Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Saka excited by Arteta’s vision and tactics

Bukayo Saka is the latest Arsenal player to back Mikel Arteta’s methods explaining that little tweaks are already paying dividends on the pitch.

While the Spaniard is yet to taste victory as head coach, supporters have noted a more positive playing style in the games against Bournemouth and Manchester City.

Having revealed earlier this season that he regularly turned to Freddie Ljungberg for an interpretation of Unai Emery’s instructions, the 18-year-old says it’s positive and exciting to work with a coach who has a clear strategy.

“He’s someone who understands the players, understands the club and all the ideas that he’s bringing in,” he told

“He has a clear strategy of how he wants us to play and we’re just really excited to work with him.”

In the absence of Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney, Saka has been asked to deputise at left-back. Not only is he honing the defensive side of his game on the job, he also says Arteta is helping him with his decision-making on the ball.

“He’s teaching us little things that we didn’t know before and just bringing in his own strategies, his own ways of playing,” he said. “We can see that it’s going to work, we’re just looking forward to doing it.

“Maybe one thing that I’ve picked up straight away is that when nobody’s pressing you, you don’t need to pass the ball. What you can do is just get the ball, drive the ball forward a bit and wait for someone to come to you, commit a player, then pass it.

“Then that man will be free or that man will have less pressure on him. It’s just attracting players before you pass the ball off, which will help our team-mates a lot on the pitch.

“He has his own way, his own philosophy and he’s even talked about bringing his own philosophy to the club, to try to bring the club back to the direction we need to be in.

“We need to win games and win trophies, so I feel like he has that vision and that strategy. He knows how he wants us to get there. If we can be on board and do what he wants us to, we’ll do well.”

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Do Saka’s competent perfomances as LB mean we can finally rid ourselves of the mad Bosnian? Discuss.


Still think Kola gets a lot of flak (especially from Blogs). I think he can flourish under Mikel as a squad player unlike Emery who had just kept him for cutbacks. Just need to watch his injuries


You know, he’s had moments this season that reminded me of the direct, pacy LWB we saw in his first season at the club.

But he still can’t really defend and when you look at his final product, it’s pretty average. And without that, he’s kind of obsolete. Look at TAA or Robertson, neither the most wonderful defenders but just incredible going forward. You need one or the other.

I’m personally all for accepting a 15M bid if we got one.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

During last season, ĺot of fans and pundits called Kolasinac our playmaker from the wing. I heard that on Skysports as well. He lost form and people like Carragher started saying he wasn’t good enough for Arsenal.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Just checked again and found this sport news title:
“How Kolasinac has become Unai Emery’s playmaker in chief.”


Carragher is a prat. Most of these pundits not worth their weight in dirt. Kolasinac weighed in with 5 assists over 24 appearances last season and 2 this season with limited appearances. I haven’t seen any master class from Tierney in our recent engagements where in most recent games he has featured, the Bosnian has come in with at least two game saving last minute clearances. Too many people prefer to imagine things rather than see whats in front of them. Saka no where to be found either for the second Chelsea goal. Purportedly we had 5 players chasing back… Read more »


mustafi or anyone without a yellow should have fouled them. simple


If I were you, I wouldn’t pick a fight with a guy that goes bare fisted to a knife fight. Kola is still relevant and Saka is not a left back.


Haha, good point! Well, I think this is one of the great things about football fans. We have really short memories and are, contrary to popular opinion, very forgiving. Xhaka would do well to remember that before huffing off. Ozil was considered an outcast just a few months ago. Mustafi is back as a credible backup to our CB’s. And apparently we’ve all forgotten the woeful Kolasinac performances too. Fair play, I bow to the verdict of the masses. I’ll try my hardest not to say I told you so the next time he gets 27% pass accuracy or is… Read more »

Dave M

I think kola is one of the few guys that can hold his head up with his effort and performances this season. While not brilliant he has been pretty solid when played (actually better than Tierney, but he’ll take time… Esp. With another injury). Seems a good bloke too. I like kola, good guy to have around the squad… Not a “soft” character like a lot of these posers…


I almost completely agree with this post. Maybe instead of better than Tierney, I would just say not worse than Tierney.


Saka, my friend, put your head down, work your socks off and you’ve a fantastic career ahead of you. Trophies will follow, do not worry! #COYG


‘“Maybe one thing that I’ve picked up straight away is that when nobody’s pressing you, you don’t need to pass the ball. What you can do is just get the ball, drive the ball forward a bit and wait for someone to come to you, commit a player, then pass it.” I noticed this with quite a few of the players and loved it.

Paul Roberts

I’m surprised nobody has told him this before?? Hopefully Arteta will tell them about passing forward next? 🙂


there was a training ground video were Arteta was explaining basic footballing requirements to the players and they seemed to be experiencing it for the first time. So weird.

Cultured determination

Yup. It’s hard to imagine someone playing for 10-15 years of club football since young was not told basic fundamentals of the game. Come on. Admit it. Who’s father is coaching the under 7s, under 12s and under 15s?


Not because it’s simple it has to be fundmentals guys! There’s a thousand ways to aproach this game! This obviously has to do with keeping possession. Of course if you defend off the ball and attack at pace you will take a diferent aproach.


“Nobody told him this before” – could be that those before either thought that someone surely explained it before, or thought it’s so obvious that they don’t have to explain.

Often in life I’m surprised how much it helps when people do not expect others to know ‘the basics’ and jump straight into the advance stuff. And yet – often – sometimes hearing something simple can help certain someone so much it completely shifts their perspective, e.g. what Saka just mentioned there.

Paul Roberts

Either way I am glad he knows now.

tanned arse

I think the point is being over looked. It’s not about driving at the space or not having to pass if no one engages you. It’s deliberately holding on to the ball in order to draw an opponent out of position to then exploit whatever space that’s been created. That’s a specific tactic that few actually imploy. More often than not the message would’ve been to move the ball forward quickly


Wilshere used to do this, it’s also where he got his injuries from late tackles to ruin his career

Eddie Mcgoldrick

100%! this seems absolutely mad, right?! It’s not only basic football but basic team sports you learn probably in your first ever game as a child! How can a top rated 18 year old Arsenal Academy graduate have got to this stage without knowing this? What do they actually learn?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Different from the time where we used to stop very favourable counter attacks in the final third and start making sideway passes.


I always wonder why players have to reveal the little things the coach teaches them. So basically reporters can just ask different players every now and then and even other clubs get to know what you are working on.

Be smart boys. whatever is happening on the training ground, we fans are loving it, but I’d hate other teams knowing and working on it too or countering it.

djourou's nutmeg

oh yes, our secret weapon, the pass-only-when-under-pressure. they’d surely not know about it if saka wouldn’t have mentioned it. what a boomer, season’s over! gotta be smart boys



Cultured determination

Maybe that’s because arteta really told him to tell the press this so that teams dont pressure us so much


What Saka is doing at 18 is amazing.

We’re now producing British talent on mass from our academies.

Anyone know who’s most likely to make the jump from our next set of under 18s?


yes. two kids ready to make the jump. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum

Dispossesed by Torreira

Happy holidays Andrew. I think you meant Chelsea not Manchester City ?


One win in twelve premiership matches. 28 points behind Liverpool having played two games more. A goal difference of minus four after twenty games played. The first time we have suffered four consecutive home defeats since 1959. I don’t want to hear how wonderful Arteta is. If we lose on Wednesday – and there is every chance of that we could find ourselves three points above relegation. Everyone burying their heads in the sand – as usual. Arsenal are garbage regardless of anything touted on social media. Stop chatting to the media, train like you mean it and start winning… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Leon, I may not like to hear it but you’re damn right. Being relagated has nothing to do with the size of the club. Yesterday’s game may repeat with lot of positives and loss in the end, such are our players.


That is it…
Don’t jump on the “we can qualify for anything now” bandwagon and you are stopped from posting.
Look at the table…


You make Santori look like a beautiful woman


Thought he did ok, there is potential at an unaccustomed position there, Cashly had a very successful career playing in the same position by accident. His comments appear refreshing that he’s willing to learn..

Paul Roberts

I really like him as a very dangerous attacking LB.

Billy Bob

It is such a shame that Emery didn’t get relieved of his duties during the international break (rather than some time after) as I think getting Arteta in sooner would have gained us more points against lower table opposition (instead of frustrating draws).

Paul Roberts

One lesson I hope Saka learnt after the game was to keep running even though he couldn’t catch Willian as he could have cut the pass to Abraham out. 1.38m into this video. He was knackerd though.

Paul Roberts

I wonder if he has been told “if you can’t catch the man then just stop the pass” ?


Both goals unlucky as hell. Freekick for Lucas T on the 1-1 goal, and Saka was limping and was “half injured” when he tried to catch Willian on the break..


If you look closely he looks like he’s got cramp and can’t run


He’s done good the youngster. BUT we really need Kolasinac back in. He weighed in with 5 assists last season over 24 appearances and 2 assists this season unfortunately over 14 only. The Bosnian controls the ball better and links up well with front players. In terms of defending, he has also been much more alert to danger in most recent appearances coming in with important last ditch tackles. Saka. is still a bit naive in certain situations understandably. He does not come up as much as well likely bc he has been instructed to pick his runs better. Again… Read more »


“It’s just attracting players before you pass the ball off” This is a Wenger philosophy, setting traps by making the opposition think you are in trouble.


We will need Saka as another option further forward. We have made a mistake selling Iwobi early (as we did with Ox and not locking down Gnabry) We could have absorbed the loss of 30m sell him on a season down instead of banking on a 72m Pepe that has failed to materialised and then a bunch of younger players with learning curve. At the moment on the right, looks like Arteta prefers Nelson for work rate. The young player will get better but needs games to find fluency in attack and crosses. His off ball work though better than… Read more »


I thought this title said “Xhaka
excited by Arteta’s vision and tactics”. Alas not.

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