Smith Rowe interview: Top 4 failures only make us hungrier

Smith Rowe interview: Top 4 failures only make us hungrier


It is now five years since Arsenal played in the Champions League and, after their painful end to last season, the desire to return is greater than ever.

Arsenal were on course to finish in the Premier League top four with three games to go, but back-to-back defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle ended that dream. Mikel Arteta’s young side had to settle for fifth – and the pain of last season acts as the perfect fuel as they try to do better this year.

“It’s hard to look back, it was in our hands,” Emile Smith Rowe told Arsenal standard sports. “The Spurs game…it was tough. It wasn’t a good atmosphere [in the dressing room]. All the boys were down.

“The manager came to pick us up and we had another chance after that, but it didn’t work out in the end. To move forward, we just have to stick together as a team. We’re a young team, we We’re still getting there. It’s fuel for us to move forward and we can’t wait to start the season.

The race to finish in the top four next season promises to be more competitive than ever.

Chelsea and Tottenham have embarked on aggressive recruitment campaigns, while Manchester United are hoping to turn things around under new manager Erik ten Hag. West Ham will expect to face David Moyes at the helm again, and Leicester and Newcastle could also be in the game.

“It will be a good season, a difficult season,” added Smith Rowe. “Big clubs buy players and every season is difficult, but we are confident. It’s been a long time since we’ve been in the Champions League. We have to get back to it, not just for us but also for the fans.

Arsenal are keen to strengthen the bond with their fanbase – and they used USA supporter Aston Mack as part of today’s launch for their new away kit.

He rose to prominence in July 2020, when a photo of him at a Black Lives Matter protest went viral, with Mack stressing the importance of him wearing an Arsenal shirt to help spread the message and protect him .

“It was a very scary time in 2020,” Mack says. “When I was among people and I didn’t know what was going on, I knew if I wore my kit someone would protect me. That’s what Arsenal always wanted to do.”

The mood of the fans has certainly improved since the end of last season. The arrival of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City for £45million has undoubtedly helped – and his goal in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Everton in the opener of their US tour was his third in two pre-season games so far.

Smith Rowe said of Jesus: “He’s been fantastic since he arrived, it feels like he’s been here for a few years. Everyone knows how good he is and we can’t wait to get started with him. Man City are a great club and he has won a lot recently. It would be nice if he could bring that [winning] mentality and help us.

There’s a similar buzz around the signing of midfielder Fabio Vieira, who joined Porto in a deal that could be worth £34million and has been compared to Bernardo Silva.

“He looks a lot like [to Silva]”said Smith Rowe. “He’s a very good passer, his left foot is very good and he likes to create goals and score them himself.

“I’ve played against him at international level before, so I can’t speak highly enough of him, and the fans should be really excited. At the Euro Under-21s, they [Portugal] beat us 2-0 and he was amazing in that game.

Smith Rowe is relishing the competition for places that Vieira brings. The pair will battle to start in some of the advanced midfield roles that Arteta likes to use, although the Spaniard has also floated the idea that Smith Rowe functions as a false nine.

“As a young player you don’t really care where you play, you just want to play,” says Smith Rowe. “I’m open to anything, we’ll see what happens.”

The Arsenal 22/23 away kit is now available. Get yours at Arsenal Direct.

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