Arsenal: Mikel Arteta explains Emile Smith Rowe’s lack of minutes | Football

Emile Smith Rowe has played in just 10 top-flight games this term (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has offered an explanation as to why Arsenal trio Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson are struggling for regular game time.

All three players were unused substitutes as the Gunners demolished Sheffield United 6-0 on Monday.

Smith Rowe has made just 16 appearances across all competitions this season while Nketiah and Nelson have also seen their opportunities somewhat limited.

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s home clash against Brentford on Saturday, Arteta was quizzed why the trio did not come off the bench at Bramall Lane.

‘We discussed things and we cannot play every player in every game,’ Arteta said.

‘Those players played a few games ago against Newcastle and they had opportunities to do that.

‘Now we have five subs, before we had only three, so we have another two players happy.

Arsenal FC v Newcastle United - Premier League

Mikel Arteta admits ‘we cannot play every player in every game’ (Picture: Getty)

‘That’s the way I take it, but you always have players who want to be involved and play, but unfortunately it is impossible.

‘It’s not in our hands, it’s impossible to achieve that so they know that.’

Asked if he had pulled them aside to discuss their amount of minutes, Arteta added: ‘You cannot really promise anything.

‘You never know what is going to happen in a three weeks time or seven days.

‘Just I think we have to show the compassion and they need to feel that we are next to them and we understand where they are, but the reality as well is that this is football.

‘This is a team sport and you have to understand and fulfil the role that you have in the moment and it might be very different in three weeks time.’


MORE : Mikel Arteta provides injury update on Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli ahead of Brentford clash


MORE : Barcelona make contact with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta’s representatives over summer swoop


MORE : Arsenal Women pulling in higher average attendances than 10 Premier League teams

General Sport