Mikel Arteta insists Emile Smith Rowe should be ‘HAPPY’ that people are ‘questioning’ Gareth Southgate over his England snub because ‘it tells you the level he is playing at’
- Emile Smith Rowe was snubbed by England for November’s World Cup qualifiers
- The Arsenal star has been in fine form this season with three goals in five games
- Mikel Arteta says fans questioning Gareth Southgate for the call is good news
- The Gunners boss believes Smith Rowe’s international bow will come eventually
Mikel Arteta believes it is only a matter of time before Emile Smith Rowe plays for England after his surprise omission from Gareth Southgate’s latest squad.
The in-form Arsenal midfielder had been widely tipped to earn his first senior call-up for this month’s World Cup qualifiers with Albania and San Marino after scoring four goals in his last seven games.
Smith Rowe was instead only included in the England Under-21s squad. But Arsenal boss Arteta has told the 21-year-old to stay patient and keep knocking on the door ahead of next year’s World Cup.
Mikel Arteta (right) says Emile Smith Rowe (left) should be proud despite not getting an England call-up this month
England boss Gareth Southgate did not give Smith Rowe his first England call-up this week
‘I think we should be happy if people are gutted or people are questioning any decision because that tells you the level that he is playing at,’ said Arteta.
‘Like anything that has happened in Emile’s career, it will come when it is the right moment. We don’t know if now is the right moment.
‘Gareth knows much better than us to judge what he thinks about the role he can have in that team.
‘If he has decided that it is not the right moment, I’m sure it was a very thoughtful process and the right decision.
Smith Rowe has been in fine form for the Gunners, with three goals for Arteta’s side this season
Arteta believes that Smith Rowe’s first England call-up ‘will come’ eventually in the future
‘Gareth has to make so many difficult choices because he has so many options.
‘What I like is that our players are performing at a level that I’m sure they are giving problems in selection to Gareth and the coaching staff. That’s what pleases me.
‘I know they have the level to do it and it will be about the time or when the manager decides it is the right moment to select them.’
Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale was, though, selected by Southgate, with many believing he could push Jordan Pickford as England’s No1.
Smith Rowe is currently a star in England’s Under-21s team, scoring his first goal last month
‘I am really happy for him to see him back there,’ said Arteta. ‘The rest is a decision for Gareth and the coaching staff to take.
‘Aaron needs to keep performing at that level and be humble, and other decisions are done by someone else.’
Arteta also expressed his sympathy for Nuno Espirito Santo, who was sacked by Arsenal’s rivals Tottenham this week and replaced by Antonio Conte.
‘I would like to send a message to Nuno and the coaching staff because it’s always tough to see a colleague leave their job,’ Arteta added.
Arteta also spoke about Tottenham’s appointment of Antonio Conte (above) as manager
‘Nuno has done extremely well in this country and has proven to be a top, top manager.
‘They have made a decision to bring in somebody else. We know that he has had a really successful past in the last two places he has been and we will see what he does here.
‘You can’t think of many more top, world-leading managers that are not in the Premier League but it is incredibly positive for our league. It raises the level because he has new ideas, because the competition is going to be even harder.’