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.