Emile Smith Rowe injury to cost Arsenal midfielder ‘weeks’, Mikel Arteta says after ‘pain’ of West Ham defeat

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Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe will miss “weeks” with a knee injury sustained in his first Premier League appearance of the season, manager Mikel Arteta said after seeing his side exit the Carabao Cup with a limp 3-1 defeat at West Ham United.

Former England international Smith Rowe set up Eddie Nketiah’s hat-trick goal in Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing of Sheffield United at the Emirates Stadium, but suffered knee pain that will rule the 23-year-old out of more games following his groin operation last season, which left him had to miss most of the campaign.

“He will be out for weeks,” Arteta said after the meek round of 16 depositions, after admitting Smith Rowe’s latest outlay was a “major concern” ahead of the match.

Smith Rowe’s predicament compounded Arteta’s woes on a night when Arsenal’s four-match winning run came to an emphatic end after the Spaniard made six changes to his starting line-up.

Arteta said his players had failed to do “a lot of simple things” needed to win, with few making an impact as the likes of Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli started on the bench.

West Ham had not beaten Arsenal since January 2019 and were on a four-match winless run that included three consecutive defeats, the latest of which came at home to lowly Everton in the Premier Legue on Sunday.

“I’m disappointed in myself because I wanted to play a certain way and we couldn’t do that,” Arteta said.

“We have to be honest with the players: some of them haven’t had that many minutes yet. Asking them to do it straight away in the first game, in another competition surrounded by players who haven’t started yet, is not a fair assessment.

“Obviously there are different players who bring something different to the table, but that’s not the point. We didn’t do well at all.

“(There were) a lot of giveaways in areas that prevented us from being a threat at any point in the final third. That’s something we need to improve dramatically from today.”

Arsenal had all eight attempts on target during the first half but only one on target before half-time as Kai Havertz’s glancing header was tipped over the crossbar by former Gunners goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Arteta did not speak in depth about England international Aaron Ramsdale’s performance in his first start for more than a month, but backed the visiting goalkeeper’s complaint that he was hampered by Tomas Soucek for West Ham’s opener, leaving him out managed to save Ben White’s headed own-goal. .

MORE: Read how Newcastle manhandled United in the Carabao Cup

“If there is VAR, there is certainly no goal,” Arteta said, referring to the absence of technology in the Carabao Cup. “I understand it’s difficult for the referees because of the angle and the number of people there.

“But I don’t want to use that as an excuse. We can still compete for the ball much better than then and in that position. That obviously takes away something in the game that is very important: momentum.”

The only other defeat Arsenal have suffered this season was in the UEFA Champions League at Lens. They can extend their unbeaten start in the league to 11 games and potentially top the Premier League when they return to action at sixth-placed Newcastle United on Saturday.

“Every time you lose a game the pain is there,” Arteta said. “We have to use this pain on Saturday, that’s for sure.”

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