EPL

Arsenal always believed they could turn things around, says Smith Rowe

By Sports Desk November 07, 2021

Emile Smith Rowe has praised the spirit in Arsenal's squad to recover from a slow start to the season and climb into fifth place heading into the November international break.

The Gunners kicked off the 2021-22 campaign with three league defeats in a row without scoring for the first time in their history.

Since losing 5-0 at Manchester City on August 28, however, Arsenal have gone eight without defeat in the top flight – their best run since another eight-game spell that ended in March 2020.

Mikel Arteta's men are also unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions thanks to Sunday's 1-0 win over Watford at Emirates Stadium.

Smith Rowe, who scored the only goal of the game against Watford with a second-half strike after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had an earlier penalty saved, insists he always had full faith in his side's ability to bounce back.

"We have been working really hard. It was really important we got three points today," he told Sky Sports.

"I think we always believed in ourselves and each other. It was just about coming together as a team and we are such a family."

Smith Rowe has now scored in three successive Premier League games, making him only the fourth Arsenal player to do so aged 21 or under after Nicolas Anelka, Jose Antonio Reyes and Cesc Fabregas.

That goal came from one of 14 shots Arsenal managed in a game they largely dominated against Watford, who had Juraj Kucka sent off late on for a second bookable offence.

"It was a difficult game for us today. Watford are a strong team, so I'm [glad] we got the three points," Smith Rowe said. 

"I am happy to score. I have been practising during training. It's really special and doing it at home and in front of our fans is even better."

Smith Rowe has five goals this season – already his best in a single campaign – but his form has yet to be rewarded with a call-up to the England senior squad.

Asked if he is disappointed not to be part of Gareth Southgate's squad for this month's World Cup qualifiers, Smith Rowe said: "It's important I just keep my head down and work hard."

Related items

  • Modric: We're not going to crucify Mbappe Modric: We're not going to crucify Mbappe

    Luka Modric believes that Kylian Mbappe could still move to Real Madrid in the future despite snubbing the Champions League winners to remain at Paris Saint-Germain.

    Mbappe was widely expected to move to the Santiago Bernabeu, with his contract at PSG having been set to expire, but instead he elected to pen a new deal to extend his stay in Paris through to 2025.

    That led to an angry reaction from Madrid fans, and even LaLiga president Javier Tebas, who expressed his frustration by declaring the decision an "insult to football" as he launched a complaint to UEFA.

    However, Modric has stated that Mbappe should not be crucified for staying in France and believes the door remains open for the 23-year-old to head to Madrid in the coming years.

    "Mbappe decided as he decided, that is his right and now he lives with that decision. It goes on," Modric told Sportske.

    "We all thought he would come to us, it didn't happen and – now what? Well, we're not going to crucify the man.

    "Mbappe is a great player, but as I always repeat, in any context, no player is more important than the club. Real is the greatest, above every player and it will always be like that.

    "Who knows what can happen tomorrow, let alone in three or four years in football? Only time will tell."

    Mbappe's snub did not affect the end to the season for Madrid, who having wrapped up another LaLiga title, went on to defeat Liverpool 1-0 in the Champions League final, which was held in Paris.

  • Cavs give Garland $193m extension Cavs give Garland $193m extension

    The Cleveland Cavaliers and guard Darius Garland have agreed to a five-year, $193 million contract extension, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday.  

    The extension is the maximum a player can have added to his rookie contract and could be worth a reported $231m.  

    The deal is the largest in franchise history.  

    Garland scored 21.7 points per game last season and averaged 8.6 assists, helping to guide Cleveland to a resurgence.

    With a 44-38 record, 2021-22 was the Cavs' first winning season without LeBron James since 1997-98.  

    Garland, 22, is now locked into a promising young core that includes 21-year-old Evan Mobley and 24-year-old Jarrett Allen in the frontcourt.

    The Cavs drafted Garland fifth overall in 2019, and the point guard was named to his first All-Star team last season.

  • Luuk de Jong returns to PSV following Spanish spell with Sevilla and Barcelona Luuk de Jong returns to PSV following Spanish spell with Sevilla and Barcelona

    Luuk de Jong has brought an end to his three-year spell in LaLiga with Sevilla and Barcelona by returning to PSV.

    The 31-year-old joined Sevilla from PSV in 2019 and scored 19 goals in 94 appearances, including a brace in the club's 3-2 win over Inter in the 2020 Europa League final.

    He joined Barcelona on loan last season and featured 29 times, but the seven goals netted were not enough to persuade Xavi's side of making a permanent move for the striker.

    Rather than return to Sevilla for the 2022-23 campaign, the Netherlands international has instead re-joined Eredivisie side PSV on a three-year deal.

    PSV and Sevilla both confirmed the transfer on their official websites on Saturday, with reports from Spain valuing the transfer in the region of €4million.

    De Jong scored more than 100 goals for PSV in his previous five-year stint at the Philips Stadion, helping his side to three league titles, and is excited to be back in Eindhoven.

    "I'm home again. That's how it really feels," De Jong said. "I can't wait to score goals for PSV again and hope to see the whole stadium jump again after that. 

    "Great things can happen this season together. In all the years I played here, we went for the title. It seems logical to me that I want to do that again. 

    "In addition, I want to enter the Champions League with PSV. It is fantastic to be able to play football on that podium."

    De Jong, who had been linked with numerous other clubs, added: "It gives a great feeling to return. In recent weeks I read that many fans were hoping for it.

    "This choice was not very difficult for me to make. The club is building something very beautiful and I want to be part of that. It feels like something great is about to happen here."

    De Jong, capped 38 times by the Netherlands, has also previously won the Eredivisie and Dutch Cup with Twente.

    He joins the likes of Xavi Simons, Walter Benitez and Ki-Jana Hoever in joining PSV, who are now managed by Ruud van Nistelrooy.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.