Martin Keown suggests a tactical switch that could make Saka more dangerous

Martin Keown has urged Mikel Arteta to grant more freedom to Bukayo Saka on the pitch.

Saka, operating on the right side of Arsenal’s attack, has emerged as one of the team’s standout performers. However, his effectiveness has made him a marked player, with opponents taking special measures to neutralise his threat.

Facing increased attention and sometimes becoming predictable, Saka has encountered challenges in certain matches. Keown, having observed the Englishman’s struggles against specific opponents, recommends that Arteta allows him more freedom to enhance his influence on the pitch.

He writes in the Daily Mail:

“Currently, Arsenal’s full backs move into central areas, but there is also the option for them to get forward more regularly down the flanks. Saka could be given greater freedom to roam rather than remain fixed to the right. Perhaps Martin Odegaard could enter that space on the wing to pose extra problems.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Saka is one of the best players in the world at the moment and we should allow him to roam in some games.

That will make us unpredictable and perhaps make him even more influential in our matches.

But the manager works so hard with the team before matches, and he knows the players more than we do, so we have to trust his judgement.

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Tags Bukayo Saka Martin Keown


        1. I wholeheartedly agree on Olise’s signing ONLY as a quality cover or alternative to Saka and Martinelli, Never for the reason to demote Saka to LB. Except for in-game management reasons where i can only see such idea being implemented.

          1. Not a long-term solution but Saka has played LB previously for us and did quite well in the opinion of most observers I believe. With MA’s most recent use of “inverted” LBs he might do even better. It wouldn’t be a demotion per se and he didn’t take it that way in the other instances. Since Martin was seeing a need to give him more freedom I just thought I would reintroduce the idea and see what others felt about it.

  1. While Bukayo Saka can be given freedom in matches to operate freely roaming about. But specifically to cause havoc to the opposition teams with objective to score goals and score them in their numbers for Arsenal.
    However, I must opin that the freedom to roam about on the field SHOULD not be limited only to Saka. But extended to all the Gunners on the field of play..
    In this wise, let me say the Gunners SHOULD exercise this freedom of play in their today’s home Liverpool FA Cup match individually and as a team.
    Which will result to us seeing the Gunners mass attacking and mass defending in the match.
    A match playing strategy I believe if employed in the game by the Gunners will killoff the Reds completely in the match. And could see Arsenal wallop Liverpool in the match.

  2. Some of us have been suggesting more interchanging for Saka and Martinelli for some considerable time.What took MK so long to arrive at such a conclusion?

  3. I still don’t quite understand why left footers are on the right wing and vice versa… surely getting to the byline omntjeir correct wing and cutting back with the pace they have wpudk create more opportunities and then they can of course switch wings to shake it up

    It’s all very predictable and hence easier for opposition teams to defend

    1. There’s a video where arteta explains he prefers the wingers to always be looking to move inside first, simply because it opens up their options much more (potential for through passes or a shot, and it opens up space for overlapping runs). If they stick wide, it means there’s really only one way to go and it’s easier for the opposition defence to manage.
      We haven’t been so effective recently because Saka and martinelli have spent far more time out wide than they did last season and haven’t moved inside so often (also I think opposition teams have devised better ways to deal with it), but i do think his perspective makes sense.

      1. I’d expect what you explained to be very obvious to everyone on inverted wingers. Strangely, it isn’t.

  4. What Keown suggests is little more than what a great many of us have long preached on JA about our team being TOO STATIC, with virtually no proper interchanging of positions , as we hoped would happen with a City ex assistant manager in charge of us.

    Keown is of course correct, though is saying nothing new at all. The BASIC ongoing prooblem we have with two wingers both playin invertedly and being double marked, is that a lack of movement through the centre of our teamand on tht wings, just leaves us easy to combat.

    Then add the fatigue factor, as MA practically never rests SAKA and hardly ever MARTINELLI either, so we become predictable, one paced(a slow pace) tedious and often very boring to watch.

    The Arsenal of last season, esp the thrilling first half, has long gone and been replaced by a functional, defence based, slow , build up. And I am, as many of us are, bored to death of watching our tediously slow painful build up .

    Change it NOW MA or face the inevitable consequences of our continued slow decline. We are now the STALE team!

    Until recently, the cries of “boring, boring Arsenal ” were ironic(being untrue), harking back to the last years of Geoege Graham.
    NOW however they are for real, at least IMO!

    PS: Can someone within the coaching team , preferably MA, INSTRUCT Ben White, on pain of being dropped, not to take ALL DAY LONG taking a simple throw in!


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