Arsenal legend Tony Adams thinks Emile Smith Rowe should’ve been given more time on the pitch this season under Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners were leading the Premier League title race for most of the season but some poor results over the last month or so saw Manchester City clinch the title on Saturday.
Arsenal lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest yesterday with the Gunners picking up just nine points from a possible 24 in their last eight Premier League matches.
Some players have underperformed in recent weeks and former defender Adams reckons Arteta should’ve used Smith Rowe more towards the end of the season.
Adams told Sky Sports: “We’ve depended on Martinelli and Saka for most of the season. To give them a rest now and again…
“They could have given Emile a bit more air time for me. He could have subbed Martinelli and let him play off the left-hand side.
“Just because we’re always going to need them. We need them to get over the line.
“I’ve been waiting for the errors to come and they weren’t coming. Everything was stable.
“We had it going on. But as soon as the resources, a couple of injuries, people lost their form, it just didn’t work. I think it’s been lost three months ago.”
Reacting to missing out on the title to Manchester City, Arteta said: “(We’re) sad because we lost the game, sad because obviously it’s the day we have lost the championship.
“After 10 and a half months fighting for it, working every single day, just trying to get to that dream that we all had, and that we all fought for so hard.
“But at the end, we came up short. You need to get the team in the best moment in the last six league games; everybody healthy, everybody playing at their best and in the key moments, take those moments and maintain the momentum, and we haven’t been able to do that.”
Arteta added: “Today is too painful and I think we have to heal now for the next three days. Make sure we prepare well this week, we have a huge responsibility to give our people the best possible performance and a win, with the support and everything that they’ve done for the team, and we need to do that first.
“We need to get rid of this feeling that we have right now.
“[We need to] show a lot of appreciation and gratitude for everything that they’ve done for the team. They’ve been incredible and the belief has transformed the team, individually and collectively. We have to give our best to give that back.”
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