Video – Saka’s back – Let’s have a look at what we have been missing

Arsenal have had a few pre-season games to get ready for the season opener against Brentford next week, but we have not had the pleasure of seeing our Euro Finalist Bukayo Saka, who has at last finished his holidays after his heartbreak at the Euros.


He certainly looked happy as he eased himself back into training at London Colney….


We could have done with seeing him get a few minutes game time against Chelsea last weekend, and he may not be fit enough to play in the Brentford game, but I thought it is worth looking at the skills that he showed for the Gunners last season, as a reminder of what we now have to look forward to again this season…



Arsenal finished the season in tremendous form, and we will need to be back to our very best when we face both Champions League Finalists at the Emirates in the space of a week after our visit to Brentford.


If Saka and Co are at the top of their game, I don’t see why we can’t surprise both Chelsea and Manchester City….

Tags Bukayo Saka


  1. gotanidea says:

    Both Saka and Pepe never used fake shot skill in the games. If they can do it confidently like Mahrez, they could be unstoppable

    Maybe Asensio possesses that skill

    1. Tom k says:

      Villa is going to put a bid in for maddison must ad MIT Villa mean business this season not like arsenal we or just a mess same team as last season

      1. gotanidea says:

        Maddison will only bench Smith-Rowe and our other right-footed attackers

        Aston Villa don’t need Maddison, because they’ve got Watkins, Buendia and Trezequet

  2. DaJuhi says:

    Maddison and Ödegaard are priced out. We should be looking for Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow).

    Former Everton “flop”, he scored 13 last season and 14 before that in less than 40 apps respectively.

    He’s about to turn 24, and has averaged 2.8 key passes every game for 3 seasons now.

    In comparison, he fares equally same as Arshavin but being more creative. Probably available for lesd than £30 millions.

    1. Joe. S says:

      Don’t be silly. Those stats are not that impressive, especially in such an inferior league.

  3. Nifty says:

    We are starting a new season with the same team.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Transfer window hasn’t closed yet

    2. ThirdManJW says:

      Still got almost a month of the transfer window, yet three signings so far. Most other teams have barely done ANY business.

      Remember the dark old days under AW/IG when it would be left to the final hours, and then we’d sign a player we didnt even need! So we have improved dramatically in the window.

  4. Longbenark says:

    We have got so much improvement in saka and Smith-Rowe,

    I Arteta needs to trust the youths more, the likes of Miguel Azeez, Balogun and Martinelli.

  5. JEMMAN says:

    “If Saka and Co are at the top of their game, I don’t see why we can’t surprise both Chelsea and Manchester City….” Even if they come to be and MA insists on his negative tactics they aren’t gonna pull any surprise, Liverpool, ManShitty, Villa will still flog them home and away. I’m not happy about this but we must tell ourselves the bitter truth.
    @gotanidea, if Mahrez comes to Arsenal will MA’s tactics allow him to masterfully use the fake shot skills, Thomas Partey is fizzling out if care is not taken, the same may go for Asensio. Someone rightly asked why Auba’s goals dried up under MA. Again please let’s cool down on Saka, let’s reduce the hype for his safety on the pitch.

    1. gotanidea says:

      If Mahrez joins us, Arteta would likely encourage him to use that skill in the penalty box. Arteta used to train him at Man City, so Arteta must know how to maximize his strengths

      Arteta’s tactics are more positive than his predecessors, because we’ve been producing good crosses. We tended to make backpasses in Wenger’s tenure, because we focused on making perfect through balls instead of crosses

      1. Phil says:

        Got an idea- I was never Wengers biggest fan for the latter part of his reign but one thing we were never short of was goals. It was the defence that caused us the problems. Arteta is caught in no-mans-land. We are tighter at the back but are less creative. But that’s what happens when Willian is signed for £200k per week and bombs when ESR, Pepe, Martinelli are left out even though they produced far more.

        1. Dan kit says:

          Goals scored in Arsenes last season -74
          Emerys first season- 73
          Emery -Arteta joint season -56
          Artetas first full season -55

          “ Artetas tactics are more positive than his predecessors “ 🤔
          To me than shows the complete opposite unless crossing the ball makes a team more positive .

          1. Durand says:

            Just shows the lengths some will go to so they can justify their emotional investment in Arteta.

            See nothing from him warranting managing beyond this year.

            Poor decisions, poor man management, poor tactics and negative football.

          2. Phil says:

            Sort of says it all Dan don’t you think? Arteta was given time last season and the results after Boxing Day, when he was forced to play an CAM in ESR still papered over the cracks. We got results but not performances. This season he will have 60,000 at every home game to let him know how the supporters are feeling. It was these fans that got both Wenger and Emery sacked for under performing. Arteta will go the same way if he isn’t taking us forward. Nothing less than 12 points from the first 6 games will be acceptable. He must be made accountable this season.

          3. gotanidea says:

            Arteta was unlucky, because he didn’t have a CF who can connect with the crosses

        2. gotanidea says:

          Willian is slowing down as he ages, so he shouldn’t have played on the right wing. He’d likely play better if he was assigned on the left wing or in the middle, where he just needs to cut inside instead of racing to the byline

          If he stays this season, he could be a good squad rotation player

          1. Dan kit says:

            That’s spot on Phil 👍
            For me I have judged the last 3 managers all the same and will continue to judge Arteta this season exactly as I have been doing ,if I get called negative because we start off bad then so be it ,I won’t bury my head in the sand and hope for the best .
            Arteta needs to get off to a flyer but the problem he faces is the 2 top teams in his first 3 games ,if I see positive tactics and not the same 1980s football form last season then I will be more positive but until he shows me he has learned valuable lessons from last season I will hold off on the love in towards him .

          2. Dan kit says:

            If Arteta had no decent CF to connect to the crosses why did he set the team up to play that way?
            That’s not positive tactics that’s just hoping for a better outcome than was possible to achieve.
            The games we played last season and everyone was screaming at the needless crosses into the box ,shouldn’t a manger change it up ,if fans can see it why can’t a supposedly premier league manager see it .

          3. Phil says:

            Got an idea- so why but a 32 year old with no pace and play him out wide? And of course pay him a reported £200k a week as well?
            Nelson shies promise and would have performed at least as well if not better. Martinelli is very very good but could never get a game as Arteta preferred Willian. Pepe list out too yet improved with a run in the side. All this is on Arteta. And as for not having a centre forward to connect to crosses? Who was it who sanctioned a £300k+ per week contract for Aubamayang? Surely if this was an issue with the crosses the player would have been sold and the manager would have had the funds to bring in his own striker would he not?
            Arteta has done very very poorly in his choice of player sales in and out (Martinez will forever haunt him) and the size and length of contracts offered. Now we hear a pay rise and four year deal for Xhaka is happening when he was nearly gone to Roma. WTF is Arteta doing? I’m not sure even he knows. Identify your target. Pick a back up. Get the first one, if not the second choice. We are yet again coming over a very amateur in everything we do regarding players at this club.

          4. gotanidea says:

            @Dan kit : Theoretically, Aubameyang should’ve been able to convert Tierney’s and our RB’s crosses into goals, because he’s tall and fast. Unfortunately, Arteta seems to be too idealistic to change his crossing-oriented system

            If I were him, I’d be more pragmatic by replacing Lacazette with a taller CF in the mold of Giroud, Lukaku or Kane. I guess Arsenal have been trying to do so, but I’m afraid we can only replace Lacazette in the end of the transfer window

            I mentioned about Lacazette, because Aubameyang is more difficult to sell

          5. gotanidea says:

            @Phil : Because Willian used to play on the right wing at Chelsea. It was too late when Arteta finally moved him to the left side

            I agree that Arteta seems to have trust issues with the youngsters. I expect him to prioritize Martinelli’s and Balogun’s development this season, but it won’t happen if Nketiah and Willian stay

  6. Atid says:

    So you know you need to trim the squad by 4 players, which group of 4 would you shift? Things to consider one group will bring you in much needed funds. The other group will save you bundles more in wages. One group is all homegrown, the other group are all non-homegrown.

    A – Willock, Nelson, Nketiah, Maitland-Niles?

    B – Cedric, Kolasinac, Willian, Elneny

    1. Phil says:

      Good point @Atid.
      The first group are young but this manager does not seem to trust youth too much. Ask Martinelli, Saliba, Balogun and Nelson.
      Are you telling me Nelson would have performed worse than Willian? Saliba over other CB’s? Balogun over Nkethia? Martinelli over Laca/Auba/Willian?
      Soures never played as well as Chambers towards the end of the season.
      The issue is simple. The first group will bring in funds. The second group will likely bring in pennies compared. Maybe two from each? Who knows?
      What I do think is we are once again going into a season with a half built squad when we should have been decisive from the end of the season and made a statement of intent.

      1. Phil says:

        @Got an Idea- yeah good point re Nketiah and William blocking the paths of Balogun and Martinelli but wasn’t that the case this time last season. Everyone knows Eddie is decent at best and not the quality we require and demand. Willian? What a disaster he has turned out to be. Arteta and Edu should be both be held accountable for this signing.

        1. Admin Pat says:

          Hasn’t Eddie scored for fun in preseason?

  7. NY_Gunner says:

    Saka is a “demon”…Unreal skill and talent in this Young Gun…😈

  8. Joe. S says:

    This article assumes that Arsenal’s lack luster form in pre season is partly due to Saka being tested, but Arsenal’s woes go deeper and it is too much to expect him to single handedly rejuvenate the team. He needs like minded players alongside him and is not going to get much help from the likes of Xhaka, El sideways, sleepy Aubamayang, inconsistent Pepe, totally out of his depth Nketien or Mr Unreliable in front of goal Lacazette.Lacaz

  9. Joe. S says:

    Saka being tested, sorry.

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