Arsenal’s defensive woes have continued this season as they have been for the previous few campaigns.
This season has statistically been the worst for the Gunners after finishing the first three league games with a minus-nine goal difference.
The defence have been heavily scrutinised after each game due to the lack of assertiveness and composure amongst the backline.
However, Mikel Arteta may have just been given a reminder during the international break as Kieran Tierney excelled playing as a left-centre back for Scotland.
The 24-year-old was pivotal in his country earning a clean sheet against Moldova as they came out 1-0 winners.
He started at left centre-back in a five-at-the-back formation – a system which Arteta has succeeded in using before.
The Spaniard started Tierney at centre-back in the opening match against Fulham of 2020/21 season and came out 3-0 winners in what was arguably the North London’s side best performance that campaign.
This was followed up by the Scotsman starting in this position against Manchester United away from home in November of that same season and consequently, Arsenal won the game 1-0. The first victory in the league at Old Trafford since the 2006/07 season.
It left fans bemused when Arteta decided to steer away from this formation and change the personnel as it was seeing results.
So far this season, Arteta has utilised a five at the back formation once and it led to a heavy 5-0 defeat against Manchester City.
The loss was more down to the personnel rather than the formation itself as Sead Kolasinac featured at left centre-back and Tierney at left-wing back which did not work.
Arsenal would see a lot more success if Tierney was to play at centre-back with Nuno Tavares or Bukayo Saka at wing-back.
Arteta has used a high-line frequently this season so having the pace of the Scotsman in a more central defensive area would certainly see more benefit for the team.
He was exceptional in this position during EURO 2020 and integral to Scotland’s clean against England when they drew 0-0.
Hopefully the international break was a strong reminder for Arteta that Kieran Tierney is a more than useful option to play at centre-back.
Source by Football London