Our view: Tierney could shine as a left back for Arsenal

Matthew Chivers November 24, 2020
Our view: Tierney could shine as a left back for Arsenal
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Since joining Arsenal, Kieran Tierney has shown his best qualities when crossing the ball and contributing to attacks.

These contributions have dwindled, as manager Mikel Arteta has selected Tierney has part of a back three for much of the season.

In an era where having progressive full-backs is so important, a change in formation and position could see Tierney return to form again.

Photo by MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Defensive-minded

Since Arteta took charge of Arsenal in December 2019, there has been an emphasis on stability and defensive organisation.

This has resulted in the common use of a back three and two wing backs in order to concede less goals.

Tierney, who is a natural left-back, has been selected as part of a back three on numerous occasions, despite this being an unnatural position for him.

As a result of Arsenal’s switch to defensive emphasis, they have scored just nine goals in nine league games, and haven’t scored in open play in the league since 4 October.

This form mirrors a lack of creativity and a contributing factor is players such as Tierney being played out of position.

This is also evident with striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who only has two goals in the league and is often played on the wing.

Playing to your strengths

Arsenal signed Tierney in August 2019 for £25 million, he has excited the fans with his passion and attacking style.

He is confident when running with the ball and delivering crosses, which he did so often for Celtic.

In 170 appearances for Celtic, Tierney provided 37 assists and also managed eight goals in a period when he became one the UK’s most exciting prospects.

Tierney has the potential to become a great modern-day fullback if he is allowed to play to his strengths in a more progressive role at left-back.

He was granted this role on Sunday against Leeds United, and we saw how Tierney can create chances and attack with purpose.

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Graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2019, and has since become a qualified NCTJ journalist, studying at News Associates in Manchester.