Thursday, June 13, 2024

“We’re really happy to have him” – Arteta plays down Smith Rowe exit talk

Mikel Arteta stopped short of dismissing rumours linking Emile Smith Rowe with a loan move to West Ham United but he did make clear he’s “really happy” with the midfielder.

It was reported this morning by various sources that the Hammers had made contact with Arsenal about the possibility of a short-term deal; an attempt to take advantage of the player’s frustration at a lack of playing time this season.

Smith Rowe has made just 12 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions, only two of which were starts. While injury issues have played a part, it certainly doesn’t help that the club captain, Martin Odegaard, plays in his preferred number 10 role.

“I’m really happy with Emile,” said Arteta in his pre-Crystal Palace press conference.

“He’s in the right trajectory and now he’s settled, he’s training really well and you know I’m not going to be talking about any individual situation.”

Asked if the player is doing anything differently to aid his cause, Arteta added: “No change, Emile is Emile. He’s got incredible qualities and we are really happy to have him.

“What he needs now is chances to put all the desire and qualities that he has on the pitch and in order to do that we have to give him minutes.”

In truth, there’s little new in what Arteta has said. He’s repeatedly said the onus is on him to pick Smith Rowe but when push comes to shove, he often looks elsewhere on game days.

If that doesn’t change, you suspect Smith Rowe will look for an exit, but it does seem like talk of an exit this month is premature.

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Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t remember smith Rowe being a number 10.. I can only remember him being good on the left wing coming inside


He broke into the team as a 10 as I recall and did very well there, he really started playing left wing when we brought in Odegaard on loan.

El Mintero

I actually think that’s his best position.

Spanish Gooner

But did we not bring Odegaard in only a couple of weeks after he broke through?


Something like that, though there was a transition between them and ESR was still getting minutes in the position.

Reality check

ESR doesn’t seem like a classic no10 who dictates attack in the final third, probing like Xavi or Iniesta, or shielding and releasing, through balls etc like Bergkamp. He’s more a Kaka, a mix of Rosicky and Hleb. He is an instigator, an accelerator. His one twos, off the ball runs, half turns, ball striking, and just general understanding of the attacking play is top notch. Running power, pace, height and how smoothly he switches between his feet, doesn’t disturb the flow at all. What a player.


Just like our super jack

karl g

I just want to know if there is a medical reason he is not getting any playing time when we need goals so badly. ESR is the one player who is really direct and plays one twos to open up a defence.


But he’s done nothing for us for 2 years. Even if you belive there is a good player in there you must concede he’s clearly doing something wrong. When he played at 8 earlier in the season he looked lost when we didn’t have the ball.


So is Kai. But why does Kai get all the forgiveness and chances?


If all chances are given to ESR then fundamentally MA would be unable to prove that Havertz was a world class signing.


Smith Rowe has the qualities which made us a dynamic team last season. It was Xhaka coming from deep into goal scoring situations, which took teams by surprise. This year we have missed that.
ESR can play between the lines, arrive into the box at the right time, and has an eye for goal. Can he be the Ljunberg of 2002 season!


ESR needs to do a bit more of the rough and nasty stuff if he wants to lock down that #8 role. It’s still there for the taking. Kai works hard, but he still just isn’t dynamic enough going forward (every contribution is the easy pass and avoiding take ons; and of course he could still be a better finisher). ESR is like the reverse Havertz. He is more creative, but I think he’s weaker than Mikel would like defensively. Can we splice the two?


Yes, he kicked in right when we needed him after dabizas injured our free scoring pires


Hopefully this is the point in the season where we start using him more, finally! Would hate it and feel very sad if he went elsewhere, think it would be a big loss.


We all think he’s wonderful. We’ve seen raw generational talent lurking in him. We’re all convinced he just needs to find the right key to unlock Saka level superpowers.

The biggest travesty would be to let him go without at least seeing what he could do.


I know the management staff see all the players first hand all the time and have advanced data and metrics telling them everything they want to know. That’s why I’m really sad ESR has played so little. They must be looking at a shadow of the player I believed (and still believe despite the evidence) he could be.


I watched smith Rowe at the U21s and he looked a shadow of himself. Hope he gets the game time to build back up , but I doubt it will be at arsenal.


Could we not have him play the left 8 position? His finishing is good, good on the ball, decent link play etc. He’s clearly got injury issues, but if you were to rotate him with someone else, this could work. Plus he’s then versatile enough to cover the wide forward or 10 roles.


He can’t defend. Xhaka & Havertz are great at defending set pieces. ESR is not.


Feel ESR may be our most natural fit for the left 8 role, and Arteta’s refusal to play him has been frustrating to say the least. Hopefully these comments will put the exit talk to bed and Emile can crack on.

El Mintero

At this stage I take all Arteta comments with a bucket of salt. Still waiting on Ramsdale playing every other game etc…


MA so set in his ways, he doesn’t appear to be flexible enough to change things tactically. Insisting players concentrate on possession; which has taken away the gung-ho attacking tactics of early last year – which obviously worked!
Quite obvious to fans (and opposition -duh!) that sideways passing to keep possession is paramount to MA.
NOT working – the team is better than that – release the hounds!


I agree.

He’s not a Mourinho style tell it like it is guy.

Arteta plays a political game. His words do not match his actions.


For the record I’m not saying one style is better than the other.

And to be crystal clear, Mourinho is a cunt.


Not long ago he said same about Ramsdale

Arshavins left foot

Who do you think is better? Ramsdale, Tierney & Smith Rowe or Raya, Zinchenko & Havertz?


It’s a strange question, but it has some merit. Obviously we know MA’s answer, a trusted keeper, a more natural LB, with ESR and Martinelli allows a better interaction / development of our left side which has been lacking this year.

Arshavins left foot

It’s a simple question to find out opinion from fans view. Not rocket science which trio do you think is best?

El Mintero

Ramsdale, Tierney and Smith-Rowe. And therein lies our problem with current team.


Ramsdale – can save a game single handedly like Schmeichel
Zinchenko – adds control and creativity to our name unlike any other defender
Smith Rowe – dynamic, direct and proven goal scorer


Raya Zinchenko and Havertz. It’s not even close for me

I’m not sure what you could interpret from the way you’ve asked the question because the premise of bunching players together and trying to objectively compare which group is better is pretty flawed.

Raya and Ramsdale are neck and neck.

Tierney is always injured and can’t play left back in the role required in this team but is a far superior defender.

ESR hasn’t played competitively for so long how is anyone supposed to have an informed opinion on it?


Heart says first trio is best, head says second trio.

Cranky Colin

He has been injured, but dare I say it….. when fit he’s a bigger goal scoring threat than Martin.
In fact, when fit, he’s as good an overall player as Martin.
There, I said it🙀


Wouldn’t agree with your assessment about Odergaurd but would if you were stating it about Havertz, i get so many thumbs down when i say i can’t see what he brings to our team, he only gets in the team ahead of ESR coz miki has to justify his decision to buy him and the incredible fee and wages we paid for him, i scratch my head every time i see him heading the ball over 2 feet from goal or not taking it early and having a shot, apart from his scrappy goals and a pen, no assists, no… Read more »

El Mintero



Yea, if you play him then it’d be good start


To fit in a special player like Esr firstly you need to make sure he can be available. Our build up, pressing and combinations are complicated. You cannot just swap players in and out without training the entire team. Rose it will not be fluid enough. We have a hard time this season with virtually every team sitting ultra defensive and not minding a draw at all. Whereas last season they didn’t clear up as much and just simply played five at the back. Pegasus that is why we are trying to buy a versatile defender who can cover the… Read more »

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