Smith Rowe: I’m really happy to be playing for this club

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Substitute Emile Smith Rowe had a red card overturned by VAR before netting in extra time as Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-0 at the Emirates to secure a place in the FA Cup 4th round. 

After the game, the young midfielder chatted to BBC Sport. Here’s what he had to say.

On a roller coaster evening for him…

I was really happy [to score] it was a bit of a relief for me obviously after the incident before which wasn’t ideal. It wasn’t intentional. I’m happy to get the goal and happy to go through to the next round.

On Newcastle being difficult opponents…

They were very difficult. We knew coming into the game how tough it was going to be. We know they are a strong opponent, so yeah, it was just about breaking them down. We got there and I’m happy with the win.

On being part of Arsenal’s revival…

It’s great, from a young kid I’ve always wanted to play for this club. All the young players, it’s good for us to get opportunities so I’m really happy to be playing for this club.

On grinding out a win…

It just shows how together we are, we’ve been working off the pitch to get closer as a group. It’s starting to show on the pitch and as a group, we’re so happy to win games, we’ve just got to keep it going.

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goongot

once laca came on, esr went into another gear. That’s an partnership to watch out for.

Cklcrio

Laca’s had similar partnerships like this with Ozil too (no further comment on that), really brings out the best in his game when he plays alongside a proper no 10.

The Arsenal

Don’t see why this is downvoted when we have seen the evidence for 3 seasons..Also Pep and Willian seem to bring the worst out of Auba and Laca.

Martin

I agree that Aubameyang is far from being back to his best but how on earth can you blame Pepe?

The Arsenal

I dont. They just dont play well together.

Tanned arse

I’d be more inclined to say auba brings the best out of no one

The Arsenal

Definitely

Cycs

Very incorrect, he finishes most his chances thereby making his assisters get more counts on their assists…

santi's thigh grab

This isn’t accurate at all. Everyone knows that Auba has to get multiple chances before he scores. Only last season did he exceed his xG. He’s the exact opposite of a player that finishes most of his chances, look it up.

sami

He had a similar partnership with Nabil Fekir as well. Seems to love to play with a #10

Adrian Drum

I think he meant same when he said “ we are working off the pitch to get closer as group ”. I feel Saka, Martinelli, ESR and Laca should start as they all look confident with each other.

Johnny 4 Hats

He’s so good at playing these little first time balls that just open up space. I don’t know how he does it but it’s just so effective.

We are a team that, in general, take way too many touches and ESR appears to be the antidote to that.

Tankard Gooner

The thing is, sometimes those first time balls work out great and sometimes they don’t. But he really doesn’t get fazed when they don’t and he has that grit and courage to keep doing it. That’s something that was severely lacking in the past few weeks when literally everyone used to go for the safe sideway or back pass.
Also did you notice how he keeps making his runs and always tries to make himself available to the players behind him?

ALEXISANTISAKANELLI

SAKA to LACA to ESR to the back of the net for the first goal. Against West Brom ESR to SAKA to LACA to ESR to SAKA to the back of the net. See a pattern here these 3 players are the ones who can actually linkup at arsenal Including Martinelli too bad he didnt play today. Auba is good but he has a poor linkup play. This is why Laca is so valuable. I think Laca has been suffering from not having Good players around him he can link up with he would be banging in the goals. I… Read more »

santi's thigh grab

Would love to extend Laca’s contract in one year increments if he wants to stay. No more than 1 year contracts after the age of 30 for attacking players. Arsene had the right idea here.

C.B.

Great lad, great finish.

backsakacrack
Var Will Solve The Problem

I’m really liking this Rowe – Saka – Laca combo! I just didn’t know why Laca wasn’t brought on earlier….on another day it would have been game over before we went into ET.

KaL

I’m going to assume the -1/thumbsdown was an error, here!

PicoBello

We love you!

myrtle

Emile Smith Rowe is an anagram of Messiah. Fact.

Paul

You are reaching. Not even close

Tierneys tescobag

Anyone notice how the ref kept standing in ESR’s way? The ref insisted on standing in the middle of the pitch between newcastles midfield and defence, exactly in the space ESR seeks. Crappy positioning ref, but not even he can mark ESR. Go on lad!

PrettyBoyAlbert

Maybe we should sign the ref as our back up attacking mid seems he has the positional intelligence down already

Bim

Regardless of the competition I never want to see Willian start another game. For Arsenal, at least.

Gunnergetback

Pappa Johns Trophy perhaps.

Nketibag

He spent far too long at Papa Johns in the summer.

Bort

Nah, even there I’d play one of the U23s instead

Goo-nerd

Even stubborn Arteta sees the writing on the wall – ship Willian out and play Kev down the middle. Laca looks like a completely different player combining with our new number 10. #KevinDeCroydon

RockyRog58

Shout out to Xhaka today too he gave us a bit more oomph ! ESR & Saka just aren’t afraid in the final third love that about them !

santi's thigh grab

Other players assuming defensive responsibilities and controlling the ball in the final third gives Xhaka more time to play his game. Played like the Swiss Captain when he came on. Always wondered why he couldn’t play this way with us. Key pass for Auba’s goal.

Jht

Something in ESR reminds me of Dennis Bergkamp. Similar elegancy with technique, determination to make things happen and ability to execute. Pure class all the way.

Jason

Steady now..

Turad

High praise, but i agree. ESR is special.

Give youth a chance

We got Emile Bergkamp
We got Emile Bergkamp

Three Steps Sideways

As I mentioned in my own post, I think he is much more like Paul Merson in his heyday.

Karol Chren

I have the same feeling. Similarity is that u can see in the moment he touches the ball, he has plan.

santi's thigh grab

He’s always scanning, like Saka, like Cesc and like Bergkamp.

Berlingoon

ESR is everything Özil never was. So much hunger, so much fight, so much character. Number 10 position sorted for the next decade.

MGRD

Ozil has had the highest assist in 3 different leagues and the euros and world cup, can we as arsenal fans stop hyping a player up by disrespecting former players its embarrassing.
Smith rowe looks class but you can say that without shitting on other players

Berlingoon

All of these achievements have been long ago. Since he came to Arsenal he had the highest assists in the league in exactly 1 out of his 8 seasons. What a beast. And in the last 4 at least he was nicking a living.
I could do without disrespecting him but he could have done without disrespecting the club as well. So it’s even I’d say.

Maul Person

God, how old are you?!

Sean

Haha, everything he never was? The reason he’s thriving in this team at the moment is because he’s giving us everything Ozil hasn’t had the opportunity to for the better part of a year. I trust Arteta’s judgement on that if he’s come to the decision not to keep Ozil as part of his plans. But you only need to look back to Mikel’s first period in charge to see that our best performances in that period came when Mesut put in a strong effort and was basically playing the role ESR is now in a 4-2-3-1. It was only… Read more »

Berlingoon

Yep, really hasn’t had any chances over the last years. Absolutely baffling 3 managers in the row took him out of the squad and the teams that are in for him are Turkish and American sides, while he‘s so damn good.

Sean

Not saying he’s been unfairly treated. Whether it’s physchological, physical, who knows, something’s clearly been off with Ozil the past couple of years. I’m just pointing out that it’s a weird take to suggest ESR is ‘everything Ozil never was’, considering he’s currently the one player in the squad offering us a style of play that Mesut used to at his best.

Berlingoon

That’s exactly the point. He isn’t doing what Özil did. He is doing what Özil did plus all the things Özil didn’t do. Fight, when you lose the ball. Keep your head up when you have a bad game or get fouled a lot. Don’t feel constantly sorry for yourself after every decision that goes against you. I could go on for hours about things I‘ve always missed when I was watching Özil and I didn’t miss when I‘m watching Emile.

Eche

Ozil is good for champagne football

santi's thigh grab

I think ESR would disagree with you. He has publicly cited Ozil as a mentor and player that has helped him enormously in training over the years. The kid has trained with Ozil since his very first team training. Don’t disrespect the man who has been influential to ESR’s development as cited by ESR.

Chris

Smith Rowe: I’m really happy to be playing for this club

Not as happy as I am mate.

Shool14

Emile De Bruyne ❤

ALEXISANTISAKANELLI

SAKA LACA ESR the linkup trio

Elgon Views

Emile-Saka-Laca axis around the box, a thing of beauty blossoming

ALEXISANTISAKANELLI

Nelson’s last chance he didnt take it. Willock last chance to show he belong to this level he didnt take it. Pepe just confirmed what we’ve known he’s worse than Gervinho at least Gervinho had incredible pace and always ran behind and get into good positions he just didnt always have a good end product but his movement and control was decent PEPE looks like he’s going to fall over his own feet every time he has the ball. His balance is terrible his positioning is terrible his movement is terrible his passing is terrible his crosses omg are shocking… Read more »

Rick

Willock was not the problem! Its the spine that was in front. Auba is not a center forward and willian is not a 10! The front 4 was playing awful until ESR and laca came on.

Alex

U wot m8

The Arsenal

So are we mate…So are we

Aleksander Włodarz

There’s a good guy! 👍🏻 😉

Rich

Smith-Rowe is quality, love his desire to get forward, and simplicity of his one touch passing. Whoever signed off on offering Willian a 3yr deal? Should be walking on some seriously thin ice. It’s a mistake we’re likely stuck with, but it’s a mistake so negligent, you’d be handed your P45 in most industries for making such a howler. We need to start making much more astute decisions. We’re definitely going to lose money on Pepe, but the way it’s going, and with his likely high wages, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t money entirely washed down the drain. The… Read more »

afl

“Whoever signed off on offerimg Willian 3yr deal…” judging by the MA’s resolve to keep playing Willian over and over again that one is not hard to guess 🙄 I’d even have an understanding for persisting on Willian if we were trying to protect any value on our investment. But he is 31 and not 21 and is not likely to leave anywhere in the next 3 years. At the same time market value of the players signed by previous managerment that we could actualy still have made same profit on (or at least keep their value), like guendouzi, toreira… Read more »

antigooner

Would love to see him tied down to the club until 2025. Great lad with so much more potential

John

ESR speeds the game up; back to goal he receives, turns and plays it forward in one move, taking one touch, not three or four. Like Wilshere but with much more end product in the box.

Willian just looks totally apathetic. Is he still on Chelsea’s pay roll?

Bill Hall

I am really happy you are playing for this club as well lad!

AFCMetaller

I love ESR. Four wins on the bounce. Onwards.

Three Steps Sideways

He is fantastic talent and the way he plays can’t help but remind me of Paul Merson in his pomp in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He has that same quick fluid touch to create a space between the lines and the drive to get beyond the ball to link the play. I’m really enthused to see how he develops over the next couple of years.If he keeps driving himself forward in terms of development, like he is currently managing to do for the team on the pitch, then it only bodes well for all of us who have… Read more »

Qwaliteee

I hope the manager looks after you, son.

You’re currently keeping him in his job.

Canagooner

I’ve been trying to get an ESR song going since Europa league games last year, to the tune of Cotton-eyed Joe:
Where did you come from, where did you go?
Where did you come from, Emile smith row. Makes lots of passes scores lots of goals, Where did you come from? Emile smith row

I’m open to suggestions! Lol

DaDude

Brilliant!

Tete a rteta

We have a team, a pretty good team. Although Xhaka is limited, there seems to be no limit to his character and perseverance.

Obama Young

On the replay it looked like ESR didn’t even touch the guy. It didn’t look like a foul at all much less a yellow. And a million miles from a red.
Maybe the replay I saw was from an angle that didn’t show the contact? Did anyone else see contact on that play? I was losing it when I saw the replay and the red hadn’t been overturned yet.

TotsOfJack

4 wins in a Rowe.

I’ll show myself out.

benjmin

Credit to Laca who was clever…