Should Arteta have been considering dropping Saka recently? (Opinion)

I’ve heard some questioning whether Bukayo Saka should maybe be rested/dropped to the Arsenal bench, but I simply can’t agree. Guest post by Sarah Rohan

Bayako Saka has without a doubt risen to stardom coming through the academy, where he has now cemented his place in the first team line up on a weekly basis.

So what is so special about Saka?
He is versatile, as we know he can play in different positions, right and left. We know him as a midfielder and a winger but has also taken over the left back/left wing-back role when called upon. We are lucky we have a player capable of adapting himself well but his attacking and creativity was being wasted in a defensive role and he has now accomplished himself in a role further forwards. I’m sure if called upon he would work for the team and take up the role of LB again though.

His running and dribbling with the ball can leave players scrambling to catch him as he leaves them for dust, which is no doubt why he always gets fouled. His speed and execution shows how dangerous he can be in the final third and his ability to create space and exploit it, along with linking up with players, shows us what a bright spark we have. I wish he would do more crosses into the box though as it’s one of his strengths, but we are in short supply so far this season.

He’s already racked up a couple of goals and assists since the start of the season but there’s still a long way to go and surely these will go into double figures by end of season. Remembering the young Londoner is only 20, he has already gained Arsenal’s Player of the 2020/2021 season and accumulated player of the month on three consecutive months last term.

So all this positivity about him, why do people still have doubts? Why do people still not rate him?
My only doubt is, and I dont know whether it’s down to the way the team is set out to play, and how other teams set themselves up to play against us; but when he doesn’t run with the ball the shuffling between left and right foot doesn’t work. The short passing becomes lost.

I think this hinders him as he becomes predictable in his play and loses the ball a lot. Whether that is down to the slow play that keeps creeping into our game (which is annoying on it’s own) or not I do not know. It seems to cause him problems putting the ball in the box.

This is probably where his lack of crosses comes in too; where his team mates are waiting for the ball and they’re not getting the service. When the team are fast and flowing together he can do wonders and it catches the opponents out, and he can bring the team into play getting those creative crosses in also.

This young Man lifted us along with a few others when we were having a bad run. He didn’t let his head drop and carried on. He’s also impressed enough to get regular games in the England team. I think he deserves some praise for what he has achieved at such a young age with a not very good Arsenal team at times. He’s still learning but his future is bright and hopefully a long one with the Arsenal family.

I’ve heard some claim he should be dropped of late because of some slightly below-par performances, but I simply can’t agree. I just hope he is 100% ready to take on Manchester United on Thursday after his injury scare.

Until next time Gooner family.

Tags Bukayo Saka

11 Comments

  1. I endorse all of Sarahs article. The harmful idea that SAKA should be rested would be counter productive. It would mean losing a key part of all the attacking productivity we stiil have left. Tghis season virtually all our attcks are directly becaise of Saka and ESR and it would be madness and foolhardy to voluntarily leave either out.
    Like many Gooners, I am unimpressed with Odegaard who looks neat and tidy but who does NOT INFLUENCE GAMES.
    Our passing pace in general is still FAR TOO SLOW, right through the team , even with tortoise Zhaka sidelined(mercifully!!) for some weeks past and hopefully also to come.

    This all round lack of passing pace is the KEY element why we are not creating and scoring more goals.
    Together with the realisation that both our regular and older strikers are not cutting it any more and both need to be left out and sold or let go asap.
    Martinelli needs to be our main striker and from a central position starting now.
    We of course urgently need a top class striker bought in as Nketiah is not up to snuff and Balogun is not yet at the level we need as a regular. As a bench player, yes perhaps, but it would be madness to rely on him as a main striker.
    Chiefly though, I stress how MUCH I agree with what SARAH sensibly writes.

  2. The dumbest thing I’ve read since the season started was that Teta has been overplaying Saka.
    A football game a week, and the manager gets the he’s overplaying the kid.
    A 20 years old kid who gets just one game per week.

    I hope he’s fine and fit to play on Thursday

  3. Saka has carried the team for the last season and a half. He certainty hasn’t played that much this season but if you take last season into account and a minimal break that he had his body could definitely be feeling the effects.

    He’s a young lad, of course he’s not going to feel tired himself. Point being in the games where we cruising it may not have hurt to take him off around the 70th minute every now and then.

    Benefits the teams in 2 ways….Saka gets a bit of a rest and the fringe players get a bit more experience/ match fitness

  4. If Saka is fit for the Old Trafford match, he should be a starter again. Because Pepe’s ball control/ decision making abilities are less consistent than Saka’s and Saka is more clicked with the other Gunners when attacking

  5. I agree, if Saka is genuinely fit for Thursday he should start for sure but we certainly shouldn’t risk him if he is not fully fit, I seem to recall saying last season that Saka is an eight out of ten player every week, which is one of his strengths, even if he is now a seven out of ten every week (and I’m not convinced he has dropped even that much) he is very much a part of what we are doing as a team at the moment

    I don’t know where this over playing him, give him some rest thing comes from to be honest, my memory might be letting me down but I don’t think he misses too many games with minor injuries that could be a result of playing too much? He isn’t a “sicknote” type of player like maybe a Tierney or a Partey who you never quite know whether they will be available or not, I’m not having a pop at them personally, players have different bodies, some are less robust than others, maybe the Premier League is a tougher ask than the Scottish eqivalent or La Liga, who knows?

    So I say play Saka until his form drops off, if indeed it does, whether it drops because of over playing or some other reason

    Either way the guy is an incredible talent, at 20 years of age exceptional

  6. Resting yes, dropping no. ESR the same, 2 young lads who could really share their minutes with Martinelli and Pepe, not just in the League cup.

  7. i dont see why saka would have needed a rest. He’s 20 years old and we aren’t in Europe. Injuries happen. Cant just go about blaming somebody for not seeing the future.

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