Bukayo Saka is outstanding talent but he can't complain about physical side, claims Steven Gerrard

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Bukayo Saka

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Bukayo Saka is outstanding talent but he can't complain about physical side, claims Steven Gerrard

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SportsCafe Desk

03/21/2022

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has praised Bukayo Saka’s talent but admitted that the young forward can’t be complaining about the physical side of the game to referees. The 20-year-old was seen talking to the referee and admitted that he asked for more protection from the officials.

While Arsenal walked away with a 1-0 victory to cement their place amongst the top four sides for the weekend, the focus of the game was on Bukayo Saka once again. The young forward scored the only goal in the game to ensure that his side earned all three points and continued his fine run of form with four goal contributions in his last six league games. However, there were questions asked when Saka was spotted talking to the referee after the game.

The 20-year-old admitted, post match, that he asked the referees to give him more protection as he was being kicked off the field by several Villa players. That includes Tyrone Mings, who was booked in the first half for a foul on Saka, but Steven Gerrard hit out at the young forward and instead admitted that physicality comes with the game. The Villa boss also added that while he believes Saka is an “outstanding talent”, he shouldn’t be complaining about that side of the game. 

"It's part of the game. The last time I checked it's not a no-contact sport. I think tackles are allowed, physicality's allowed. He's a good player, he's an outstanding talent and I love him. But he can't complain about that side. That's football,” Gerrard said, reported Sky Sports.

"I'm sitting here now with screws in my hips, I've had about 16 operations, I'm struggling to go to the gym at the moment. That's all on the back of earning a living in English football. He'll learn and he'll learn quick."

The Villians didn’t only lose the game but it saw more than a few fans boo their performances, especially with them offering very little over the course of 90 minutes. Things were so bad that Gerrard’s side took an hour to have a shot on goal and only tested Arsenal goal-keeper Bernd Leno in the dying seconds of the clash. It saw the Villa boss unhappy with the performance but he also admitted that there is a gap between them and the teams above them and that it will take time for them to close that.

"We need to see more collectively, we need to do more, we need to put in 90-minute performances as a start. Because you can't wait to go behind against these teams. There's been too many occasions now. It's almost like they're waiting for something to happen in a game or for me to get into them for that reaction to come.

"We need to be more positive and have more belief from the first whistle. That will give us a better chance of taking points from the teams that are above us. But we have to respect the fact that there's a gap at the moment and we need time and it's a process before we can really take the fight and the challenge to them. But you've got to want to grab it,” he added.

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