Bukayo Saka Speaks on Feeling Pressure of Title Race: ‘I Don’t Think Anyone Can Ever Criticize Me More Than I Criticize Myself’

Bukayo Saka Speaks on Feeling Pressure of Title Race: ‘I Don’t Think Anyone Can Ever Criticize Me More Than I Criticize Myself’
Arsenal - Photo by Icon sport

England international Bukayo Saka has revealed how he has handled the pressure days after Arsenal’s title ambitions were all but dashed by a 3-0 home loss to Brighton.

The Gunners winger has played a significant role in his team’s impressive performances this season, but Saka, like Arsenal as a whole, showed symptoms of fatigue and tension in the final weeks of the season.

Mikel Arteta’s team led the Premier League for the vast majority of the season, but a string of poor performances in April has put Manchester City within one victory of retaining their title.

Many have speculated that Arsenal, a club that hasn’t been in a title competition in quite some time, buckled under the pressure of expectation when it became a realistic goal. In hindsight, the North London club may feel that this was their chance to win the league title.

Whether it was surrendering two two-goal leads away at Liverpool and West Ham in consecutive weeks or having to fight back for a draw at home against a Southampton team that has since been relegated, the Arsenal did not appear to be able to cope with the pressure of a title race.

Therefore, Saka’s recent comments regarding duress make for fascinating reading. The 21-year-old has dealt with a considerable amount of duress for someone so young, and has more often than not emerged stronger as a result.

Nonetheless, Saka has been criticized in recent weeks for his struggles during a crucial stretch of Arsenal’s season.

Saka: ‘I’ve Put 1,000 Times More Pressure On Myself’

As part of a feature on the official Arsenal club website, Saka explained how he put pressure on himself to succeed and perform at a high level.

“Before anyone else puts pressure on me, I’ve put 1,000 times more pressure on myself,” he told the Gunners website.

“I don’t think anyone can ever criticize me more than I criticize myself,” he explained.

“I really monitor myself and my performances as well so I don’t really feel that pressure externally – it comes from within,” Saka stated.


The attacking player was also quick to compliment those around him at Arsenal who have helped him develop into one of the Three Lions most dangerous players.

“Obviously when I come to the training ground there are so many good influences, so many good players, good coaching staff and people in this place,” the England winger said.

Saka has already had a stellar season in terms of individual productivity, with 13 goals and 11 assists in the league alone, but he will be disappointed that it wasn’t enough to propel Arsenal to the English top flight title.

Arsenal still has an opportunity to finish the season strongly; if they win their final two games against Nottingham Forest and Wolves, they can finish with an impressive 87 points in second place in the league.

Both Forest and Wolves have dabbled with relegation throughout this season and the Gunners will be strong favorites to defeat their final opponents.

Arteta’s Gunners first travel to Forest on Saturday, where Steve Cooper’s side will be sure to put up a fight as they look to stave off relegation in their first season back in the premier division.



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