Kieran Tierney has shown just how good of a player he can be for Arsenal, however, at this moment in time, he’s stuck in a pretty strange place.
In the clash with Aston Villa, one thing was abundantly clear and that was how confused the young full-back was in terms of his positioning.
His heat map from the outing against the Villains shows that he featured predominantly on the left just past the penalty box and just before the half-way line. It begs the question, so just what position was the former Celtic man playing? Was it a left centre-back role? Or a left-back role?
What position should Tierney be playing in?
If he was a centre-back than he really should’ve been a little deeper, and if he was a left-back than he should’ve been a little higher in an attempt to support the attack. However, he was neither here nor there as Ross Barkley and Jack Grealish took advantage to punish the Gunners in emphatic style as shown by their heat maps, where they featured pre-dominantly in wide areas, especially the Gunners’ left.
In my opinion, Tierney’s best attributes come in the final third, where he can use his wand of a left foot to whip in a cross. We saw just how good he is at putting the ball in the box during last season’s Europa League clash against Standard Liege with his delightful ball for Gabriel Martinelli.
The £28.8m-rated Scotsman seems to be a victim of Mikel Arteta’s defensive tactics at the start of this campaign which sees the Gunners sit in joint-second place for the number of goals conceded in the top flight. To a certain extent, the Spaniard’s attempts at rebuilding the defence is working, however, when you possess a player who has as much energy and ability on the ball as Tierney, you should really take advantage.