Kevin Campbell reacts to Tomiyasu being picked ahead of Tierney
Kevin Campbell has told The Highbury Squad that he saw people going absolutely mad when Takehiro Tomiyasu was picked ahead of Kieran Tierney for Arsenal’s clash for Nottingham Forest on Sunday, but insisted that Mikel Arteta was vindicated for the decision.
It has been a strange campaign for Tierney. In the summer, it appeared that Oleksandr Zinchenko had been brought in to play in midfield and provide cover for the Scotland international.
However, there is potentially now an argument that Tierney may be third choice at left-back behind Zinchenko and Tomiyasu. The latter has featured there on a number of occasions in recent weeks.
Some Arsenal fans unhappy after Tomiyasu was picked ahead of Tierney
And it was the Japanese international who got the nod against Forest at the weekend. Tomiyasu has not always found it the easiest role. Reports previously suggested that Granit Xhaka lost his cool with the 23-year-old in the tense win at Leeds for being negative in possession.
With that, some Arsenal fans were clearly frustrated to see Tierney left out of the starting lineup. However, Campbell suggested that Arteta made the right call, rotating his ranks.
“He’s a player who’s 100 percent committed and he’s a player, yeah he’s suffered an injury, but he’s not as injury prone as Tierney. And Tierney started in the week. The key to this is you’ve got to manage your squad. That’s what Mikel Arteta is doing,” he told The Highbury Squad.
“And I know, I saw it, people were going absolutely mad, ‘Tierney’s this and we struggle when Tomiyasu plays’. Really? Did we? Isn’t it funny, where have they all gone?”
Arteta right to rotate his options
Campbell went on to make a fantastic point. He noted that Tierney would be the clear first choice if Arteta was looking for a traditional left-back. However, the role has changed this year.
Tomiyasu was getting involved in midfield against Forest. And Zinchenko is no stranger to acting as an inverted full-back capable of pushing closer to Thomas Partey.
Unfortunately, relying on Tierney has also been an issue during his time at the Emirates. Had he been almost fully fit up until this past summer, Arteta would have surely had a much tougher decision to make over the captaincy.
Arteta is using his squad, rather than relying on the same players for every game. That is surely only going to help later in the campaign when the heat is on.
And Tierney is almost certainly going to have a role to play in that run.