Why is Saka ‘undroppable?’ by Dan Smith
He waited for our title fate to be out of our own hands, but Mikel Arteta on Tuesday finally wasn’t scared to make changes.
Our manager has improved the team drastically this season both as individuals and collectively.
One of the few criticisms against the Spaniard is that after 3 consecutive draws he had evidence that our talent was not handling the pressure. His response at the Etihad? Play his usual line-up with the same system.
Partey deserved to be dropped, with the last month proving he can’t be considered world class after going missing when it mattered.
It took too long for Jorginho to be trusted. Who better, for example, to come on at Anfield and be trusted to keep hold of the ball?
Trossard strangely hadn’t started since getting a hat trick of assists at Fulham and another one against Palace. In other words, the Belgian did nothing wrong to be dropped.
So don’t confuse this article for questioning why Trossard started against Chelsea, it’s more about who he replaced.
The irony is our boss is usually so ruthless once he can’t trust a player. He is happy for the club to pay talent to sit at home, will loan individuals out till their contracts expire, convince his employers to rip up deals, etc.
The Kroenke Family should have made it part of the job criteria that their coach get the best of the resources at his disposal. That was supposed to be Arteta’s strength at Man City.
For better or worse though the 41-year-old is not afraid to make big decisions, no matter the reputations he’s dealing with. His judgement has never been dictated to by what’s popular with the public. He’s true to his own convictions.
So, Saka seems to be the exception to the rule.
April and May is the time of year which separates the good from the great. Physically and mentally Saka has looked exhausted recently and could have benefited from a rest.
That’s not a criticism of the youngster. He’s 21, it’s understandable if the run in has just been too big a step.
Yet some Gooners seem to agree with the boss, with their being little sympathy for Martinelli finding himself on the bench in midweek.
The same age as Saka, the Brazilian scored and made our other goal at Liverpool.
He got another assist at the London Stadium; the same ground Saka couldn’t keep a penalty on target.
He was then on the scoresheet against Southampton.
So, in the 4 occasions where Arsenal dropped points, Martinelli contributed to 4 goals compared to Saka’s 2 against the Saints.
With Trossard able to play anywhere across the front three I would have liked the media to ask what has Saka done better recently then Martinelli.
I’m not sure if it’s due to his Man City links or hiding behind his long-term injury, but some of our fan base find it easier to critique Jesus. I have heard some say that tactically we haven’t improved since the striker’s been fit. Again, though his output has been better then Saka’s. A goal at Anfield and the London Stadium, and at home to Chelsea.
Not just the stats though.
Jesus was fearless on Merseyside and against the Hammers, always coming deep to demand the ball, holding it up and winning fouls.
While some shied away and made the easy pass, Jesus took responsibiliy, wanting to be the one to make things happen.
So, on form our front three should be Trossard, Jesus and Martinelli.
It won’t be.
For someone who preaches not accepting a drop in standards, Arteta should be asked why? Our manager won’t tell us, nor will the media if supporter’s demand to know why?
Saka is the exception to the rule.
Video – Mikel Arteta talks about the reasons Arsenal are second – “We were so close”
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