Monday, March 20, 2023

Arteta: Smith Rowe “feeling much better”

Mikel Arteta says he’s hopeful that Emile Smith Rowe will be part of the squad to face Southampton tomorrow.

Arsenal’s latest medical bulletin said the England international was still “being assessed” after picking up a groin problem against Manchester United, however, the boss confirmed his number 10 is on the mend and trained today.

“Emile has trained today and he was feeling much better after losing him for the last game,” Arteta said in his pre-game press conference. “Hopefully, he’ll be available to play.”

Smith Rowe was absent for the 2-1 defeat at Goodison Park on Monday and his creative spark and ability to carry the ball past opponents was sorely missed. So far this season, he has five goals and two assists in 14 appearances.

With Emile set to return, the only absentees look to be Bernd Leno and Sead Kolasinac. Given neither were likely to start, that’s not too shabby at this time of year.

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Is he the most integral member of the squad right now?


Either him or Ramsdale.

Santi's Thigh Grab

Has been for the last year, him and Saka.


The way he asked for the 10-shirt and then owned it is pretty special. He’s loving that unmarked spot at the top of the box right now, kind of the way Ramsey did in that excellent goal-scoring form of his. Odegaard seems eager to get in there, too.


I think we need them both in the team together. Particularly without any contribution in hold up/build up from our CFs.


I think Arteta was hoping Partey would be able to do a little more of the Fernandinho this season, allowing him to play a 4141 and attack with more numbers and creative players out there. It still might be possible if Partey finds his form. I’m curious to see who starts tomorrow.


I just don’t get why he split up the Konga-Partey. Complete madness…


Agreed. I think Arteta was hoping it would “release” (the) Partey a bit by putting Xhaka with him again, but, as with you, I’d rather we persist with Sambi no matter who partners him, as he is the future of our midfield.

Alan Sunderland

Agree we’ve all seen enough of xhaka and partey to know they’re not the answer. Sambi better at no. 8 than both them. Amn could well be the better option at no.6 than both of them. I don’t think arteta is secure enough in his position to drop either of them. Maybe with partey gone to the Acon he will be forced into it, much like Smith rowe last season.

A Different George

I’m sure you’re right about that. A 4-1-4-1 (or a 4-3-3 which on the pitch is very similar) requires that we can play from the back relying on Partey and the fullbacks to transition the ball (with someone like Odegaard or Smith Rowe only occasionally coming back to help). The Fernandinho comparison is a good one–people thought of him as a disrupter or ball winner, but he got the ball forward very effectively. If Partey were Fernadinho (or better yet, Yaya Toure or, best of all, Patrick Vieira), I think we would see what Arteta actually wants. The danger, as… Read more »


All very well put.

I understand our fear about the system requirements being too perfect, but I’ve got no problems with a manager demanding perfection from his players, especially at the Arsenal. It made us Invincible once … 😉


My concern is I think this is pretty much bang on Arteta’s thinking: “can I make partey into Fernadinho”. He’s still caught so tightly by Pep’s tactical noose. Pep has basically the most elite and tactically astute players in world football to execute his system and even then it’s a struggle. Arteta is forcing square pegs into round holes to try and achieve that instead of framing the system around what to has to achieve the best success. Konga-Partey has to be the priority because it offer balance and a high tempo, both of which we need. Teams try to… Read more »

Alan Sunderland

The difference in results from last boxing day would say yes.

Teryima Adi

Smith Rowe is a special talent.

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