Saturday, June 22, 2024

Arteta on Smith Rowe: It’s what you do now that’s important

Last season, Emile Smith Rowe finished as Arsenal’s second highest goalscorer, with 11 in all competitions to this name.

This time around, he’s been a peripheral figure, his campaign affected by an injury which required surgery, and in total he has just 114 Premier League minutes to his name.

Ahead of our game against Southampton on Friday night, Mikel Arteta was asked about certain players who have been pushing for greater involvement, and Smith Rowe was one of those.

His influence last year was undeniable, but the Arsenal boss insisted what happened in the past is just that, and how a player seeks involvement in the present is more important.

He’s pushing, and in football what you did a year ago, a month ago is not important,” said the Spaniard.

“It’s about what you do now, what you do yesterday and what you do tomorrow. The player has to have that mindset and the contribution has to be now to the team, it has to make us better and to make us win games.

“He’s very close.”

It echoes comments made last month, when the manager said, “He knows how much we love him and he knows how much we missed him and how much we need his qualities.

“Now he needs to prove it, he needs to prove how much he wants to win, how much he’s going to contribute to this team to be better and to win.

“He’s going to have to show that to get in the team.”

Smith Rowe was an unused substitute in our 2-2 draw with West Ham on Friday, so let’s see if he’s involved tomorrow against the Saints.


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Different approaches work with different players – I think he needs the manager to show some faith in him in the form of minutes on the pitch. Vieira hasn’t had an impact recently and so should be his turn. His added height and physical frame should add something to us defensively as well when compared to other options.


I would love to see him get a run in the team. I understand that’s difficult at this stage of the season with so much on the line, however he is one of our best players when he’s fit and in form. Frustrating to see Viera ahead in the pecking order.


And so it begins. Vieira might not recover from this in the eyes of some fans.
ESR was one of our best wingers last season but looked rusty after the operation this season. Vieira hasn’t had the best impact in this team AS A CENTRAL MIDFIELD player but as long as ESR doesn’t get as much game time as we/some fans hope, there will be anger directed at a player in a different position (one which some fans hope he plays in the future) who isn’t even a starter. We have seen this script before


I haven’t seen much anger, it’s arguably just stating fact. I can’t really think of a game where Vieria has come in and made an impact, especially not in the league.
ESR I thought looked good when he came on against Bournemouth, and he got the assist for Partey too.


He did score in his 1st EPL start for Arsenal. Also set up a couple assists, one vs Villa for Martinelli springs to mind. It’s his 1st year in the Prem so he’s bound to need time to adapt unless his name is Erling Haaland or Patrick.


Yeah that’s not necessarily a criticism of Vieria, he’s still very young- Saka has just warped what we expect from players in their early 20s.
Honestly I’m just biased, I love ESR. Probably my favourite player to watch when on song, reminds me of Pires. Hope he knuckles down and has his moment in the sun!

Funsho Patrick

I absolutely agree with you…Viera isn’t an upgrade… we’ll need the squad for champions League next season though…


I REALLY love ESR. I think his ceiling is higher than a lot of other players, and I feel it is now down to application for him. He has competition and I hope he rises to it. Arteta isn’t making the noises he did about other players like Tavares or Guendouzi, I think this is just a little nudge that he needs to do more. I’m praying he comes good again, I think we could do with him in this final furlong when players like Saka and Martinelli might be tired from all their efforts.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

When Arteta doesn’t speak about you and you don’t get in the squad then you need to worry. This is the stage just prior to that persona non grata. Arteta believes ESR needs a kick in the ass, to push himself harder to get minutes and he’s publicly telling everyone this which is the kick in the ass to see his reaction. Arteta’s trying to find out if he has the mentality to react in the best possible way.


I don’t think people outside Arsenal realise how good he is.

Honestly could see him KILLING IT in Xhaka’s role next season.

Bleeding Gums Murphy

That’s where he slots in for me. I would play him tonight there in place of Xhaka. He would add to the terror for Southampton


Could prove to be an ace in the pack over the next few weeks.

Definitely deserves to be given a chance from the bench on Friday and then even more so on Wednesday.

His eye for a goal could be crucial and, given all the other injuries and setbacks we’re currently having to contend with, a much needed boost to the team.

Was as bemused as anyone else that he didn’t feature at West Ham.

Time for the manager to give the lad a chance.



Man Manny

“Could prove to be an ace in the pack over the next few weeks,” you say. As much as I want to share that enthusiasm, I don’t think it’s gonna happen. 114 minutes of EPL football in 31 matches! is worse than poor. Where is the match fitness coming from? Besides, the manager has shown severally that Vieira and Nelson are ahead of him. Even Nketiah coming back from more than a month injury was preferred to him on Sunday. All signs, sadly, point to next season as the more realistic time we should expect any kind of impact from… Read more »


I think it might also be the case of weighing risk. Viera might not have had the biggest impact everytime he was fielded, but he has more minutes this season playing within a specific structure, something ESR doesn’t have. I think if all this happened in the first half of the season it might have been easier to risk playing him over another player.


Rip the shirt off Xhaka’s back is what he’s saying. I hope he does.


I get the sense his general fitness is the issue. Some players have to work harder for fitness. His best season came off the back of a perfect pre-season. I think he’ll need that again, so I don’t expect many more minutes this season.

Winterburns Right Wand

I wouldn’t put it passed him to have a big influence at the Etihad.

Cranky Colin

Starts……..scores 2 assists 2

Crash Fistfight

Not sure where all the hysteria about ESR is coming from on this blog/with the Arsenalvision lot.

I think Arteta is quite conservative when it comes to changing his line-up/making substitutions. ESR hasn’t been in the team for most of the season, so he doesn’t think he’s better than the other options. Also, he has previous with playing the players he has signed/chosen at the expense of others, even when the fans have been calling out for something different (wrt Vieira vs ESR). Look how much Willian played, even though he stunk the place out.

El Mintero

ESR is on another level of quality and needs a run to get back to his usual self. Having the likes of viera in front of him makes no sense.


Arteta is in such an interesting position, and since we are not there, inside, we do not even comprehend how interesting and challenging it is. By setting the standards so high at a club with a significant number of perhaps the most fragile fans in the EPL every decision is delicate. He has such a specific playing style it takes time to develop player depth at league winning ability. With undesired defensive changes once again required while also leading the league, he must be far less willing to make other changes, especially with such a young team. Martinelli has largely… Read more »


Just put him on the field already. He can’t show anyone a damn thing if he doesn’t play


Arsenal FC should play Emile Smith Rowe.Even in the summer they should keep this pure talent


Smith Rowe needs to step up his game if he’s going to be wearing the number 10, it’s only for the select few. Can’t be sitting on the bench with that number, I believe he will bounce back. Arteta trying to get the best out out of him. Yesterday is past, counts what you do now.


Viera is a waste of 35m. Won’t make. Edu did his friend Mendes a favour by buying his player at such a high cost to the club.


I agree we over paid and looks unlikely that he will make it. For his body structure he will need a set of skills comparable to David Silva.

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