Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta vows to keep Bukayo Saka on penalty duty

‘I will go on the pitch and throw him the ball and make sure he takes the next one’: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta vows to KEEP Bukayo Saka on penalty duty despite the Gunners star’s crucial miss in draw at West Ham

  • Mikel Arteta backs Bukayo Saka by keeping him as Arsenal’s penalty taker 
  • Saka missed a crucial spot kick that saw the Gunners drop points at West Ham 
  • The England star apologised and said he’ll do everything to make it right 

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has decided who the Gunners penalty taker will be going forward following Bukayo Saka’s crucial miss against West Ham last weekend. 

Saka failed to convert from the spot with Arsenal 2-1 up against the Hammers, and it saw David Moyes side go on to find an equaliser to see the league leaders side drop two vital points in the title race. 

Arteta, however, revealed he will not remove Saka from his penalty responsibilities during his pre-match press conference ahead of Arsenal’s clash with bottom-placed Southampton on Friday night. 

The Arsenal boss was asked if Saka would remain the club’s first choice penalty taker, Arteta said: ‘Yes! If not, I will go on the pitch and throw him the ball and make sure he takes the next one.’

The Spaniard also discussed the disappointment the England star felt after missing the vital spot-kick. 

Mikel Arteta has no plans in changing Arsenal’s penalty taker for the remainder of the season 

Bukayo Saka shows his disappointment having missed from the spot in the 2-2 draw 

‘That’s the way he is.’ Arteta added.

‘He loves responsibility but as well, he puts a lot on his shoulders.

‘Again, if he had any doubt about how much people love him, respect him and admire him at the club, he had a very overwhelming reaction from everybody in the building and the club.

‘I think at the end, it can become something very positive that can give him a big lift because everybody reacted in an unbelievable way towards him because he deserves it, because of the way he is.’

Following the miss last Sunday, Saka took to Instagram to post a message to the Gunners fans, where he promised to ‘do everything to make it right’ as the club chase their first league title since 2004. 

The 21-year-old has been one of the stars of the season, having scored 12 goals and racked up 10 assists as the north Londoners have looked down at the rest of the league at the top of the table.

Saka could have put Arsenal 3-1 up against the Hammers but his miss led to two dropped points in the title race 

The England star has been one of the stars of the season for the Gunners this campaign 

The draw means Arsenal remain ahead of Man City by four points, but have played a game more than Pep’s Guardiola’s men and the two teams meet at the Etihad next week in what is almost a title shootout. 

If Arsenal don’t go on to win the Premier League, Gunners legend David Seaman believes Saka’s miss won’t easily be forgotten as a critical moment int the season. 

The former England goalie said on his podcast this week: ‘Bukayo Saka’s penalty is a deciding moment in the game. If we don’t win the league, that will be remembered as a pivotal point.

It’s not the first time the Arsenal forward has dealt with a deciding penalty miss. Saka was also one of the players who missed from the spot for England in their shootout defeat to Italy in the final of Euro 2020. 

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