EPL: I had 16 operations, you’ll learn quickly – Steven Gerrard hits back at Arsenal’s Saka

Aston Villa head coach, Steven Gerrard, has hit back at Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka’s complaints after the youngster called for more protection from the referee during the Gunners’ Premier League 1-0 win against Aston Villa at the weekend.

Saka scored the only goal of the match as Arsenal defeated Aston Villa at Villa Park.

However, Saka was not happy with some of the tackles from Aston Villa’s players during the clash at Villa Park and even voiced his frustrations to the referee, Andrew Madley.

He said: “I was not complaining, but I wanted to let him know that is my game, I am going to run at players.

“Sometimes I need a bit more protection when players are purposely trying to kick me. That is all I was letting him know.”

But Gerrard believes Saka should not have complained about the tackles he received from Aston Villa’s players, adding that he had 16 operations during his playing career.

According to the Liverpool legend, tackles are part of the game and Saka will learn quickly.

“He said we were too rough? They didn’t commit any fouls today?” asked the Aston Villa manager at his post-match press conference.

“Listen, it’s part of the game.

“The last time I checked, it isn’t a no-contact sport. I think tackles are allowed, physicality is allowed, aggression is allowed.

“He [Saka] is a good player, an outstanding talent. I love him. But he can’t complain about that side of it. That is football.

“I am sitting here now with screws in my hips. I have had about 16 operations. I am struggling to go to the gym at the moment. That is all on the back of earning a living in English football. He’ll learn and he’ll learn quickly.”

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