Why didn’t Arteta take off Saka against Burnley?

If a player is underperforming in a game and risking a red card what do you do?


There have been many players during recent weeks that have been picked week in week out but have been inconsistent and underperforming in games, yet no matter what they are automatic selections for the next games.


It really got on my last nerve on the weekend when Bukayo Saka, playing poorly, making rash tackles and picking up a yellow card, remained on the pitch until the end, and the likes of Willian who actually had a decent performance came off.


Am I being blind or am i watching something else somebody please tell me.. because it is clear that this season our disciplinary record hasn’t been that great and given how Saka’s head was clearly out of the game once he picked up a yellow card, surely any intelligent manager would opt to take that player off if you have a replacement, rather than keep him on and risk him getting sent off right? After all, and not always but mostly, 11 men is better than 10..


Saka is a talent, there is no doubt about that BUT, he is being overplayed, overused, overhyped and in games like the Burnley one where he made mistakes and risked getting a second yellow, Arteta should have known better and taken him off. 


Bringing players on to try and attack is all well and good but if you leave a player on who could get sent off at any moment is definitely playing with fire and that is where Arteta’s downfall comes!


Other managers do not hesitate to chop and change especially if KEY players are at risk, but Arteta is not one of those, and if he is to succeed and drum into his players that he is not afraid to haul them off if things are not looking good then he needs to seriously work on this and start showing real authority. 


Because if I was Saka and I had a game as poor as I did on the weekend yet I still managed to stay on for the full 90 then I would believe and think that I could do the same every week and still stay on if I don’t get sent off!


This is where Arteta needs to stamp his authority down. He did as much with the likes of Guendouzi and rather disgustingly in my opinion with Ozil, so why is Saka any different!


Shenel Osman


  1. This has no sunk into the ancient past now. Moving forward it’s all about the next five days both in assessing the manager’s decision making and whether or not Saka has peaked. By the way for those who were previously moaning that Emery needed another season.. Villarreal have recently been sliding down the ladder with a record of eight wins and around 13 draws ( I think ). Whatever we might think about Arteta, Emery was not our man and language was not an issue when assessing his mismanagement.

    1. No doubt he’s been our best player recently. But with how bad he played again Burnley, lacking rhythm of any sort, Arteta should have subbed him.

  2. Poor article Shenel. Just using Saka’s booking as another excuse to attack Arteta.
    We know how often Saka has set up a goal even when playing badly. He is also not a habitual offender so hardly needs to be taken off. Imagine the criticism MA would get if he took him off – including from you.
    “any intelligent manager would have taken the player off” – rubbish Shenel. I’m disappointed in you.

    1. Guy, you’ve said all that needs to be said. It’s almost like the writer needed to look for a topic to write about by hook or by crook.

    1. Now that he didn’t get a second yellow…so what? Using hypothesis to attack a manager’s decision is absurd..

  3. Shenel ,Shenel, Shenel! What is with you and MA? Try to be constructive in your criticism please.

  4. Had this article been written by a number of other folk instead of Shenel I would give his point – which on the face of things has some credence, in that Saka DID have a poor game at Burnley- more attention.

    But Shenels ongoing problem to convince many is that his own personal bias is always so obvious in all his articles and thus, speaking entirely personally, I can never read his articles without looking for his personal biases to appear.

    And lo and behold, it appeared here too, with the superflous Ozil comment! What THAT has to do with SAKA is a puzzle or WOULD BE, if I did not know why Shenel always writes. (In this case his real message was, once again, that he wants Arteta out.)
    It is to air his own biases and that is the main reason why I constantly downrate his articles.

    Articles without at least some attempt at balance are therefore one sided and less worthy. TOP LEVEL JOURNALISTS LEARN THIS VERY QUICKLY IN THEIR TRAINING.

  5. I don’t think saka is overhyped.if we take into consideration his age,the calibers and mentalities of the team players he plays with week in week out,compared to his significant role of bailing the team out of mud almost all the time,much more credit will be given to him even with backdrop of poor performance and silly foul in just a single game.

    For me,the only reason he should have be subbed off in that Burnley game would have been to avoid been sent off,and, in that wise,give enough time to rest and ease the burnout syndrome that is fast catching up with him.

    All the same,he has been and still remains our best player so far.

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