Friday, August 19, 2022

Arteta opens up on Smith Rowe’s lack of game time

Mikel Arteta has revealed that Emile Smith Rowe hasn’t been starting games in the last few weeks because the player hasn’t been fully fit

The England international started 13 of Arsenal’s opening 14 Premier League games this season but has only played 63 minutes of the last six games since the start of December when he scored in the 3-2 defeat to Manchester United.

That’s not to say the midfielder hasn’t made his presence felt over the festive period. Goals in consecutive league games against West Ham, Leeds and Norwich helped add a late gloss to vital wins and further underlined the player’s importance to the team despite teammates starting ahead of him.

Asked about how Smith Rowe has reacted to less game time, Arteta explained: “Well the main reason (behind) that was because he wasn’t completely fit to play.

“He’s been carrying an issue, and that hasn’t allowed him to train regularly, to play regularly, and that was the main reason. Because in his performances, and what he did before that international break – there is no question that he was one of our more important and consistent players.

“The only reason that changed the dynamic was that – and obviously now that the team (has been) doing well, there are other players who are doing well, and have been performing well. That changed the situation, but I am very happy with him.”

That Smith Rowe might have to go head-to-head with Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli to get his place back is certainly not something that is concerning the boss. Quite the opposite, in fact.

“This is why we need that [competition], we raise the level. Each player raises the level of the player next to him, and this is how you evolve as a team. How you create a culture around the team, that when I get the opportunity I have to grab it.

“That a statement should be done on the pitch, and not talking or making comments, and when you have the opportunity, grab it. Then show how good you are, and then if you do that you continue playing.”

Arteta had earlier revealed that due to injuries, Covid-19 and Arsenal’s African contingent being away on international duty, that he’s short of numbers at the moment. With that in mind, it seems very likely that Smith Rowe (if fit) will feature against Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

Related articles


newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The other good thing about ESR not playing much is that he got enough rest..we need him energised for the 2nd part of the season


Sensible approach, don’t burn him out, keep him fresh and always in contention.

The fact that he’s still performed the way he has, whilst not being full fit. 🔥🔥🔥


Great. The competition in the team motivates them. Tierney was having a bad start to the season, got injured, Nuno came in and performed excellently while Tierney watched from the bench. Immediately he got the.chance to start, we saw a better Tierney.

I am sure in the summer we will add even more players to ramp up competition in every position. It’s going to be glorious!

SLC Gooner

No issue with this as long as ESR understands and is OK. Managing time and injuries with these young players is critical. Wish we’d been able to do it better with Wilshere.


Yea as others have said, love this. Strong competition in those more attacking spots is creating healthy competition & we’re seeing the fruition of that in our recent performances. ESR also has a recent history of small injuries so hopefully those managed minutes have kept him in the green zone

J E Cashy

This is why I was for Ødegaard to be signed up despite some fans worrying about ESR’s game time.
We’d always need one of these two, if not both, on the pitch all the time.
Hope the two can help each other keep out of the red zone all season.


Get in another wide player to replace Pepe and a proper CF or two for beginning of next season and our attack will be looking very healthy for League + Europe.

2 CF’s
ESR, Saka, Martinelli. Ode. Newbie
Such flexibility, such consistency, such wow.


Off topic, I know but Isak over Vlahovic every day of the week. If a player openly expresses his lack of desire to join Arsenal Football Club, he doesn’t deserve to come.

Isak all day long..!


The thing is it’s all agent talk, I can’t find vlahovic saying anything directly about Arsenal.

all I’ve seen is agents saying he wants a team with more ambition, and to take florentina into Europe and this was said before our run of games where we’ve actually played like atop 4 side.


So, same as Auba: he lost his place (through injury, in this case) and the team performing well and winning (bar Man. City).


Ok, got u…I dont like my #10 on the bench. Can we at least get Henry 2.0″ (Aleksander Isak), this Dusan deal is another horse to the river. And Renato., Am really worried about Xhaka and his consistent fouls in big games eish

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x