Youngster hailed as Arsenal’s best player against Manchester City

Manchester City struggled to cope with Bukayo Saka and if Arsenal’s other players had been as determined as the teenager to earn the win, Arsenal would probably have come away from the Etihad with something on Sunday, James Robson of Standard Sports reckons.

The Gunners were beaten by a lone goal by the Citizens, but one player who looked like he could hurt City for the duration of the game was Saka.

The young Englishman time and again exposed City’s fragile backline, but he didn’t get much help from his Arsenal teammates.

Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola set about trying to surprise each other with their tactics on the evening and Pep came out top, but Saka was also one of the better players on the night for both teams.

Robson claimed that while other Arsenal players shadow-boxed their way through the game, Saka went for the kill against City.

He wrote on his column: “In what turned out to be a tactical chess match between Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta, it was the 19-year-old who provided the flashes of inspiration that might have seen Arsenal leave the Etihad with more than a customary defeat on their travels to big-six rivals.

“While those around him were busy shadow boxing, Saka went in search of a knockout blow. And if more of his team-mates had matched his ambition, Manchester City’s fragile confidence and defence would have faced a sterner examination”

Tags Bukayo Saka


  1. “Shadow boxing” what a great term that describes to a tee some of our regular under performers. Yes Saka played very well and tried to take it to city. We look at the left side with Saka and Tierney and that is exciting for the future. You look at the right side and it is spluttering and needs a rethink.

    1. Dan,

      Leeds are a joy to watch week in and week out. Bielsa
      has his troops so well organized, prepared and drilled
      that fixtures against some of the EPL better squads
      is simply another day at the office.

      Begs the inevitable 64K question, Why is Arsenal under
      MA so petrified of taking the game to the likes of City
      and Pool? Is the Spanish gaffer to stubborn for his own
      good at times?

      1. Perhaps it’s because we can’t press well, so an alternative is to defend with discipline and try to counterattack.

        Playing an offensive game without effective pressing when we lose the ball would expose us to more danger and probably cause us concede more against the likes of City and Pool. Both Wenger and Emery have tried that and the results were rather demoralisng

        1. But the million dollar question now is, Are Leeds players better than Arsenal players on paper? What’s wrong with the mentality of our team?

          1. We have better players than them. They have a better system than us. Great teams are built on great systems complimented with great players.

            Mentality makes a difference, but probably not as much as being well drilled in a style of play. It’s more down to the manager’s system, how he gets his players to buy into his philosophy and how he trains them till his system becomes second nature whenever they play

            1. I agree Winston, can we then say the problem lies with Arteta?, seeing as he and Ancelloti got their jobs at the same time and comparing Everton with Us, one would argue that Ancelloti has had a better grip of his team and how he wants them to play better than Arteta has.

              1. Honestly, I’m still not sure what’s Arteta’s final game plan. I feel we are still in transition, so I try to reserve my judgement for him till he has a full season or so.

                Everton has probably played better than us so far this season. I hope it’s just a temporary rich vein of form for them. Nonetheless, credit to Ancelotti for their massive improvement, given he had about the same amount of time as Arteta.

                To be fair, Ancelotti also has a lot more experience than Arteta. Though it’s seems like it’s taking longer for Arteta, I’m hoping he will eventually get us playing even better than them

    2. So envious of their pressing. It’s a mystery how managers like Bielsa and Klopp can get their players to do it like that.

      I’m dying with curiosity to know how they train to press so instinctively and consistently. If only we can press like that, even the best teams will find it incredibly hard to dominate us

  2. Saka was excellent and in my opinion MOTM. However we once again fail to beat a traditional top 6 team away when Man City in their current form are definitely beatable. I agree we cannot go all out on the offensive because of our not so strong press which would result in a pressure situation on our defence, but the use of Willian as a false no.9 when our top scoring striker Laca was on the bench, is mystifying.

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