Kieran Tierney says Arsenal’s post-lockdown performances don’t reflect the work the squad has put in and he’s confident that they can turn things around.
Defeats to Manchester City and Brighton in the space of four days have put a real dampener on the mood of supporters and with the club slipping from ninth to 11th in the table our chances of qualifying for Europe are looking increasingly slim.
Tonight’s trip to Southampton represents another chance to get back on a horse that too often falls over like Arjen Robben in a light breeze.
Speaking to Premier League Productions ahead of the clash at St Mary’s, Tierney said: “We’ve obviously not had the start that we wanted or that we’ve worked for, but that happens in football.
“It doesn’t always go your way. It’s how you deal with the setbacks and for us it’s about working hard in training as we’ve been doing. We’re working at 100 per cent and we’re confident we can get the result.”
In a separate interview with Sky Sports, he added: “The bus journey was quiet on the way home, but I think we’ve reacted well in training. We’ve got a point to prove and we need to go out there and get the results that the manager wants and the fans deserve.”
Having signed for big money last summer from Celtic, it’s fair to say this season has not gone as well as the Scot might like.
Having arrived with an injury it took him several months to get back to full fitness and then in December he promptly dislocated his shoulder against West Ham. He was ready to return to action in March when lockdown restrictions were enforced and has since had to bide his time.
Despite all that, the left-back insists he’s loving the chance to learn under Mikel Arteta.
“It’s been so good, the understanding he [Arteta] has of the game and how he wants to play has been amazing,” he said.
“I feel as if I’m learning every single day. I’m adapting to his game plan and buying into it so much.
“It’s so enjoyable to train and play. Hopefully we can improve results now, it’s not going to happen overnight but we’re working towards something big.
“He (Arteta) is very demanding and training is intense. You know when you go in it’s going to be an intense session and you’re going to cover a lot of tactical work.”
In the Sky Sports interview, he added: “There are times for a laugh and a joke – Mikel loves that as well – but when we’re working, we’re working. It’s a lot of tactical stuff as well, and that’s going to help us all get an understanding of how he wants us to play.”
It definitely feels like Tierney has wholeheartedly bought into Arteta’s philosophy even if the hard work isn’t bearing fruit on the pitch at the moment.
“I’ve said before, something like that is not going to just work straight away, it’s going to be a process, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we need to stay focused on that. There are going to be bad results and bad games, but as a team we need to keep the confidence, stick together and kick on again.”