Friday, March 1, 2024

Tierney: We can’t get ahead of ourselves

Kieran Tierney says Arsenal have demonstrated a marked improvement in the last few months but he’s not getting carried away with talk of a return to the Champions League.

Having finished eighth last season, expectations of a top-four finish were nearly non-existent amongst the fanbase in August but recent performances have seen a new wave of optimism wash over N5.

How long that lasts remains to be seen – leaders Manchester City and resurgent Sp*rs are our next opponents in the league – which is reason enough for Tierney’s conservative take on things.

“It’s obviously what every Arsenal fan, player and staff wants, but there is a long way to go,” he said after the Boxing Day 5-0 thrashing of Norwich.

“We can’t get too ahead of ourselves yet. There are big games coming up and there are a lot of games coming, so there’s still a long way [to go].

“We are getting a run together. We are happy, we are playing well and we are scoring goals. We are getting there.

“We have got a very young team and it’s brilliant to see. Hopefully, for years to come, we are all playing together and growing together. I think you can see that over the last year or so.”

Having won four games on the bounce in the league, the Gunners are in far better shape than the last time we faced City. So much has happened since August when a depleted squad endured a 5-0 mauling at the Etihad that the New Year’s Day encounter with Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions should be a good marker of our improvement.

Asked if the squad feels more confident going into such a big game, Tierney said:

“That’s the aim. We want to be the best we can every day and we are building to there. I think people can see over the last few months that we are getting better.

“We are getting more consistent. We are scoring more goals as well, so we just need to keep going in that direction.”

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loose_cannon

We’ve come a long way since the Man Utd/ Everton defeats, but we had a similar run after boxing day last year. We need to keep up this consistency if we want a decent chance of top 4, playing front footed football with confidence.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Precisely. We did have a similar run after Boxing Day.

For me, there are two standout similarities between this run and the boxing day run.
(1) Playing more games against the bottom half.
(2) Outperforming our xGA.

In that boxing day run, 13/23 games were against teams in the bottom half and we conceded 6 less goals than our xGA projection (21 goals conceded against an xGA of 27.14).

In this latest run, 11/19 games have been against the bottom half and we’ve conceded 3 less goals against our xGA projection (24 goals conceded against an xGA of 27.32).

loose_cannon

No shame in being flat track bullies, if we beat the teams we’re meant to be and are at least competitive with the rest, that should see us home.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Hopefully.

SarcasmB0T

Sure, but then what?

We won’t get very far being flat track bullies in the Champions League.

Ask Wenger.

Goonshow

It’s really about properly bullying them… really turning the screw against the ‘punch-bags’ at the bottom of the table. We beat Norwich by 4 more than Manure… add to this the recent big wins against the others, and that could make all the difference in a tight finish for 4th spot.

Hale End FC

I think that’s one way of looking at it but another is that overall we’re halfway through the league season so we’ve basically played everyone exactly once, we’ve actually played Norwich twice and haven’t played Wolves yet so I’ll admit that’s obviously favorable but that minor advantage aside we’re 4th at the midpoint with a good points total. And the thing is stats, while useful, can be deceptive at times, the eye test is important. I think we have to trust what our eyes are showing us and the picture that’s forming in front of us, is one where things… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

Arteta deserves credit for achieving these results. We also need to give credit to Edu for the recruitment and the Kroenkes for financing and those who have bought at the Walmart to make Kroenke’s wife rich.

Daveo

And a massive shout out to all the minimum wage employees that prop-up their “trickle down economics”:
https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/18/investing/walmart-minimum-wage-retail/index.html
And of course their continued excellence in avoiding taxes:
https://americansfortaxfairness.org/issues/corporate-tax-dodgers/the-walmart-web/

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Well said. I can agree with many of the points made.

chepetin

Exactly this.

Aaron

We also have to consider that we have played City, Liverpool and United away (Leicester and Everton away as well – the usual tough ones, not anymore maybe).
Yes, we played Chelsea and S*urs at the Emirates, but if we are being marginal in considering Norwich and Wolves, we have to take into account of the above. ( I would probably argue that Norwich away is the equivalent of Wolves at the Emirates anyway)

Only fear is we welcome those teams home but it’s only home when the crowds are present. So let’s hope COVID doesn’t play spoilsport.

Goonshow

And of those tough away games – we could (and shouldI) won at OT and Goodison… the prognosis is promising, lads!

Goonshow

For me, there’s one more – very simple metric – you can add to your (very cogent!) summation above: are teams once again starting to get nervous we we pop up as their next fixture?
Certainly I think that’s now true at the Emirates… away? We’re getting there. And that is a sea change from just a few months ago!

Goonshow

oops! ‘when we…’

Čenda

Just smash, trash, vanish the fcking sp*ds and i will be happy. Top 4 is a living dream today, and deservedly, not by accident, so keep beeing guns, boys. We all love you all.

Giuseppe Hovno

Will absolutely take a drubbing by city if we drub spurs in turn

Čenda

Drub, that is exactly the word i like in one sentence with sp*ds, thanks mate.

Daveo

Tierney is getting back to his best on both ends. Big difference is we aren’t trying to play everything thrive him now that we just become too predictable. And martinelli actually has tactical freedom ahead of him. He was all over the pitch and not just locked into his left pocket the difference in martinelli is startling. He forced the turn over on the right wing through his press that lead to tierney’s goal (which also opened the space for tierney to run into) Mikel is learning from his mistakes. Credit to him. Making partey the midfield Fulcrum instead of… Read more »

Brady’s bunch

Yea agree with you Mikel is learning but I think the players are showing him the way, we’re not there yet but we are in a rich vein of form at the minute. The next two games will determine a lot if we get through the city one without too much of a bloody nose and then s**rs who are beatable even at home if we continue in the same front foot fashion.

Daveo

It’s definitely time we picked up some points in big games. A win would be fresh, but I dare say they’re a class above. We can only hope I guess…
Sp**s we should take care of as we have been quite clinical in beating the mediocre teams…

January seems like the next phase in our project. Tough fixtures and cup games incoming.

I would absolutely take two draws against City and Sp*ds – especially without Partey – get them out of the way without defeats.

I’d also expect us to overcome a rotated Liverpool, and Forest, in the cups.

That would be a decent January overall to then set us up well for the next phase of the season.

Joy

I could easily handle losing to City if it means taking 3 points off spuds. We’re in competition for 4th, not 1st.

The Beast

Yeah, the derby’s looking like a 6 pointer. Think it’s much more important to win that match.

Having said that, I’d take two 0-0’s now if you offered

Scwibble

Setting us up for failure, one thing we have improved this year compared to previous is that were picking up points from lower half of table consistently, next hurdle is to beat the Evertons spuds and the man utds away from home which we know these lads can do.

No one will complain too much about losing to city and Liverpool away, but I will not even entertain talk of settling for just a point to the likes of spuds, I don’t want to hear it. We have better footballers, 3 points. End of discussion.

Mark

First order of business to get into and stay into the top four is to soundly beat the teams you are supposed to at home and pickup as many draws and wins on the road against teams below you that you can. We are now doing that and need to keep it going. Next is to start to get points (esp at home) off of the other big six teams which we’ve greatly struggled to do this year. That will be the big test of how far we’ve come.

ChickPEA

Yes. Good thing is, we know Arteta can do it, as we did it twice last year, against Chelsea and United. There seems to be a new mental block this seasons about that – although we managed to beat more consistently the slightly smaller teams such as Leicester, Spurs, West Ham and Villa – so I guess it will be a specific aspect of Mikel’s work over the next few months. Patience will be needed, but I feel confident as our potential is far from being reached.

Red-Wing

What we as fans need to do is be aware that bad sequence of results will probably follow at some point as well and continue supporting this team right through it. It’s a process and Arteta has said several times that us fans are right at the heart of it, and we shall not forget that we love this team so let’s act like it even on rainy days.

A Different George

In all the recent training photos, everyone is wearing long sleeves, tights, gloves, many in snoods, some with hats. Tierney is in short sleeves and shorts. On the way to the beach (except he’d burn).

Naked Cygan

First thing we need to do is give this guy the armband. He has the potential to be an Arsenal legend. Love his mentality and commitment.

MojoWillneny

It’s coming together for the team now. I’ll be amazed (and ecstatic) if we are able to hold off the competition and take 4th. But even if it doesn’t happen this year, I’m impressed with the development of this group. So young, yet developing a style of play that all of them are buying into. We may not have enough quality across the board yet for top four but we’ll see. Our group will mature into having that overall team quality next year. Only a few additions are needed—more quality if the level of ESR and Odegaard in midfield, and… Read more »

TommyGun

Why would you not post on an Arsenal news site that the game is postponed tomorrow? Seems a bit weird that you would just me ruin it at the end of the blog…

arseblog
Kelechi

The game against Manchester City is crucial to the evolution of this amazing young team. They have whate it takes to be beat any of the top teams in the league they just have to go out there with the mindset that they can. Their astronomical improvement of late is surprising to many let’s hope they maintain their effort and form and the best way to show that is to beat Manchester City…. they should be fed up of losing to them by now.

Greek Gooner

We have to give credit to Edu and believe it or not Kroenkes… I adore today’s Arsenal.
One high quality ST and CDM away from true title contenders, imo.

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