Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he has not changed his mind about who will take penalties following Bukayo Saka’s miss against West Ham on Sunday.
Saka has scored all of his penalties this season but missed one, which denied Arsenal the opportunity to extend their lead in the 2-2 against West Ham at the London Stadium.
Since the departure of Alexandre Lacazette at the end of last season, the young Englishman has taken over the role, netting two of his previous penalties against Manchester City and Liverpool before West Ham.
He has been on fire this season with 13 goals and 10 assists as the Gunners continue their push for a first league title since 2004.
Speaking at his pre-match conference ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League fixture with Southampton on Friday, Arteta says Saka can take positives from the miss.
“That’s the way he is. He loves the responsibility but as well he puts a lot on his shoulders. If he had any doubt about how much people loved or respected him or admired him at the club, he had a very overwhelming reaction from everybody in the building and at the club.
“I think at the end of this, it can be something very positive that can give him a big lift because everyone reacted in an unbelievable way towards him because he deserves it because of the way he is.”
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The 21-year old apologised to Arsenal fans via social media, saying:
“Regardless of the outcome, I’ll always accept my responsibility. Apologies Gunners, I’ll do everything I can to make it right.”
Meanwhile, Arteta believes the experience will help him and confirms Saka will continue to take penalties for Arsenal.
“If he is on the pitch we will throw him the ball and make sure he takes the next one,” Arteta said.
“Experiences help obviously, and what he went through in a way was tough, but in a different way it was beautiful and a great experience for him. I think that helped him – not only him, but the people around him, to understand what the reaction has to be and the support and protection that he needs. We go again.”