Arsenal star explains why he was ‘a bit disappointed’ after man of the match display | Football

Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard were outstanding in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Luton Town (Picture: Getty)

Emile Smith Rowe might have walked away with the man of the match award following Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Luton Town last night but fans’ favourite admitted he was still left with a sense of ‘disappointment’.

It has been another difficult season for the Hale End Academy graduate who has been forced to bide his time for opportunities to break into a side that is again challenging for the Premier League title.

Given Arsenal’s brutal schedule, Mikel Arteta opted to rotate his side for last night’s game against the relegation threatened Hatters and made five changes to the team that held Manchester City to a creditable draw at the Etihad last weekend.

Smith Rowe was a major beneficiary of that decision and the England international impressed on what was his first start since a 2-1 victory against Nottingham Forest back in January.

The 23-year-old rewarded his manager’s faith by producing an accomplished performance and was involved in both of the first half goals which helped ensure the Gunners returned to the top of the table, albeit having played a game more than Liverpool.

Despite his hugely encouraging performance that gave Arteta a timely reminder of his ability, Smith Rowe was left frustrated at having passed up the opportunity to end a long-running goal drought that is set to reach an unwanted two-year anniversary.

‘I’m a bit disappointed I couldn’t get a goal tonight because it’s been so long, but I’m really happy with being part of two goals,’ he said. ‘I think getting a clean sheet was really important for us. We’re delighted.

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Emile Smith Rowe playing for Arsenal against Luton Town

Emile Smith Rowe was involved in both of Arsenal’s goals against Luton Town (Picture: Getty)

‘I got really tired at the end to be fair! Obviously, I haven’t played a lot and I think that shows. I’m really happy with my performance and minutes tonight so let’s see what’s next.’

He added: ‘It’s been a really tough season for me and some of the other players haven’t played as much as we’d have liked to.

‘It’s important that we came in tonight and put in a performance and show the manager that we can be a part of this team.

‘He (Arteta) told us [they were starting] this morning, but I think it just shows the mentality of the team. All season, the boys are ready to step in and put in a performance and I think it just shows how tight we are as a team – it’s like a family.

‘We’re really happy that players can come in and still perform. That’s what it’s about, the strength in depth is really good.’

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