KIERAN TIERNEY has admitted to being “gutted” at being dropped for Arsenal’s win over Liverpool – but insists his manager made the right decision.
Mikel Arteta caused a tactical upset last week when he brought Takehiro Tomiyasu into the starting XI for the game against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds at left-back.
Tierney has been a constant presence in defense this season as he and Oleksandr Zinchenko battled for a first-team spot.
And with the Ukrainian injured, many were surprised when right-back Tomiyasu was asked to sedate Mohamed Salah.
Tierney expressed his disappointment at being told.
He agreed Football every day: “I thought I was pulled out in Thursday’s game, maybe to keep fit for Sunday – and maybe that was his plan at the time too.
“Then, the day before the game, [Arteta] said: “It’s not because of your performance, it’s just a tactical change I want to make.”
“I was like, ‘I’m disappointed.’ I won’t be angry, I won’t try hard, but I’m disappointed because I want to take every opportunity that comes my way. Especially the big games and you want to soak up the atmosphere.”
But the gamble worked as Salah remained silent before being pulled off by Klopp with 20 minutes to go.
Arsenal fought back a 3-2 win and Tierney accepts the manager’s tactical mastery was inspired.
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He added: “I can’t say anything about that. We went out and won and Tomiyasu played fantastically – the fixture plan worked! It just shows you that not many managers would think we would change a right-back here,” but he [Arteta] did and it worked.
“This is the first meeting I’ve had in my life. It was new to me. Last season there was a spell for three or four games that I didn’t play in. It’s all new to me and I’m learning and dealing with it.
“It’s tough, footballers want to play and I’ve worked so hard to recover from an injury. You just want to play as much as you can.”
Tierney joined Arsenal in 2019 and regularly impresses fans with his defensive work.
The Scot has also faced competition from Nuno Tavares – now on loan at Marseille – and more recently Zinchenko, who has been grappling with nagging injury problems this season.
Tierney will hope to be back on the starting line-up for the Gunner’s difficult trip to Leeds today.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6454050/arsenal-kieran-tierney-arteta-liverpool/ Arsenal star Tierney shows agony after being dropped for Liverpool win but says Arteta made the RIGHT call