Should Arsenal start Zinchenko or Tierney against Tottenham?

Arsenal had big problems in the left-back position at the end of last season, with Kieran Tierney out with a long term injury leaving Nuno Tavares as the only recognised replacement in that position.

But Tavares was sent out on loan to Marseille in the summer and Arteta instead brought in the versatile Oleks Zinchenko as the competition for the left back spot, and he has been extremely impressive in his appearances so far.

But right now, ahead of the crucial derby game against Tottenham, it looks like Arteta will have a straight choice between the two, but who is he more likely to give the nod to on Saturday morning?

According to the Ex-Gunner Kevin Campbell, there is only one candidate for the big game: “Kieran Tierney’s going to start, if he’s fit,” Campbell told The Highbury Squad.

“Let’s be honest, Zinchenko hasn’t played for a while. Kieran Tierney went off, but it was more a precaution, so hopefully he’s going to be all right.

“I thought Kieran Tierney against Brentford was outstanding. I really thought he was outstanding. And I think he was starting to get a grip in his own way of playing in that midfield at times.

“We didn’t look out of shape, we looked dominant with Kieran Tierney in the team. I thought it was his best game all season so if he’s fit, he plays. Zinchenko will probably be on the bench.”

Do you think Campbell is right if both of them are completely fit? You never know, if Arteta has doubts about Partey’s fitness perhaps they could both play, but with Zinchenko in midfield?


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  1. We’ll have to tear Conte’s park-the-bus defense apart, so we’ll need Zinchenko’s playmaking ability

    Tierney seems to be improving in the inverted LB position, but I think he still needs more time to fully master the role. He could come in the second half, if we need to maintain our lead

    1. We have enough intelligent players up front to taer whatever defense Sours put out. Rather you seem to ignore the fact that Zinchenko struggled against the pace of United. Imagine him against the pace of Kulusevski, Kane, while you’re leaving our fastest defender in Tierney on the bench.
      Zinchenko should sit this one out, he’ll be needed against Liverpool as we’ll need to keep the ball and they won’t defend to hit on the break

      1. Kane and Kulusevski aren’t as pacey as Son/ Moura/ Richarlison. Magalhaes will play behind Zinchenko, so hopefully he can protect Zinchenko

      2. There is no pace in the Spuds team apart from maybe Son. Kane as always will be a menace if our CB give into his physical bullying.

    2. I like zinchenko but with him spurs will kill us with counter or through balls. Against man u the last two goals was because of him.

  2. With all the focus on the players,pay attention to the ref and linesman and var.
    Arsenal have bern hard done by decisions

  3. Though Zinchenko is good for possession football, Tierney will be more suitable for this game. He is the better defender. Zinchenko will have defensive problems against Spur’s attack. In situations of counter attacks (more likely to be Spur’s pattern of attack) Tierney would be more useful.

  4. Spurs is a pacy team. It would be in the best interest of the team to use Tierney to mitigate those threats.

    Also, looking at how Spurs defeated Man City, Tierney will give us the option of crossing the ball from the wings when Martinelli cuts in; drawing defenders out of position.

    Same thing should be applied to the RB. Tomiyasu needs to come in. This gives us width for Saka to do much damage. Either Tomiyasu crosses or Saka cuts in, it gives us options.

    But I am not Arteta and have no coaching license. Any tactical approach he decides to use, the job must be done. The team cant afford to fail in their second test of the season. Selah

    1. I would hope for the young Gunners to go for it. At home with the Emirates crowd, press, attack and score should be mantra of the day. If the boys gotta choose a match to run their body to the ground, this is it. Totties have a passionate coach now and his passion flows through his Totty team. Rattle them, smack them and hit them where it hurts. The score line. A few nasty challengers and a red card looks like in the order. I hope no further injuries to the squad to prepare for the 9 hellbent matches in October. COYGs!

  5. I see a lot of us choosing tierney to defend against spurs pacy attackers but what about our attack?

    spurs have parked the bus vs small teams at their home so ain’t no doubt they are coming here to park the bus hoping for a similar scenario as vs man utd. In this situation i think zinchenko playmaking skills will be needed more than tierney defending skills.

    with partey hopefully in the side i don’t expect gabriel to rush out to cover the dm space and leave us short at the back like he did twice vs man utd. Just don’t a suicidal high line again ffs.

    1. Totally agree with the points you make, I just think Zinchenko is more progressive than Tierney who has the habit of passing backwards loads more than Zin…But they are both good players and don’t mind either….

  6. If we can’t get Thomas party in our game against Tottenham Hotspur and absence of Zinchenko, na big problem.

  7. When Anthony scored us at Old Trafford, Zinchenko who was marking him was very far away. He’s very good at distribution but defensively, I doubt. I really want him in the team but Tierney will be better at that left back position

  8. But how can the two leftbacks of Tierney and Zinchenko start the match as being suggested by some commenters ?
    On morality ground. But if it will not be ignored or discounted as not important to worry one’s self over it by the Gooners. But just for the sake of Arsenal beating Tottenham.
    But for me personally, I will rather preferred Tierney for his open show of disrespect to the late HRM Queen Elizabeth II mourning. When he removed his own black armband instituted to mourn the late Queen when he played for Scotland in a nations League match. Which were won by all his match playing colleagues in the match to mourn the late Monarch’s death. But Tierney pathetically removed his own and threw it to the touchline side. According to reports.
    Therefore, he should consequently be made by Arsenal to pay for his flagrant open show of disrespecting to the mourning of the late HRM. And punish him to not come near the Arsenal team for our Tottenham home match. Talkless of to say he shouldn’t start the match nor make an appearance in it for Arsenal.
    But if the majority of the Arsenal fans who will attend this out home match against Tottenham don’t see anything wrong in what Tierney has done to have disrespected the mourning of the late HRM to overlook the incident. Then that’s it. End of my concern.
    But should the majority of the Gooners at our home Spurs match boo him for what he has negatively done against the late Queen’s mourning. Then, Arteta could find himself of not been proactive to forestall the could be bad happening from happening.

  9. Zinchenko helps arsenal dominate the ball but allows a hole behind him that most big teams will try to exploit, watching both Tierney and zin, I believe Tierney is built for the these big games where arsenal are expected to be tested defensively
    Spurs attack is lethal and doesn’t spun many chances, arsenal should learn to be a little more pragmatic and learn from the united loss, i can’t even accept a draw against spurs at the Emirates, my main concern is White and Saliba I hope they will be up to the challenge giving spurs there 1st lose of the season will be a good start to the last season heartbreak, anything short is not good enough

  10. Tierney is a better defender and could track the Spuds wingers better. Nothing against Zinchenko but its just that the situation presently warrants Tierney’s selection.

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