Saka and Smith-Rowe need to be ready to handle a lot of pressure this season

Saka and Smith-Rowe may need to better prepare themselves for the new season! by Shenel


Would it be wrong of us Arsenal fans to expect a lot more from the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe in the upcoming new season?


Well if they want to be an important and integral part of team then they have to take the good and the bad.


Like  all players they will have to perform every season – week in week out – at the highest level possible and if they fail they will have to prepare to come under fire by fans who only want the best for their team. Because it is not all plain sailing as we have seen.


Smith-Rowe had a nice summer break after a season amidst a pandemic where he became a new member of the Arsenal team, whereas Saka headed to the Euro 2020 tournament and played a big part in getting the England team to the fina. Unfortunately for him his deciding penalty miss cost the team the European Championship trophy in a loss to the Italians ,and although he is yet to join up with the team for pre season it will be interesting to see how he takes this setback into this season.


Saka had never been under the sort of pressure and expectation that he was under at the Euros, although at Arsenal it could be said he carried the team at times and managed to perform, albeit not at his highest levels, week in week out, in a season that saw Arsenal drop to their lowest point ever.


After both players exploded onto the scene at the ages of just 19 and 21 and knowing how much fans put the pressure on players in general, I think the boys will now need to prepare themselves for a lot more high expectations than what was apparent when they first appeared in the first team,  as we now know what they are capable of.


One season is not enough to judge these two although they were expected to perform each time they stepped out given that some senior members failed to do so and the same pattern will continue this season too no doubt at times.


I hope Smith-Rowe and Saka do not feel as though they have to grow up quicker than what they deserve but I do hope they can continue to showcase their talent and take it to the next level to really prove Arteta and Arsenal were right to give them the chance.


If they get through the next season having performed well as key players yet again, but this time lead Arsenal to a Champions League spot and a couple of trophies, then by the end of it it will be safe to say they will be on the road to becoming a member of the “talented player” category.


And then and only then will their level of expectations each season become apparent for fans to see.


Shenel Osman


Tags Saka Smith-Rowe


  1. They’ll have more time for preparations, since they won’t participate in a European competition. Smith-Rowe would likely be more prepared than Saka, because he’s been training and playing in pre-season games

    Even if they can’t perform as good as before, we’ve got several players to replace them. It’ll be even better if we can sign Odegaard or Pereira, because they can be the third-choice RW if required

    1. Metro news this evening reports that odegards feels unsettled in Madrid team. Madrid president likes him but Anceloti is unsure if he needs him. Madrid is reported to be willing to sell if any buyer can offer £42m and above. I guess Arsenal can’t offer that now. Though Arteta likes.

      Can anyone tell what’s is delaying the announcement of B.White?

      1. Since Ancelotti needed James Rodriguez at Everton, he’d likely need Odegaard too at Madrid. It’ll be nice if we can sign him, but I’m not hopeful this time

        About White, I think Arsenal are preparing something special, because he’s a marquee signing

  2. Been looking for Ben white official confirmation but nothing is coming
    Arsenal can annoy…..

  3. Saka and ESR are already punching above their weights.

    It’s time for the rest of the squad and the management team to make their contributions to the team’s success.

    1. VasC
      We ended the season with 5 straight wins and 6 points outside a top 4
      That was done with half the team not showing up for most of the season
      I know it was a strange season for all but imagine if 3/4 of the squad do step up to the plate
      A top 6 spot is within our grasp and who knows what could happen for a top 4 spit

      1. If our players and management have learnt anything valuable from last season and take that into this new season, it’s gonna be a whole lot better for the future of our club.

  4. Saka’s penalty miss did NOT cost England the trophy – what about the other two misses?
    This type of claim is what puts pressure on young players and thank goodness the “vast majority” supported all three post match.

    EVERY player has to step up and perform for MA and perhaps we should remember how Saka and ESR performed for us last season?

    I would suggest that the likes of Aubameyang and Willian need to “step up” and support these two young men, following their last season performances.

    1. KEN, In fact had Rashford and Sancho scored, then England would have won the shoot out before SAKA s kick. So IN FACT both those players pen misses cost us winning the Euro and not SAKA’s!

      1. I have long noted that Shenels articles have a very tenuous grasp of both reality and truth. I consider her a very poor writer TBH.

    1. I concur, Durand. Show me a player, who has never missed a penalty and that will be a player who doesn’t take them.

  5. Saka is the only reason our position isn’t worse in the table. ESR is the only reason Arteta didn’t get sacked when we were flirting with relegation. It’s the other members of the team who need to step instead of a teenager and a 21 year old.

  6. Wow and here I was thinking our success depended on Arteta getting it right rather than 2 youngsters.

    Pressure is on Arteta not the kids

    1. Game tactics
    2. Team selections
    3. Style of play
    4. Philosophy
    5. Subs and player management

    If it all depends on Saka and ESR logic says Arteta woyld irrelevant and unnecessary, any manager would do.

    1. One more thing I’d like to add to your wish-list.

      6. Relieve Auba from his captain’s duties and hand over the arm-band to a better equipped player like Tierney. Auba was never a captain material. A great guy in the dressing room and training pitch, no doubt. But, to lead the team on the pitch is an entirely different thing. Auba himself would be glad to handover his arm-band to someone else in a blink of an eye. Since, not many will fancy Xhaka in our squad for the new season, the automatic choice is Tierney.

  7. Arsenal has two excellent young players in ESR and Saka, who must be nurtured and developed. Surely the Club has learnt from what happened to Jack Wilshere, a player with great potential, who was played into the ground, ending up with recurrent injuries?
    Arsenal needs an excellent ACM to take the pressure off ESR, as they already have players to rotate with Saka.

    1. Wonder why people never look at Laca as a player who can be played in the No.10 role, when ESR needs a breather, while he has all the necessary attributes to fulfill that role. Laca can be more productive as a support striker than a lone striker in out ultra-defensive team set-up.

  8. It would be unfair and unwise to put extra pressure on Saka and ESR, specially given the fact that they are performing excellently for Arsenal compounded by the fact that the seniors are contributing very less to nothing to the team cause. Both Saka and ESR performed more than their expectations and to put more pressure on them would be disastrous. Instead, let them play their natural game without any pressure and let others step up to aid the team cause. Also another CAM is essential to give ESR some breathing space, otherwise he will be overworked. The fact remains that maximum pressure is on MA and the buck stops with him as is the case with any manager of any PL team.

  9. Arsenal knew at the end of last season, when Cellabos and Odegaard returned to Spain and Ryan’s loan finished, that at the very least, the Club required an ACM, a DM, a RB upgrade, a back up goal keeper and a LB backup. When the decision was made to loan Saliba, a CB was also required.
    Here we are with the season starting on 13 August and Arsenal have not brought in a starting ACM and DM. One has to question Edu and Arteta, particularly Edu who spent much of the window supposedly organising transfers, while on holidays. Finishing eighth two seasons in a row is not a good starting point to procrastinate on transfers and end up being slow out of the blocks this coming season. .

  10. What interests me is how Arteta will accommodate both Saka and Pepe in the same side.Personally I prefer Saka on the left to dovetail with Tierney which creates a dynamic left flank but I also feel Pepe is more effective on the left rather than the right where he is rather predictable..It will be interesting to see how events unfold .

    1. Grandad, what happens in season 2021/22 is anyone’s guess. All I know is that if Arsenal don’t hit the ground running against Brentford, the season could get ugly very quickly.

  11. I rate reiss Nelson above willian and aubameyang…auba is on the decline ….I just hope Nelson won’t be sold

  12. If you should ask me players to be sold
    1. Bellerin
    2. Kolasinac
    3. Xhaka
    4. Elneny
    5. Maitlandniles
    6. Nketiah
    7. Willock
    8. Willian
    9. ……..
    Then bring in two midfielders a CM/DM…we don’t need attacking players …if we are to sell lacazett then get a striker ..maybe lautaro Martinez
    With these we will have a more balanced team …..arsenal right now don’t have quality in midfield except partey

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