Many Arsenal fans were left slamming the display of Emile Smith Rowe in their 1-1 draw versus Benfica in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night.
The tie was technically their away leg although it was played in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome in what ended up being a frustrating game for Mikel Arteta and his men.
Should Arsenal start Smith Rowe?
The Emirates Stadium faithful were largely dominant but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang especially missed a few big chances that would have made the second leg much more comfortable.
Bukayo Saka saved the Gunners’ blushes after captain Pizzi put the hosts in front from the penalty spot.
Smith Rowe was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area and so gave away the pen in what was not his best night by his standards.
The 20-year-old lost out on no fewer than four of his duels and also failed to record a single shot, dribble, key pass, accurate cross or long ball, while he also lost possession 11 times, earning him a very measly 5.9 overall rating on Sofascore, the lowest out of any player to have set foot on the pitch.
Arsenal fan reaction to Smith Rowe display
These Gooners slammed his performance on Twitter, with one AFC supporter even going as far as to say that he was ‘clueless’ while another claimed that he ‘needs to be shipped off to the Championship’:
“We needed to slow the game and avoid a loss because our attack had lost ideas. Smith Rowe was tired and clueless, Auba gave up, Pepe and Martinelli looked exposed, Saka and Odegaard did not have any more tricks. There was no killer power. Tierney and Cedric could not make runs.”
“Smith Rowe needs to be shipped off to the Championship again. Only rated because he’s from fail end and runs around like a horse.”
“Arsenal fan but it was a pen. Dumb decision from Smith Rowe”
“Arsenal’s creative spark Martin Ødegaard dropped a very good performance against a team playing such a low block. However, performances from other creators such as Emile Smith Rowe and Hector Bellerin from full back were average or simply poor.”
“Smith Rowe was poor and stop with the Bellerin agenda”
“Smith Rowe was poor.”
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