Saturday, May 25, 2024

Arteta provides fitness updates on Smith Rowe and Xhaka

Mikel Arteta has revealed that Emile Smith Rowe is dealing with a minor injury, and that was a factor in his substitution in the 3-2 defeat to Man Utd on Thursday.

The 20 year old opened the scoring at Old Trafford, his fifth Premier League strike of the season, but looked tired in the second half and was replaced midway through by Bukayo Saka.

Ahead of Monday’s trip to Everton, the Arsenal boss said, “He had some discomfort during the game and we decided to take him off. He’s been evolving well over the last few days, so we have to wait until tomorrow to see how he is.”

It was reported last week that Granit Xhaka was ahead of schedule with his recovery from a knee injury, and Arteta didn’t categorically rule out a return for the game at Goodison Park.

“This week he has progressed again to a different level, and tomorrow we will assess how he is, have a conversation with him and decide when is the best moment to start to give him some exposure in games,” he said.

“He is progressing well, he is doing all the right things and he’s feeling better but no more news on that.

“It’s very positive because the evolution he is doing is great, he is partially training with the team and he is heading in the right direction.

“We miss him, he is one of our leaders, one of the senior players who adds something very valuable to the team and hopefully we can have him back soon.”

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Imagine being in a position where we so desperately miss a player with so many flaws. What a weird feeling.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I wouldn’t agree we desperately missed him. We were 13th when he got injured, now we’re 5th. We’ve climbed up the table without him. We still would have lost at Anfield anyway with him. Maybe if he played instead of Elneny we would have got something at Old Trafford but that’s also possible of Lokonga.

Other than that, maybe the Brighton 0-0 – which was a bottle job of a performance – he may have made a difference in.

It’s January when we really need him fully fit as Partey and Elneny play in the AFCON.


Totally agreed. We have been doing well without him, but have the strongest gut feeling that he will be thrusted in the soonest possible


Probably half the reason arteta keeps breaking up the konga-partey despite the promising signs it has shown. Leaves the door ajar for his fave… #jokingnotjoking

Alan Sunderland

Partey’s playing shit mate, don’t think he’s suited to playing no.6. We might have to play all 3 of them to start getting any sort of hold in midfield.


Partey is inconsistent for sure. He needs to improve. But he’s had some blinders too. Konga and partey have to play together.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I always thought if he played against Brighton we would have lost. Those games where he gets put under pressure, like the team was that day, is when he usually costs the team

Alan Sunderland

He didn’t play against Brighton, and they bossed the midfield. He hasn’t played since the spurs game and our midfield has been shit. We got out played by fred and mctomminy on Thursday. He didn’t play against Leicester when we had 29% possession in the last hour of the game. Give it a rest, we have a lot bigger problems than xhaka.


Arteta misses him.

Alan Sunderland

Partey misses him more.


We do need Xhaka while Partey is away, whatever we think about him.

Far more important is having Saka and Emile Smith Rowe fit, for the chant and for their big effect on the pitch.


I agree that ESR and Saka are really important, but we can’t expect them to make up for a weak midfield and lack of leadership from our senior players. Xhaka will (whatever our feelings about him) improve both those factors.


The Xhaka I remember got himself sent off after 35mins at the Etihad because he didn’t fancy it.
He is anything but a leader and honestly I’m surprised at how poor arsenal fans short term memory is.

Wrighty’s hats

The thing is, he’s good when he’s good, all the way up until the time he’s really really poor. If he could be one or the other all of the time it wouldn’t be controversial. The sooner we’re able to find someone who can fill his roles in leadership and midfield presence, without such low lows, the better – but until then he’s what we have, and I guess it’s more practical for us and MA to use him for his strengths than discount everything because of the (in my opinion extremely uncomfortably high) risk of mistakes/poor judgement/hot-headedness that he’s… Read more »


That’s my point – if you can’t be relied on in the heat of the battle, you are not a leader – you are a liability. Since he signed in 2016 we’ve sunk to mid table mediocrity. It’s not all on him, there are a lot of reasons why, but that position is the heart of the team and you need better. He gives away cheap free kicks in dangerous areas that leads to goals. He makes stupid mistakes in defensive possession that lead to goals. And he makes rash challenges that get him sent off because he can’t control… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I’d rather go with AMN and Sambi next month. Partey only misses 2 league games I think, and hopefully a good cup draw

Wrighty’s hats

Apologies for not making my point clearly enough – there’s no pining emanating from here, far from it – no need to worry about that. I agree essentially with everything you say about Xhaka, and if he had left for Roma last summer I would have said good riddance and wished him well. In an ideal world we wouldn’t have to decide whether or not to play him, because he would have moved on to another club already. But since he’s with us for now, and soon to be back from injury, I don’t think it’s as easy as saying… Read more »


When he’s good he’s bearable. Scores a screamer every other season too.

Johnny 4 Hats

I’m still not over Thursday.

Can’t really get it out of my head.

Fuck sake man. Fuck sake.

Johnny 4 Hats

Oh, that was so nearly an accidental haiku.

Walter White

Feel the same way. Been the first time this season a result has bothered me for days.

Johnny 4 Hats

Me too.

I usually listen to the podcasts and feel better after. But I just can’t do it yet.



Yup, feel the same. This was a massive missed opportunity. Poor selection. Poor tactics. Poor execution. Golden opportunity to make a statement – gone again.

Frustrating but I don’t really expect anything from games against the current main 4 anyway, it’s the games against the other 15 teams where I fully expect to win every time.

The Brentford game is still the one that sticks in my throat this season as it was a complete bottle job. Against United I do think we put up a fight for the most part and were unlucky to lose.


There isn’t a main 4 though. Man Utd are miles off the other 3. We lost 4-0 at Liverpool, but yet 3-2 away to them was just so much worse.
Poor team selection, poor tactics, poor individual mistakes. Horrible night against a team who were completely there for the taking.


Weird that we choose to file away losses to the top four* as to-be-expected, yet we consider wins against relegation fodder as somehow relevant.

Any Arsenal team should beat your Newcastles and the Norwiches, even if the manager had spent the entire week lying blackout drunk in a ditch.

Not being able to beat a mediocre Manchester United team says far more about where the team is at than 100 two-nils against Newcastle ever could.

* This Man United teams isn’t “top” anything, except top-heavy.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

True, but luckily for us, apart from the current top 4, everyone else is so inconsistent

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Yep that one did hurt. Woke up Friday morning and couldn’t watch sky sports news or anything football related. Came across Fulham v Bournemouth in the evening and was glad I did. That Bournemouth goal was as original as it gets.
Hopefully the pain eases tomorrow night


Xhaka is back in full training according to Jeorge Bird on Twitter.

Good. He’s still our best CM. Which is a problem in itself.


Well, yeah, if we’re honest….


Nainsley Aitland Miles

He’s still a better option than Elneny and AMN.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

How bad our midfield must be, if that’s true

If ESR doesn’t make it then we’ll roll with Saka Ode Martinelli behind Auba, which is still strong enough to secure 3 points at Everton. No need to rush Xhaka back into the first 11 as Lokonga has filled in very well, and I would be shocked if Elneny starts again at Everton. The Sunderland game in a couple of weeks time looks like a possible target for Xhaka. West Ham winning is annoying as they’re now 4 points ahead of us, but it came at a price as Zouma and Johnson went off injured and we play them at… Read more »


West Ham make statement wins in big games… We’re making statement losses in big games. That sucks.


I get the impression that West Ham are not going to just fade away and stop competing for a place in the top four as the season progresses.

And having beaten Liverpool, now Chelsea, and given City a real run for their money, nobody should write them off.


Agree, I’m pretty sure if you asked fans around the league which team would fade out as the season out of us and them there would be one team picked more than the other. We still have a lot to prove and a long way to go.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

This season they are juggling Europe as well, and now seem to have a few injuries creeping up in defence. I don’t expect them to completely fade away but I do still expect Arsenal to finish above them.


Ideally Xhaka wouldn’t be good enough to get any where near our midfield. However, it isn’t that good, so I am glad Xhaka will soon be available, but glad we have options in AMN and Sambi which were less established before Xhaka got injured. Also I think Partey’s physicality goes well with Xhakas limitations and strengths.


It’s probably that shit tackle from McTominay that gave Emile the knock. McTominay knew exactly what he was doing laying into ESR with a heavy one.


If I buy myself a Xhaka shirt in 2021, is it just trolling? Can’t wait to have him back.

Wrighty’s hats

Wish I could share in your optimism and dare I say seemingly blind love. Care to share your thoughts on why you can’t wait to have him back?

Man Manny

On the contrary, I think yours is seemingly blind hatred. You don’t see any reason why someone should love Xhaka.
If all your loveable players at Arsenal had half of Xhaka’s commitment and willing to fight for the team, we’d be in top 4 at the moment.
Four managers and one clown (Mourinho), cannot be wrong.


Um, yes they can.

Xhaka’s commitment is to himself alone. He likes to think of himself as a leader and a hard man, that’s why he pulls the little-boy’s-idea-of-a-macho-man shit.

He’s been making this team worse ever since he’s been there. Watch us go down the table as soon as he comes back into the side.


This would be a great thesis if we were actually good during that time and 3 of the 4 managers (and the 4th hardly secure) and the clown didn’t lose their jobs. Some fans are sick of the repeating failure – redemption narrative (the nice way of putting it) with xhaka. He’s absolutely not indespensible and irreplaceable and it’s beyond time to move on with something different. The fact that the team hasn’t not identified this aspect continues the belie a sense of disconnection with the fans he once told to FO. I have no desire to watch him play… Read more »

Wrighty’s hats

Wowee – a heated response. I was simply curious to see why someone would like him enough to get his kit at this moment in time. I try to see all of our players for their strengths and weaknesses and at the moment see Xhaka as someone who hasn’t fulfilled his potential because of his hot-headedness – you may see above that I was defending his use in selected games while he’s still with us, based on what he does bring to our game, while hoping that we also find a long-term replacement who can do what he does well… Read more »

Billy bob

December is the new November 😐

Billy bob

Partey is playing pants so roll on Xhaka returning to partner Sambi

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