Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Tierney: It’s been a tough start to the season for me

Arsenal may be flying high at the top of the Premier League table but it’s not been plain sailing for every player.

One of those is Kieran Tierney.

Injured for a chunk of pre-season and facing competition for a starting place from new boy Oleksandr Zinchenko and, most recently, Takehiro Tomiyasu, the Scotland international has been in and out of the side during the opening 11 games.

While the only match he’s sat out completely was the 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford, he’s only completed 90 minutes twice and amassed a total of 427 minutes on the pitch.

“It’s been tough,” Tierney told Arsenal.com when asked to assess the opening quarter of the season.

“I missed pre-season coming back from an injury, and the first game I played in was the Palace one – that was the first week of training that I had.

“I’ve just been trying to get minutes here and there so it’s been a tough start, but whether I’m first, second or third-choice, I’m just going to keep working hard and see where it takes me.”

On Sunday, Mikel Arteta made the bold decision to bench Tierney despite Zinchenko being injured. For the first time since his arrival from Bologna, Tomiyasu was given the nod on the left, albeit with a specific remit to keep Liverpool’s Mo Salah quiet.

Given his impressive performance, it raises the prospect of the Japan international, who was nominally signed as a right-back, competing more often with Tierney on the left.

Reacting to the increased competition, Tierney said: “I wouldn’t say [competition] motivates me more, as whether I’m the only left-back or there’s five left-backs, I’m still motivated to play and to do well.

“Day-to-day, nothing changes in my life; if I’m playing or not I’m just working as hard as I possibly can. I train hard, and if the manager calls on me, I’m ready.

“I want to play every game possible, when you don’t play like all footballers, you’re disappointed but when you get your chance, you just need to make sure you go and take it.”

Tierney is expected to start tomorrow’s clash with Bodo/Glimt in Norway. He could in theory line up with Tomiyasu inside him at centre-back and Rob Holding and Cedric on the other side of defence.

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C.B.

Love him, thought he would be first choice LB for many years. Hope he can keep his head high and keep competing for his place. We are much stronger with everyone competing and improving.

Johnny 4 Hats

Kinda mad that Kieran and Gabriel were the two defenders that we built the team around a year back and now they are both fighting for their places.

With Kieran it’s been availability predominantly and I think Gabriel is just going through a slightly tough spell, but it does speak to the improvements in the squad that people are looking at these previous linchpins and thinking, “could we upgrade here?”

Petros Magomazi

Which Gabriel are you talking about?

Woolwich Tiern time

First line buddy

Gunnermite

I will advise him to give his national team coach a double footed tackle (Kolo Toure style) in training for contributing to his struggles for mins this season.

Brendan Rodgers' self-portrait

“He could in theory line up with Tomiyasu inside him at centre-back”
Not an ideal formation if you ask me.

Giuseppe Hovno

is this an ingenious way to squeeze 12 players on to the pitch?

PolyEmery

These comments have made my week when I needed a bit of a lift, thank you. I really had a stupid laugh at them.

ljundbergsPinkMohawk

we will need him. our best 11 in the end run likely includes him, zinchenko and Tomiyasu somewhere on the field

Teryima Adi

Tierney would be okay.

Okey

I feel for the player really, but when I think about our top four capitulation last season I can easily pinpoint fitness issues with Tierney, Tomi and Partey and contributory factors so I don’t blame Mikel for trying to manage their fitness better this season. COYG!!!!

A Different George

I suspect Arteta will do something very similar to the home match against them: a lot of rotation and a half-hour run-out for some of the regulars, depending on the score of course. A little trickier because it’s away (and therefore Thursday night travel) and an artificial surface. If Zinchenko is available for Leeds, then I would use Tomiyasu as a centre half with Holding, and Cedric and Tierney as the fullbacks. If Zinchenko is not available, then I would be a bit nervous about risking Tomiyasu with his history of injury for a possiible three matches in eight days.

Naked Cygan

Yeah we need Cedric back so some of the other players get a break. I also hope Nelson starts so Martinelli gets a rest too for atleast 60-70 min.

Qwaliteee

Cedric is shit and will shop points the same way he did last April and May, which saw us finish fifth instead of fourth.

He is the one weak link in the entire squad and the sooner we are rid of him, the better.

Downvote all you want, I couldn’t care less.

Qwaliteee

*ship points

Boy Bastin

Can’t fault his attitude – first-rate. The nagging problem is that he is clearly injury-prone (and was, to be fair, pretty much so at Celtic before his transfer). Arteta will make the most of Tierney of course because he’s a tremendous player as we all know, it’s just a shame that he isn’t available more often.

Emi Rates

Stil a great player and I’m glad we have him.

COYKT!

Leon

His physical susceptibility to injury pushes him down the pecking order.
If he didn’t have legs made of digestive biscuits he would be first choice.
I think he will play a major part no doubt – Tomiyasu as well.
I think they are great players just a bit fragile…

Boy Bastin

It will be a balancing act a lot of the time to make the most of them when they’re fit.

Leon

I think with the larger squad of players we have we can rest him to reduce the risk of injury.
He is a great back up player – obviously he will play a much bigger role than that though.
The problem last season was the number of games he played. Some players can cope with that, and some cannot.

shokim

C’mon KT, you just need a run of games to get your form back. We believe in you.

Darren

That rocket he hit off the post that led to an Nketiah scores showed his quality; he can be another scoring opportunity for us.

Viju Jacob

KT, needs to take care of himself a bit more, by that I’m hoping he will keep himself warm in cold climes. He may not feel the cold but his muscles must be taking a battering, so he needs to quit being the lad in half sleeves & shorts and keep his body warm. Common sense in my opinion.

dave

Honestly, I still prefer him ahead of Zinchenko or Tomi and I just hope he stays fit enough to make his case again

Gandalf

Competition might not motivate you Kieran, but hopefully you’ll be a bit more honest about your injuries.

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