Has Kieran Tierney lost the trust of Mikel Arteta?

Kieran Tierney has started very few of Arsenal’s Premier League games this term, but for what reason?

The Scot has played the full 90 minutes just four times this term, twice in the Premier League and in both of our most recent Europa League games, but seemingly finds himself as our third-choice option at LB at present.

Previously he has been considered as one of the most consistent players in our side, and one of leaders within the group also, but for whatever reason, he now appears to have dropped to third choice at LB in the pecking order.

While Takehiro Tomiyasu impressed against Liverpool, he certainly doesn’t appear to be a long-term solution in the role, whereas Tierney is a proven performer who is appreciated strongly by many potential suitors.

His situation will no doubt bring attention from a number of big clubs, with Real Madrid amongst those to be linked with an interest previously, and it seems baffling to me as to why he is continually being overlooked at present.

I want to believe that his fitness is the issue, but his completed minutes in the EL are contrary to that.

His professional personality leads me to believe a fallout over the signing of Zinchenko is extremely unlikely also, which leads me to believe that Tierney’s style of play just isn’t what Mikel is looking for at present.

How or why that is, I simply have no answer for.

Why do you believe Tierney is being overlooked so regularly?


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  1. It’s either fitness related, or something to do with the tactical style arteta wants to play. If it’s the latter, I expect it’s being worked on in the background

    1. Agreed. The game in Netherlands will be Tierney’s chance to show his improvement in the inverted LB position, because Tomiyasu would likely be tasked to mark Gakpo on our right wing

        1. Tomiyasu used to play inverted LB against Liverpool and Southampton, but he’d likely play RB tomorrow in Netherlands

  2. Dan am just receiving information of a reported £50 mil being prepared for the gaffer to splurge in January.

    This story seems to have legs, contrary to your argument earlier.

  3. I don’t agree, not one bit, that Tierney has been overlooked at all. I realise he has not been picked much but that does not equate to being overlooked but simply to MA preferring, , IN SOME GAMES, another player instead! Shape, fatique, proneness to injury, opponents set up and other factors doubtless come in to MA’s consideration, but what does NOT come into the equation is a fine player such as Tierney “being overlooked”!

    You are writing tosh once again old son!!

    And THAT principle applies to all players in all positions but does NOT mean that those who pay less are “overlooked” at all. That is JA hype and a poor excuse , yes an EXCUSE, to write an article.
    You see PATRICK, WHEN YOU PUT YOUR OWN WRONG PREMISE AS THE QUESTION YOU ALWAYS ASK AT THE END OF YOUR PIECE(having no actual conclusions of your own, but simply hiding behind a premise that is, more often than not, false) then you are bound to be outed as a non serious writer by those with a deeper intellect than your own.

    And that would always be MANY of us, not just me!

  4. Its a strange one, unless Tierney isnt fit. Which, he is fit to play and has done in the EL. Tierney must be asking himself with Zinchenko out, why he is sat on the bench in Premier league games. Our best RB and LB are not getting games in their positions. I think Arteta is obviously not playing Tierney for a reason. What that is is anyones guess.

  5. Only 50 million Pounds to slurge on the incomings by Arsenal during the next January transfer window? But wouldn’t this amount of transfer money provision an underprovision of funds by Stan Kroenke for Arsenal to do their incomings transfer business next Jan window?
    So, which new top quality players on the market will the said £50m cover for to sign next Jan window? For, this meager amount of £50m looks to be inadequate to sign up to 3 new top top quality players to strengthened the squad depth next Jan to have a stronger squad death than it’s currently seen available in the team.
    I think if the now Emery’s Aston Villa will not make a repeat of the hard ball playing that the former Villa’s boss Steven Geraald played with Arsenal to denied them signing their Douglas Luiz last summer window. But soft pedal to allow DL leaves next Jan to join the Gunners. And Arsenal still want him and he too still want to join the Gunners in the tick of their pushing for the Epl title win this season. Then, I think Arsenal will sign him next Jan for say £20-25m in transfer fee payable.
    Or would Arsenal instead switch their attention to sign the Brazilian Danilo from Palmeiras? But for what transfer fee? £20-25m?
    But what of the signings of a top top quality new striker of a proven 35-40 League goals per season scorer at a top League club side? Who will compete with G Jesus or partner with him to be starting to lead the line for Arsenal.
    And what of the reported Sahakata Donesk’s wide player ;Mykhayio Mudryk who was linked with Arsenal for their signing last summer window? Will Arsenal still goin to sign him next Jan?
    Well! I don’t know if Arsenal will sign up to 3 new top top quality players a striker, a Dmf and a winger next Jan window who all I think they will need to do so as to boost the ranks of their 1st team squad to help sustain their push to win the Epl title this season in the face of Man City seriously challenging them to the win.

  6. Am even surprised he was picked for Bodo away game. Tierny and Partey needs to be handled with caution based on their injury records last 2 season.
    IMO this is a good headache to have, Tomi, Tierny, Zini, white, all good, fit and unstoppable. Cedric isn’t even getting mentioned.
    I hope we can get a Partey replacement in January, and if we could loan a 10goal striker to help Jesus and Nketia

  7. Tierney’s attitude is top notch. Probably the best in the whole team.

    However, his fitness is always a concern. If you look back at his record for Celtic, he never finished a full season as he always had some injury.

    You can’t trust a player like that despite of his great attitude. If you keep starting him week in and out, he’ll get injured.

    So unfortunately for now, Tierney will likely be a bit part player. To make things worse, it seems like Zinchenko is made from the same cloth which bodes really bad for us. No wonder we were linked with Benfica’s Grimaldo who hasn’t missed more than handful of games in the past 3-4 years.

  8. Not overlooked and not lost the trust of Arteta, it’s just Tomiyasu and Zinchenco are better defensively which I believe is a fullbacks prime responsibility.

  9. I think combination of Tierney’s intro to new role, his current injury record, his lack of height and Tomiyasu’s World Cup commitment made this situation possible. Tierney will playing much more after World Cup because of future fixture congestion and Zinchenko’s lack of pre-season. He definitely need to improve his technical qualities if he hope to dislodge Zinchenko from the starting position. Don’t know why but I feel no worries at all for Arsenal FC. With addition of 3 players, Arsenal are top of the league now. No matter what happens this season, the team will be and fitter and better next season with more purchases. I’m looking forward for more exposed cheekbones like Granit Xhaka. If Tavares comes back better, then Tierney is really trouble.

  10. For those interested,this is an article which appears in the Athletic today,titled
    “Arsenal have benefited from having versatile options at full-back this season.”

    Oleksandr Zinchenko has provided poise and control in his inverted left-back role, often drifting into midfield to create overloads. Ben White has been stable defensively and adventurous in attack at right-back. Takehiro Tomiyasu has filled in on both sides as well as at centre-back.

    All this has left Kieran Tierney with just three Premier League starts after 11 matches. The 25-year-old has come off the bench in all but one of Arsenal’s league matches and started all four of their Europa League matches, but has been used much less than previous seasons. Competition with Zinchenko was expected, but that it has continued during the Ukraine international’s absence has been a surprise.

    Tomiyasu’s selection against Liverpool was logical. Playing a tall, efficient defender who is comfortable using his right foot against Mohamed Salah, who would cut onto his left foot, makes sense. That decision was explained to Tierney pre-match.

    “I was thinking I got taken off on Thursday maybe (to play) on Sunday,” Tierney said after the Liverpool win. “Maybe that, at the time, was (Arteta’s) plan at the time as well. Then the day before, he took me in and said, ‘It’s not (based) on your performance, this is just a tactical change I want to make’.

    “I was like, ‘I’m gutted’, but that’s all it is. I’m not going to be angry or not try hard. I’m gutted because I want to play every opportunity I can, especially in big games. You want to play and soak in the atmosphere, but there’s nothing I can say. We won and Tomiyasu played amazing. The game plan worked.”

    Most would argue that Tierney provides more attacking threat from overlapping, which he did well against Southampton, but his game has developed beyond that this season.

    The Scot inverting from left-back has been noticeable since his first start of the season against Fulham in August and has become more prominent with each appearance.

    He is having more touches deeper in the left half-space and near the centre circle but fewer to the left of the final third than he was having on a per-90-minute basis last season in the Premier League alone.

    Had Europa League data been available, the share of touches in the central area may have been even bigger. Tierney spent a lot of his time around the centre circle in the Bodo/Glimt matches in particular.

    From that area of the pitch, he was more of a distributor. He did not always break a line but there were occasions when he was able to keep attacks flowing nicely.

    Here, he demands the ball from Albert Sambi Lokonga as he is drifting inside.

    Under pressure, he moves the ball on nicely with two touches to Eddie Nketiah, who holds the ball up before finding Martin Odegaard.

    The midfielder then has Bukayo Saka ready on the right-wing in space, with White joining the attack from right-back.

    A similar sequence took place shortly after, but instead of going to Nketiah, Tierney found Fabio Vieira in space to the left.

    When teams start to clog that midfield area, having someone who is willing to create another passing lane is essential for Arsenal. Rather than being resigned to playing sideways football, they can go forward, as whoever inverts often goes unmarked. Zinchenko has been exceptional in this regard, but Tierney fared well, too.

    In more sustained attacks when Arsenal are already in the opposition half, Tierney tends to be free in that left half-space. From there, he usually either shoots or clips crosses into the box, which have not been as effective.

    His willingness to overlap is still beneficial, however. Against Brentford, he played most of the game hugging the touchline and staying in a back four, which was noticeable in the 14-pass move for Gabriel Jesus’ goal.

    After passing to Martinelli here, he continues his run down the flank while Arsenal’s attack moves infield.

    When Granit Xhaka plays the ball back out to him, Josh Dasilva has to rush wide to double up. That leaves Xhaka free and Tierney plays the simple return ball before the Switzerland international clips it into Jesus to finish.

    The one time Tierney did go central against Brentford, he received the ball on the penalty spot. He set it back for a Saka shot that forced a great save from David Raya.

    Much of Arsenal’s good play this season has come from having threats across the width of the pitch and almost always having someone available to exploit space. Tierney may not be at the technical level of Zinchenko, but he has looked accomplished with these new demands.

    While Zinchenko is expected to return before the World Cup, this will be a long season where every player is needed.

    Even if Tierney does not get a consistent run during the six games Arsenal have in the three weeks before the break, he is showing Arteta he is a more rounded player than in previous seasons.

  11. Tierney is tailor-made for those winter nights and rainy days which can affect some players’ performances negatively speaking.

    It’s a wonder how Arteta goes for defensive solidity on the right fullback side but seems to prefer a fullback / CM on our left side. Or will he look for another Zinchenko-type player, soon to play ahead of Tomi from time? What would we look like at all, with two fullbacks come CM players? I haven’t the foggiest. Arteta is not an easy read.

  12. I think and hope Arsenal are just managing Tierney carefully this season due to previous injury issues …getting him to play recover rest play recover etc I think kieran is one of our outstanding players for the future
    I really admire his work ethic he’s very honest and a good well behaved young man who is a real proper example to any young aspiring player in how to be a good professional I wish this lad nothing but the best …he deserves it

  13. I think the reason is that when zinchenko plays he slots into midfield and we go into a back 3 that’s why white as been picked ,tierney when he plays takes away Martinellis game as he likes to roam up the byline ,Martinelli can do the job of 2 players defensively and offensively.
    In-line the new set up and it’s obviously worked well .

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