Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta labelled the performance from wonderkid Emile Smith Rowe in the win against Spurs as ‘magnificent’ as the Spaniard raved about the attacking midfielder.
Smith Rowe turned in a complete performance, perhaps the best all-around since his break through as an important player for the Gunners this season, as the 20-year-old starred on the left-wing.
Smith Rowe created the most chances of any player on the pitch today with 4, a remarkable achievement considering the Arsenal academy graduate was replaced in the 77th minute by Willian.
The England youth international also did what was needed to strike the perfect balance whilst featuring on the same flank as the marauding Kieran Tierney as he chipped in with six ball recoveries.
Arteta was not simply going to leave a display like this as solely ‘magnificent’, the Arsenal boss also heaped praise on Smith Rowe’s ‘personality, intelligence and energy’.
Mikel Arteta absolutely loved the 'magnificent' performance and 'personality' from Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe in the Derby day win against Spurs… pic.twitter.com/aJ6XkXvpNt— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) March 14, 2021
“Well I think he had a magnificent performance as well, again. It shows not only quality, but his personality, his intelligence on the pitch, his energy – gives us something different.”
“Today, in a derby, you need some big individual performances and for sure he had one.”
Emile Smith Rowe’s game by numbers vs. Tottenham:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 14, 2021
97% pass accuracy
6 ball recoveries
4 chances created
1 foul won
1 woodwork hit
Arteta added that the versatile attacking midfielder gives the side ‘something different’, something that was noted by Premier League legend Gareth Barry when he was first starting to break in this term.
Smith Rowe has contributed six assists and a goal in his 21 first-team appearances this season, but his importance to the side can’t be quantified simply by those means, he’s clearly lifted the team with his energetic, forward-thinking and creative style of play.