Thursday, June 20, 2024

Tierney: I’m learning about football more than I ever have

Arsenal’s players may be struggling for form and confidence at the moment but there’s no suggestion that they have fallen out of love with manager Mikel Arteta.

After leading the club to a surprise FA Cup win at the end of a torrid and tiring 2019/20 campaign, the Spaniard has a fair bit of credit in the bank with a squad who were in the doldrums when he took over.

Kieran Tierney, in particular, is a fan. Having worked with Brendan Rodgers at Celtic, the Scot is well accustomed to coaches with an eye for detail but he insists Arteta has him looking at the beautiful game in a whole new light.

Asked what the boss has brought to his game, Tierney told Sweden’s Fotboll Podcast: “An understanding of football. Honestly, the way he understands the game, the way he talks about the game has made me see it in a different way, made me understand different aspects that I’ve never understood before.

“Different tactical points of view, a new way of playing, a new way of working. I’m loving every single minute of it. That’s one thing I’d say, I feel like I’m learning about football more than I ever have.”

Asked for an example of how Arteta and his team work to help him out on the pitch, Tierney explained: “When we play against different opposition, who throw different challenges at you every single week, the coaches obviously look at the other team, how we’re going to play against them and who is going to press us.

“If someone from a certain area presses us, who in our team should be available to receive the ball. Stuff like that makes our game much easier on the ball.

“It’s brilliant, especially for a defender who is being high pressed, to know where your options are going to be. That’s the thing, we want to be one brain as a team and I think we’re working towards that and we’re going in the right direction.”

There’s no denying that successive home defeats to Leicester, Aston Villa and Wolves have been very damaging to morale and our hopes of qualifying for the top four this season.

“It’s been very frustrating. We want to win these games if we want to be competing up at the top of the table. You need to win them. We’ve had a few good results as well, there are positives. As I’ve said before, it’s not something that’s just going to change overnight and click but it’s something where we’re all sure that we’re going in the right direction, we all believe that 100 per cent.”

“We know we need to score more goals, the league table doesn’t lie about that stuff. It’s not as if we need to change anything drastic. What we’re doing in training is the right things, it just needs to click in one game and I’m sure it’ll come soon.”


You can check out the full 10-minute interview, here

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Nothing else he could say actually. The right thing to do.
I peak up a bit of more “pressed” in there. Too much focus on defense somewhere?


I know injuries have blighted him a bit, but I think he’s regressed. Looks to pass it back rather than forward, gets rinsed by wingers with pace and rarely gets into crossing positions. Maybe it’s from instruction, but he looks less like the player we first signed. Can’t fault his determination though.


To be fair to him, there’s not really anybody to pass it forward to.


I’ve seen plenty of occasions recently when the forward pass to Auba or Saka was on and he passed it back. I think it’s out of fear of losing possession, because if you notice we dont dribble either. Fear or lack of ambition? Both are an issue and they have been for a while in the league. Not just this season either.


Or maybe he’s been told by his manager not to

Artetas Assistant

Agree , looks a bit rattled


“It’s brilliant, especially for a defender who is being high pressed, to know where your options are going to be. That’s the thing, we want to be one brain as a team and I think we’re working towards that and we’re going in the right direction.”

I feel sorry for the lad – he never has any options but to play safe these days.

Artetas Assistant

the coaches obviously look at the other team, how we’re going to play against them and who is going to press us.

In a pack of lions or dogs, everybody is fair game to attack and every member is fair game to be attacked


Good lad, intelligent as well as having a strong desire to win.

I’ve been worried about the stuff going on behind the scenes, given the results recently, but this makes it sound better than I thought. Hope this applies for the rest of the players too.


Looks like a PR piece to me.


I was worried about that too, though if he is talking on a podcast then it is less easy to come out with a series of things like he has said, so it is more likey that he is saying what he thinks.

Agreed if it was written in an article on the official Arsenal website I’d be thinking that his views had been buffed up by the club.

Hank Scorpio

I recall a number of players saying how much homework Arteta gave them during the suspension of the previous season. We may not look like winning many games any time soon but we’ll have a number of guys ready to take their coaching badges


I bet he never thought that he’d be playing in a team in our present situation. In at the deep end, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


If KT didn’t add that he is loving every minute of it, I could have sworn it is just very safe words for not liking it. Learning different ways doesn’t mean better ways.

Sliding down the table isn’t ‘going in the right direction’ at all.


it sounds to me like arteta is a brilliant one-to-one coach. the kind who improves younger players a lot and even manages marginal improvements in more experienced players. despite that, he is a rookie in terms of building a team and a culture and we knew that when we gave him the job. he has to be given time to do his thing. this is the most confusing aspect to me. if we were going to go this direction then we should have made a priority of emptying the squad of the senior players who have been under-achieving for years… Read more »

Salibaba and the Forty Thieves

I would predict that at least half of Arsenal supporters feel the same way do. I know I do anyway.

When David Luiz (get well soon) was asking his friend Willian to come to Arsenal. Not for 1 second did I think it was for Arteta’s project. I thought it was so that he’d have an easier and comfortable retirement plan.

Watching the behaviour of Arsenal FC is like watching the behaviour of a person with very low self-esteem, they seem oblivious to being misused.


The big difference between “November 2019 crisis” and “November 2020 crisis” is undoubtedly that the squad is far more together and far more behind the manager.

Doesn’t mean that everything is going to be OK, but that’s why Emery had to go, and why it’s right to give Arteta time.

Steve Vallins

As a midfielder or a defender you look up and want movement or players in front of you receive the ball so you don’t have to go backwards . IMO Arsenals forwards are reactive and not proactive which makes life difficult to score goals and as we try to play a possession game we tend to go backwards because we don’t want to lose the ball . If you put a cross into your opponents penalty area we may have players attacking the ball but you don’t see a forward making a run into the penalty area demanding/hoping he will… Read more »

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x