Emile Smith Rowe has praised the spirit in Arsenal’s squad to recover from a slow start to the season and climb into fifth place heading into the November international break.
The Gunners kicked off the 2021-22 campaign with three league defeats in a row without scoring for the first time in their history.
Since losing 5-0 at Manchester City on August 28, however, Arsenal have gone eight without defeat in the top flight – their best run since another eight-game spell that ended in March 2020.
Mikel Arteta’s men are also unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions thanks to Sunday’s 1-0 win over Watford at Emirates Stadium.
Smith Rowe, who scored the only goal of the game against Watford with a second-half strike after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had an earlier penalty saved, insists he always had full faith in his side’s ability to bounce back.
“We have been working really hard. It was really important we got three points today,” he told Sky Sports.
“I think we always believed in ourselves and each other. It was just about coming together as a team and we are such a family.”
Smith Rowe has now scored in three successive Premier League games, making him only the fourth Arsenal player to do so aged 21 or under after Nicolas Anelka, Jose Antonio Reyes and Cesc Fabregas.
That goal came from one of 14 shots Arsenal managed in a game they largely dominated against Watford, who had Juraj Kucka sent off late on for a second bookable offence.
“It was a difficult game for us today. Watford are a strong team, so I’m [glad] we got the three points,” Smith Rowe said.
“I am happy to score. I have been practising during training. It’s really special and doing it at home and in front of our fans is even better.”
Smith Rowe has five goals this season – already his best in a single campaign – but his form has yet to be rewarded with a call-up to the England senior squad.
Asked if he is disappointed not to be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers, Smith Rowe said: “It’s important I just keep my head down and work hard.”
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