap for Rambo crossed my mind!

Tete a rteta

Managing a squad involves engaging all players, creating a team atmosphere while also having a ferociously competitive environment….with buttloads of money, huge egos and national playing status all involved, Good luck Miguel.


ESR needs to prove in every game to earn the rights for the next… Willian?


Right from the first day I saw that kid attack from the right flank terrorising opponent defenders I knew he was a baller. Anybody who has an eye for talents could see this. I also said the only young players we should keep are Niles, ESR, Martinelli, Saka, Willock and Nelson. Nketiah should be sold I was thumbed down now many people are beginning to see this.

Tete a rteta

At the very least I would give Nketiah, the highest scoring young English forward of all time, a few games with our best and most creative young players/ first team. He likely has an on field understanding with them, they know he has earned it and honestly….it is both the fair/right thing and the most prudent thing to do before selling him. Maybe Arteta and others have other opinions but that is mine.


He certainly has potential but it’s making that crucial leap between potential and week in, week out performance in the PL. We’ve had many youngsters in this position over the years but, unfortunately, few of them actually made that transition sucessfully. I think he can do it, but MA and the coaching staff will have to be careful in developing his obvious talent.

Man Manny

To me, he is the unsung hero of Arsenal’s mini resurgence; the catalyst in the new found attacking fluidity. He has made everyone around him better.
His understanding of the game is beyond his years. The way he pops up everywhere to combine with other players is a joy to watch.
Tierney, Laca, Saka, and even Bellerin have played better with him on the pitch.
I can’t wait to see him and Partey play together.l in our midfield.

Billy bob

Thought it interesting that Tim, in his article, thinks we’ll be looking to ship Pepe – I can kinda see why too, but wouldn’t it be great if we could do a swap deal with a team that needs a Pepe style player and who has the type of midfielder we are looking for!! Unlikely lol but a man can dream 😂 I wouldn’t be surprised if Xhaka ends up going this summer and I think we’d be able to get maybe £20m. ESR is certainly becoming increasingly important to the extent that he is rapidly becoming one of the… Read more »

Bad egg

I guess it’s trauma from Arsenal’s past but I’m really holding myself back from falling in love with ESR, given his fitness history.

The lad has the talent to become a really top player, I just hope his body will let him 🙏🏾


The best thing about ESR for me is his appreciate of space and where it will be and how he can expand and contract the space both offensively and defensively.

Basically I’m saying that he makes his teammates play well.

A bit like how Santi could make 2 or 3 passes and then he has opened a passing lane directly to the striker or attacking mid.

But ESR can do that from a more advanced position

Jason Billington

Play the “stiffs” against Newcastle ( Pepe, Willian etc) they’ve done nothing to warrant a PL start..

Cranky Colin

When did you figure that out Mikel?
Only joking😂😂😂


He is definitely a talent. I do fear that teams will start paying him more visits via rotational fouling and double teaming (e.g. Everton’s Rodriguez ).
Others need to step up and intelligently break into those open spaces so that the pressure on defenses is not let up.

Give youth a chance

When do we stop talking about ‘potential’ and instead discuss his ‘ability’?

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