Scotland display hints Arsenal's Kieran Tierney could be so much more influential for Arteta
On a dark day for Arsenal ahead of the international break, Kieran Tierney seemed to be one of the few players from Mikel Arteta’s squad to emerge with any credit.
The Gunners’ defeat to Aston Villa brutally highlighted just how much work Arteta still has to do at the Emirates. But that did not stop Tierney receiving praise from some supporters.
The game saw the 23-year-old make another appearance on the left of a back three. In fact, that is the role in which Tierney has made the majority of his appearances this season.
And you could understand why Arteta has tended to play him there. Arsenal have seen a number of their centre-backs sidelined due to injury this season. They also have the likes of Bukayo Saka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles who can fill at left wing-back.
But following Tierney’s latest display for Scotland, perhaps it would be fair to argue that Arteta now needs to consider moving the former Celtic man to get even more from him.
Tierney was outstanding as the Scots were beaten 1-0 by Slovakia on Sunday. It was a performance that saw a number of fans suggest the youngster was the best on the park.
Tierney proving point to Arteta
Crucially, Tierney was given the chance to play out wide in front of a back three. The decision allowed Tierney to make more key passes than any other player on the pitch (via Whoscored).
Some of his crosses were fantastic. And there were a couple of times when he used his incredible pace to knock the ball past an opponent and get onto it having given them a significant head-start.
It provided a reminder of how dangerous Tierney can be when he is given licence to get forward and contribute in the final third.
So perhaps, it is a role that Arteta should him in more often upon his return from international duty. It still allows Tierney to get involved in the defensive work.
But it would certainly make it easier for the £25 million star (via Sky Sports) to remind everyone how good he can be at the other end of the pitch also.
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