‘One player does make such a difference and I think it’s a bit of a worry’ Wright expresses Arsenal concern

Ian Wright has accused Arsenal of over-relying on Kieran Tierney, and he says that they have to change that approach.

The Gunners struggled as the Scotsman missed their Premier League game against Crystal Palace yesterday.

He was replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the starting XI, but the Englishman struggled to fill the void left by Tierney’s absence.

Arsenal struggled for a goal and couldn’t get one, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having a poor day.

Wright says that it is troubling that the absence of one man can make such a big difference in their performance.

He praised the former Celtic defender for always looking dangerous for the entirety of games and creating chances for the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette.

‘One player does make such a difference and I think it’s a bit of a worry because you take him out the team and that side doesn’t function,’ said the Highbury hero when asked if Arsenal are too reliant on Tierney, as quoted by The Mirror.

‘And when we are talking about the way Kieran Tierney gets up and down, and we are talking about for the full 90 minutes, he never stops and this is why.

‘You look at someone like [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang today, didn’t quite get the chances he normally gets because Kieran Tierney is normally flashing things in and around the box.

‘It didn’t happen today really on either side with the same amount of crosses when Kieran Tierney is playing. It has to come from somewhere else.

‘I think the set-pieces today, when you consider Arsenal have a set-piece coach, the balls that were coming in were very good balls – they weren’t being attacked very well.

‘Those are the things when it’s not quite going for you when you are trying to play your game you’ve got to find another way.’

It remains unclear how long Tierney would be out of action, but the club will want to work on getting performances from other players when he doesn’t play.

Tags Ian Wright Kieran Tierney


  1. Should’ve been rested against Newcastle and kept for the Crystal Palace game. It was clear he needed a rest.

  2. His absence was felt more probably because AMN had a subpar performance; not unexpected when he doesn’t play that often.

    Holding and Xhaka had good performances I thought, but as a team there were too many back passes killing off chances going forward. Luiz holds the ball too much, allowing the opposition time to get back and get organized defensively.

    We looked slow as a team today, both in passing and individual movement on the pitch.

    1. That’s absolutely spot on, I’ve noticed a few times in games that David Luiz
      Really slows the game down, which kills any counter attack..

      Regarding tierney he is vastly experienced for he age and come from a culture of winning , so if I was to choose any of our young players to look up too and model them selves on it would be him..

    2. Durand Spot on with ponderous Luiz who slows the game down dreadfully. He seems to think that all attacks should come from him and takes an age to get rid of the ball, generally timidly and safely but to no effect at all.

      I would not play this man, injuries excepting, and the main problem throughout the whole team is that we are FAR TOO SLOW in passing. Luiz is the worst of all with Xhaka not far behind in being slow, ponderous andineffective , even though Xhaka had one of his better games last night.

      But neither are of the standard we need, NOT EVEN NEAR !

  3. Last year we probably relied on PEA too much. This year, at this point in time, maybe it’s Tierney. I think we need more than a sample size of one game before concluding it’s a problem. Let’s just be grateful that it looks like he will be fit for Monday.

  4. I feel so sorry for AMN. He has not had a solid roll at the club since wenger. His versatility is stifling his development I beleive.

    I think KT is a clear talent and arguable the best lb in the league atm. He defends brilliantly and attacks amazingly.

    I wish we had a rb that was as good as KT. I do thibk AMN could be that player if given time, training and a good run of games in the rb position

  5. What is clear is the need for a decent left footed back up for Tierney.Van Aanholt of Palace is out of contract in the Summer so could he be a viable alternative.Would Palace welcome AMN who I feel is on his way out?

  6. The assumption that KT would have made such a difference on the day is a bit of a leap (although it is possible). Regardless I guess it feeds into the larger point that we have a large squad but only a few who can be relied on

  7. There’s no doubt we looked a bit lost for answers without Tierney in the lineup, but it’s on the manager to adjust his tactics accordingly…if you have AMN, a right-footed player, playing LB, you don’t have him positioning himself farther up the pitch, like a wingback, because he doesn’t present a legitimate threat out wide, thereby he doesn’t help Auba whatsoever and he certainly isn’t going to supply crosses with his left foot, as we sadly witnessed…the second part of the tactical plan seemed to be to simply pretend that Bellerin was the Tierney of the right flanks, so we’ll run things through him…of course, Bellerin is no Tierney, so this plan is at best wishful thinking and at worst incompetent

    I think I would have been a bit more creative and put Saka in that LB role, which was functionally a wingback anyways, thereby providing better width and overlapping runs for Auba…then I would have put AMN in the RB role, so he could hold off Zaha, which is the only reason some originally thought AMN might be starting against Palace…then we could have used a similar attacking strategy as if Tierney was there and had AMN focus primarily on his defensive duties, knowing that if he did push forward occasionally he would be able to at least provide crosses with his more dominant foot

    As for the Luiz start, I was assuming this was done primarily because we used to think of him as our only defender who made field stretching passes and would occasionally drive into the final third…unfortunately we got none of those things yesterday, so it does raise questions regarding what instructions he was given from a tactical standpoint…overall poor tactical management again on Arteta’s part

  8. Tierney is good, very very good but for 90 mins against Newcastle when he played the team were the same, BLUNT. Its the way we play and one player does make a difference but not as much as our chalk and cheese performances. Xhaka, Luiz, Bellerin and AMN in the same team, slowed our forward progress down. Their passing isnt sharp enough or quick enough. Luiz plays plenty of forward balls but they are too slow, Xhaka play too negative, Bellerin is so laboured and AMN was thrown to the Lions at left back. Arteta is showing his naivety with tactics, team selections and changes. Why he thought taking Ceballos off who was feeding Saka, replacing him on the right with Pepe and replacing Lacca with Nketiah when Auba was clearly struggling is baffling. We are reaping what we sow.

    1. How good that we have so many better coaches than mikel here… You all know nothing, completely zero! Or do you assist every Training Session, every game an speak to the other coaches? If yes, you are right, but if not, let the decision making to our Coach, who sees every Player in Training every Day, not like we only on matchday for 90mins on TV… and just Support the Team like you should do☝️☝️☝️

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