Saka on Liverpool, West Ham and Arteta's influence

Bukayo Saka during the game against Liverpool

After stringing together seven wins in a row before our draw at Liverpool, Bukayo Saka is targeting a return to winning ways at West Ham United this weekend.

Bukayo believes enough time has been spent reflecting on the pulsating encounter at Anfield, and has quickly turned his attention to Sunday’s trip to the London Stadium as we aim to maintain our six-point lead at the top of the table.

“The boys were really disappointed after the game because we all wanted to win,” he said. “But we can’t change that so we have to switch the focus to Sunday against West Ham. It’s really important - we all know that - so we’ll try and be ready for the game to give our best and get the three points.

“I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m satisfied with a point [against Liverpool]. We wanted to go there and get all three so there’s a bit of frustration inside me that we didn’t do that. It’s a stadium I’ve never won at, so I thought that it would be the best opportunity and timing to do it, but we couldn’t do it which is a shame.”

Bukayo Saka in training

Despite the two dropped points, Bukayo is keen to stress that our title chances remain under our control with eight games of the campaign to go.

Whilst he isn’t looking too far ahead of himself with a trip to a Hammers side boosted by a win at Fulham last weekend, he knows that there is a chance we could head into our crunch top-of-the-table clash against Manchester City nine points clear of our rivals. 

“As players, we really want to do this,” he said. “We know that everything is in our hands and we just have to keep going game by game. If we win these last eight games and get some good results, the title can be ours, so we just have to stay focused. It’s a long season and we have to be consistent all the way through, so that’s what we’ll try to do.

“I wouldn’t say [the Man City game] is the final, but maybe the semi-final because it’s massive, and so important as both teams are fighting at the top. It’s really close so it’ll be a massive game.”

As the only player in double figures for goals and assists so far this season, Bukayo continues to evolve and improve in our youthful side. Regardless of where we finish in the table this term, it’s been another shining season for the England international.

He is proud of his continued development for both club and country, and is quick to heap praise on Mikel Arteta for helping the Hale End product hit new heights.

Reflecting on the campaign, he added: “I’ve learnt a lot and I’m progressing in the right way, so I’m happy. I just hope at the end of the season those goals and assists will be very important and they’ll mean a lot for the team. 

“[Arteta] has taught me a lot, and I have to thank him for the way I’m developing because a lot of it is because of what he’s doing for me.

“You have to be ready for everything that comes, and that’s one thing that I have tried to do - be ready for every moment and try to take it.”

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