Bukayo Saka says Arsenal can bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Aston Villa and pointed to the club’s recent FA Cup success as evidence of their ability to rally in the face of disappointment.
Beaten 3-0 on Sunday night, the performance has been widely described as the worst of Mikel Arteta’s 11 months in charge. While the Spaniard is stuck at London Colney stewing over the situation, most of his players immediately dispersed across the globe for another Interlull.
Called up by England for the second successive month, Saka revealed that boss Gareth Southgate has told him to use the time away from London Colney to clear his head of the result.
“He just asked me how the (Villa) game was, how I was feeling about it,” Saka told beIN Sports.
“I just told him how I was disappointed that the result wasn’t so good and that we will bounce back after.
“But he told me it was an opportunity for me to focus here, get that out of the way, clear my head and just have a positive week here with England.
“After the game, the boss (Arteta) did say to us that this is the beauty of this sport, that we will experience many highs and lows.
“Last season when we came back from lockdown we lost two games in a row and things were looking really difficult for us.
“But if you look at how we finished the season we won the FA Cup so we went from low to high really quick, we just have to keep going, keep our heads down.
“I’m here with England now so just want to focus on that and we will take the games in our stride when we get back with Arsenal – I’m sure we will do, 100 per cent.”
England face the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on Thursday 12 November, before travelling to Belgium on Sunday 15 November.
It remains to be seen whether a third fixture – against Iceland in the Uefa Nations League – takes place. Iceland is due to play Denmark on Sunday and all arrivals from the Scandinavian country are subject to a travel ban due to Covid-19 restrictions.