Sunday, May 19, 2024

Tierney focused on working hard, no talks over future

Kieran Tierney says he’s focused on giving his all for Arsenal and says his future isn’t in his hands.

Speculation was rife at the tail-end of last season that the Scotland international would draw a line under his time at Emirates Stadium this summer having reportedly grown frustrated at a lack of game time.

Newcastle United and former club Celtic were mooted as possible destinations but so far, there’s nothing to suggest a departure is imminent. By the sound of things, Tierney isn’t agitating for a move.

“It’s not really up to me (my future),” he told The Athletic. “I’m happy, I’m working hard every day and getting minutes. I’m just trying to do as well as I can.”

Asked if he’s had conversations with the manager about his future, he said, “no” before adding, “You can’t play every single game, every single season, every single year. I don’t expect that and I still made a lot of appearances last year.

“I was ready every game and working 100 per cent. I think everyone in there would agree with that, that I never give less than that whether I’m playing or not.

“In the games I did play I tried to do my best for the team. I came off the bench a lot last season, whether that was to see games out or help get a goal.”

It may well be that Tierney and Arsenal are waiting to see how the chips fall over the coming weeks. The addition of Jurrien Timber, a right-back with the qualities to invert in a fashion similar to Oleksandr Zinchenko, may open up more opportunities for a traditional full-back on the other flank.

If that is the case, Tierney may back himself to get back in the side, even with competition from Zinchenko, Jakub Kiwior and Takehiro Tomiyasu.

The other factor at play is Arsenal’s need to balance the books. Having spent £200 million on Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Timber, there’s pressure to recoup funds and Tierney could command an attractive fee.


For more on Tierney and the role he might be asked to play, head to the main blog for musings from Lewis Ambrose

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I love his general attitude overall, a super professional but most will agree that he clearly does not fit in our current style of play, would be happy to see him somewhere else that he will be a regular and also allow some inflow for Arsenal. Win win for all!


Sure. But I’d also be happy for him to stay and our style vary such that he can be better utilised


As the tweet and linked story suggest (and like a few of us here have been suggesting), timber is an option to invert the right and play more direct down the left channel. We have these options and with that I can see Tierney playing plenty. We have more footy this season and we’ll need him by the end that is for sure. We need a deep squad.

A Different George

In my opinion (quite possibly premature, since it is really based on a single friendly) playing Timber as a right-sided mirror of Zinchenko’s role has an important negative consequence. It can force Odegaard back to cover behind Timber–in exactly the way Xhaka was sometimes forced to cover behind Zinchenko. But the Odegaard/Saka partnership is one of the most important bases of Arsenal’s attack. I think we are most dangerous when Odegaard is far forward–in possession as, effectively, a 10, and also leading the press as a second forward with Gabriel Jesus when we are out of possession.


Sure, but they’ve played one game like that. They need to adjust positioning and learn how that functions. Very clearly that will take time and shifting formations, which are already complicated. No-one is saying this is THE option. It is AN option (and very unlikely to be a first choice – Zinchenko is a elite player). One that will also take some refining. Every option is different too because Xhaka is gone. It’s a different setup. Havertz in particular is going to have to learn very quickly to get back and defend in places he is unaccustomed to. IMO we… Read more »

Santi’s Thigh Grab

This is the way.

Glenn Helder Trio

I guess the reasoning is that we have Havertz now as well though, so you lose a little Ode but gain a little Kai and we become a lot less predictable


He doesn’t fit what?!!
I can tell you of two games last season where Tierney was the best fit and not Zinchenko, and guess what: Arsenal lost both games.
Yes, Tierney deserves more minutes for the kind of player he is but not for a perceived inability to play the Arsenal way. Any suggestion to the alternative is just horse-crap 😡

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Not sure why he doesn’t fit our style of play now that we have two full backs that invert and two full backs who play wide. Seems like we now have balance in the backfield and can invert left or right. Also, our style of play from last season will not be completely the same this season, we will progress to something more as the players and manager all gain more experience.

Nacho de Montreal is Tasty

The only competition he should face is with Zinchenko and we all saw that in the second half of last season, Zinchenko performed less than we were used to with reliable Tierney.

Norwegian Wood

Reliable because he is one-dimensional and doesn’t take risks? You need 11 Zinchenkos to win the league. Players who are not only capable to play between the lines, but brave enough to. Tierney isn’t that guy. I know y’all like him, and I like how professional he is, but he’s not. The indirect smack Zinny gets because he isn’t anyone’s darling yet is just wrong, man. We wouldn’t even be competing for the league if we started the season with reliable Tierney. Zinny’s role and responsibilities means he’ll make mistakes. He’s not the best defender, but there isn’t a better… Read more »

Gavin Mcadam

“upgrade on Tierney”…given that we’d be looking for 30-40m if we sold KT an upgrade would cost considerably more, and given we’ve already spent 200m that’s just no an option. Keep KT, he’s still an invaluable asset.


Zinchenko is a very good player but he is one of the most overrated signings the club has made in recent years… important role, yes, and a good passer but can be chancy as all hell and has a glut of casual casual mistakes in him. Also not the quickest, with can expose us further… With all that said, I think Tierney’s game has really suffered – perhaps inexorably – due to injury… no longer has the acceleration that characterised his first season and is less confident in cutting inside and making offensive moves… it would be nice if Arteta… Read more »


“[Zinchenko]  is one of the most overrated signings the club has made in recent years”
This is nuts. The guy allowed Arteta to revolutionise the way we play football. We went from laughing stock to title contenders and Zinny was a MASSIVE part of that.
He is still very clearly UNDERrated by many.

Compañero de clan Arroz

Now that we have Rice, Zinchenko should give up on the Motivator In Chief role he tends to overdo.

Var will solve the problem

I think everyone loves Tierny. Sometimes you need subs that are very important for the team harmony who aren’t happy to warm the bench but at the same time gives their best without complaining and put pressure on regular starters. Not like Ronaldo or some other primmadonnas who would create a toxic culture when they can’t get a game. You have Mo El- Neny, Holding and Tierny that are essentially 3rd choice back-ups but leaders in their own right because of the example they set as professionals and can do the job once or twice when called upon. They can’t… Read more »


I think it’s bonkers that you are putting KT at a level with Elneny & Holding. KT would be first choice at the vast majority of premier league clubs. No offence to either of the other two but there isn’t a hope they would be.

Mikels Arteta

Let’s not pretend that Zinny is a good defender. He’s an average defender, good with the ball at his feet. Even then, he has his moments when he can’t play a simple short pass. He’s definitely one of our leaders
Timber should give Tierney the opportunity to play like a traditional fullback


‘you need 11 Zinchenkos to win the league’
Yeh right, 11 players blubbing on the bench cos Salah has nutmegged them & given a goal away!

Norwegian Wood

Tagged the wrong commenter.

Mentioned the wrong Liverpool player…


The only competition he should face is with Zinchenko” huh? Why? Because you decided the other two aren’t good enough to compete with him? Pretty sure Arteta disagrees with you on that given his choices so far during preseason, and he’s the one who decides those things.

El Mintero

Left back is quickly becoming a position of concern. The game against United highlighted how weak we are when we try and force fit “non left back” players into that position like Tomi. Zinchenko is not the complete answer here either. His defensive failings were quite apparent last year. Xhaka was even given a go last year at LB. Tierney at LB apparently does not work anymore so who’s next – kiwior? Not convinced. Timbre? He’s right footed. Left back is a mess…

The Beast

I mean it’s not, is it? We have 4 players of varying styles that can play there. Some more defensively solid, some better at building play & some that give width. Whether they all stay this window is another question but I think we’re in a pretty good position.

El Mintero

But I question whether any of them are what we need to strengthen that position. Tierney doesn’t fit Arteta’s tactics. Zinchenko is more effective in midfield than defending. Tomi can’t play out left. Kiwior not a LB. Teams lining up against us see Zinchenko playing the inverted role and throw everything at us down the left side knowing we will be vulnerable there. Man U did the same thing last week…

Heavenly Chapecoense

“Spurs among clubs interested in Mbappe” from Skysports.


It’s their (failing) last gasp play at remaining relevant.

A Different George

We often exaggerate negative effects of new developments but, I think, this really means the game is gone. This is from The Guardian:

“The Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal have submitted a world-record bid for Kylian Mbappé, understood to be worth €300m (£259m), and are willing to have the forward for only one season if that is what is takes to get the deal done.”

One season! Then they’re willing to let him go to Madrid on a free. To quote the Guardian again, “Whatever this is, it isn’t football.”

Norwegian Wood

These criticisms are unfair. It was always leading here. When Madrid paid 80 million for Ronaldo, it was Wenger who said that if he spends that amount on one player, he’d expect that player to score with every kick. That was criticism of just how much money that was. The Premier League has been spending big of late, much more than the other leagues can manage. It’s unfair that there’s another from outside the European continent who are trying to get involved, and these papers are writing in criticism. How else can they compete if not by splashing huge sums?… Read more »


It’s the same notion that people claim City, Newcastle and Chelsea owners are all dastardly evil doers (don’t get me wrong, they absolutely fucking are), but our [white] American owner is an upstanding citizen and we’re the moral compass global sports should be benchmarked off. Bollocks. Fcuk all the billionaires. Football is in the state it is because they’re all greedy fucks. The world is literally burning down right now because of their insatiable greed. They’re the source of the problems – sure the governments are all bent and corrupt, but ask yourself, who does the bending and corrupting of… Read more »


Dam autocorrect ducking up my lunch line.

Heavenly Chapecoense

If you chop a person into pieces in your embassy then come up a couple of years later with billions to cleanse your reputation, I am going to be very negative about that.

Norwegian Wood

Man, we watch the Premier League, and I’m sure the British Empire has been responsible for wayyyyyy worse around the world than the Saudis ever could.

You should be nowhere near a high horse…

The Beast

Just to be clear, you don’t have to come from/live in a country with a pristine human rights record to be able to criticise other governments for murdering & dismembering members of the press, amongst other oppressive shit.

We can call them out in the same way we can call out our own governments.

Norwegian Wood

No, you don’t. We were discussing football and someone decided it was necessary to call out the sins of the Saudi government, talking about how they’ll be negative about that.

The British murdered whole communities. Whole tribes in the Americas. The Spanish too. Not to mention the Belgians in Central Africa. I don’t think anyone discussed the Spanish Inquisition after Ronaldo was signed by Madrid. Y’all are funny. Your double standards are ridiculous, and the Saudis can do with their money, whatever they like.

The Beast

Your point was that, if you watch the Premier League, you shouldn’t be able to criticise the Saudi government’s attempts at sportswashing (which they’re partially doing to distract from a horrendous human rights record) because of the British empire. My point is that, that’s obviously ridiculous. You can watch & enjoy both the prem league & the Saudi league (and get this) & call out the Saudi government for their attempts to distract from their awful human rights record & criticise the British government for historic (& current) acts. You don’t have to agree that the Saudi league is at… Read more »

A Different George

Are you seriously suggesting that this is an attempt to “get involved” or to compete in a sporting sense? This is the 1936 Berlin Olympics (where the villains were quite solidly Europeans, as they kept reminding us).

The San Antonio Spurs have more chance of signing Mbappe than that lot.


Anecdote of the year


Well good luck to them with that. I’ve only heard he’s available, not desperate and stupid.


Btw if you weren’t enamoured with the new away kit, spare a thought for Man U fans. Making me love ours.

Merlin’s Panini

we shouldn’t forget just how important Tierney was for us in his first couple of seasons. People were talking him up as one of the best full backs in the country. In the right system he still is. He also did a good job in a back three. Committed, pacey and passionate. He also scores the odd screamer. In many ways he reminds me of Nigel Winterburn. As the article states, it could be that with Zinchenko fit we play White at RB and, without Zinchenko we switch it up and play Timber at RB mirroring that role with Tierney… Read more »


Not having a go at you at all Merlin but….I have seen so many people saying ‘Timber inverting at RB means KT getting more game time as a traditional LB’ for weeks & weeks now…..and yet Timber’s first start happens v Man Utd, we played Tomi at LB ahead of KT…and people are still making the same argument ?? I just don’t get it.
I absolutely love KT ..but we have to be logical about this – all the evidence suggests he just isn’t trusted by the manager / he doesn’t fit in. (whatever wording you prefer)


It’s an interesting one because if you think about the other high profile players who have lost the manager’s trust (Ozil, Auba, Pepe) a lot of it was linked to attitude/work ethic. That’s impossible to fault KT on, so it’s evident Arteta’s objection is more stylist. That makes it a harder one for Arteta to solve because playing him regularly goes against his instinct on how he wants to play, but he knows realistically if he sells he’s got to add someone there plus try and make a net profit on the position. Thus that person might be stylistically better… Read more »


And yet he’s played the most mins at LB so far in preseason…


But not one start…..even with Zinny unavailable for all 3 games & Tomi unavailable for the first 2. His minutes have been in the second halves where loads of changes being made. As I said we have to be logical about it – if things had changed since the end of last season, he surely would have got at least one start.


Sure, but the reality is we have A LOT of football and Tierney is a great and versatile squad player (CB also). Everyone is learning how we play right now as things have changed. Arteta and the team are trying things and Tierney is a part of it. Starts in pre-season don’t have much meaning. Are you saying Nketiah is the lead striker now because he ran out at KO against Manure? This is experiment and practice time and Tierney is a part of it. I might be concerned if he wasn’t playing at all, but he’s not. Is it… Read more »


I understand what Zinny brings…..but both Tomi & Kiwior being preferred over KT in pre season mirrors Zinny’s absences last season….(despite neither of then offering anything like what Zinny does at LB)
A lot may have changed, but there is no evidence anything has for KT. Have to disagree I guess

Santi’s Thigh Grab

I look at preseason as a learning opportunity for the manager and players. Not much to learn about KT in LB and he’s defensively better than Zinny so I anticipate he will be a finishing player once we have the lead and want to shut it down. Checking out how Tomy and Kiwor did at the position was really competition between them.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Or, the manager is more unsure of Tomy at left back so a meaningless game against a strong opponent could be a way to assess him before the PL season.


And now Timber starts at LB v Barca…….I mean I might be wrong…but sometimes the right answer is simply the most obvious one….


KT is a good pro and is also quality. If we are inverting on the other side sometimes maybe we can use him.


Arteta is pushing for versatility and being less predictable. Teams are setting up expecting the inverted fullback setup. Tierney is and will remain to be a worthwhile option that can still skin most right fullbacks to get the ball in the box. Better defender than Zinny as well. I say keep him.


This is a true gunner. Once a gunner, always a gunner! COYG! No matter what future has installed for him, wishing him the best!

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