Mikel Arteta is hopeful that Kieran Tierney will be part of Arsenal’s squad for the clash with Watford on Sunday.
The Spaniard confirmed the Scotland international has resumed first team training following an ankle injury but will need to be assessed tomorrow.
“Kieran has been training the last two days and is feeling much better,” Arteta told his pre-game press conference. “Hopefully, he will be available.
“Let’s see in the next two training sessions how he’s feeling. He’s done bits with the team but hasn’t fully trained yet. In the next two days we’ll see how he is and how he’s feeling.”
In Tierney’s absence, Nuno Tavares has impressed at left-back leaving Arteta with a dilemma over who to pick once the Scot is back up to speed. As you might imagine, it’s not something that is concerning the boss.
“Hopefully, we can have more of those dilemmas,” he said. “We have top players performing at the top level in many positions because that only raises the quality, the standards and the performance of the team.”
Despite the upturn in form his players have shown, Arteta has spoken repeatedly about the need for his side to keep improving. With tough games on the horizon after the Interlull, he is determined his players sign off with a good performance against the Hornets.
“What I’m demanding is that we keep improving and getting good performance that are going to lead to results and that we maintain the same unity and togetherness around the squad and that we’re able to transmit that in games and every day in training. If we do that we’ll keep getting better.
“Every game is different. They [Watford] have a new manager [Claudio Ranieri]. They are a team that needs wins, as we do. In this league, any team can cause you problems, can beat you and you always need to be aware of that.
“They had an incredible run last year to do what they did and now they’ve changed the manager. It’s always difficult for any team in this league, so imagine coming from the Championship it’s even harder, but it’s a team that has been in the league many years. They are our neighbours, they are next to us, and like any team they are tough to beat.”
Take it easy with him, let him get his fitness fully back. Great player but needs to be able to play his best, especially now there is competition for the place.
Interesting that Arteta is ignoring our nearest neighbours.
I do think there is a tendency to talk up KT’s injuries more than other players – probably related to the fact that we have been so exposed without him (not so much now with Tavares)
Just for reference : only 2 outfield players started.more games than him in the league last season & he has played 8 of our 10 league games this season. It’s not THAT bad a record.
Very valid, I guess we don’t remember it quite like that, as he often seems to be caring a niggle here or there.
I don’t think there’s much of a dilemma if Tierney is genuinely fit. I have been pleasantly surprised by Tavares and his adventuresome forward runs. But he is miles behind Tierney’s level right now. It’s worth a risk against Watford maybe, but I wouldn’t want him defending that wing against Liverpool and Salah. Well, honestly, I’m not confident in anyone doing that very well right now, but I think an inexperienced, raw, talent like Tavares would be especially vulnerable.
100%. I know people get very excited about new players but while Tavares has done really well, he is still very raw. It’s great to have him as cover & a potential challenge to KT in the future but – right now – there is no debate as to who plays if KT is fit.
I’m differently pursuaded. I think Tavares will be very motivated to prove his mettle against Salah and co.
His defensive stats are better than Tierney, I think he’s stronger and also isn’t so predictable.
Genuinely, why do you think KT is predictable ?
I believe Salah was running rings round Tierney last season past. When he gets back let him earn his place until Tavares drops form. My take