Emile Smith Rowe issues Arsenal rallying cry for Tottenham derby clash amid surprise injury revelation

Emile Smith Rowe issues Arsenal rallying cry for Tottenham derby clash amid surprise injury revelation

Emile Smith Rowe says Arsenal will use the pain of last season’s defeat at Tottenham as motivation ahead of Sunday’s north London derby.

Arsenal were beaten 3-0 at Spurs back in May and the defeat allowed Tottenham to pip them in the race for Champions League qualification.

The Gunners are now top of the Premier League, with Spurs 11 points behind them in fifth having played a game more.

Arsenal are determined to keep their stunning season going by winning on Sunday, with Smith Rowe hoping to make an impact himself after returning to action on Monday night following a four-month lay-off.

“We are going to train really hard and we will use the energy, how we felt last year, going into the game,” said Smith Rowe. “I think it would be massive for us [to get a result at Tottenham]. I think it couldn’t come at a better time.

Return: Emile Smith Rowe made his long-awaited injury coneback for Arsenal against Oxford (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Return: Emile Smith Rowe made his long-awaited injury coneback for Arsenal against Oxford (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“We are feeling really good at the moment. All the boys know what it means to play in these kind of games.”

Smith Rowe will be in the squad for Sunday’s derby after coming off the bench during Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Oxford in the third round of the FA Cup.

The 22-year-old had been out since September after undergoing surgery to solve a groin problem that had troubled him since a loan spell at RB Leipzig during the 2018-19 season.

“A lot of people might not know, but I have had this injury since I was 18, 19,” said Smith Rowe. “It was the exact same pain from back then, which has been quite hard to manage.

“It has been quite hard to deal with it over the years. But I am really happy that it is just finally over.

“It was really tough, but the whole team was around me. The manager really helped me and obviously I had my family back home supporting me.

“I was pretty much with the squad from the start to be honest after surgery. I was in all the meetings and stuff, trying to keep up with the knowledge and learning every day what he (manager Mikel Arteta) was trying to apply in training.

“I have been itching to get out there and play with the boys. I hope I can make an impact. I hope we can have a great rest of the season.”