Despite wearing a mask to stay in line with Covid-19 regulations, the smile beaming across Gareth Southgate’s face was clear as he made a hilarious comment to Arsenal ace Bukayo Saka.
It looked as though Southgate couldn’t contain his excitement at all as he greeted Saka with “recovered from yesterday?” – referencing Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa.
Saka was actually credited with the unfortunate misery of an own goal to hand Villa the lead, in a passage of play that Ross Barkley absolutely embarrassed the Arsenal players in with spades of tricks.
Saka was by no means at fault for the opener, after Villa carved open the Gunners, Saka rightfully threw himself to block a low cross that would’ve been turned in by David Trezeguet anyway.
The talent’s response to Southgate was inaudible but the microphones clearly picked up the gaffer saying “it’s still a very early part of the season” in some encouraging words to Saka.
The moment can be seen from 4.14 in the notorious player arrivals video that really is one of the most enjoyable bits of the international break for England fans:
Saka was called up to the senior squad for the first time in the October break, with the versatile wing-back making his debut in the friendly win against Wales.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, another utility man, is the only other Arsenal player away with the Three Lions.
Southgate didn’t miss an opportunity to show some support for one of his former clubs at all.