Arsenal star Kieran Tierney has, on Friday, provided an insight into his mindset after being surprisingly left out of the Gunners’ starting XI to face Liverpool last weekend.
Mikel Arteta’s troops, of course, welcomed Liverpool to the Emirates as part of the latest round of Premier League fixtures.
The north Londoners headed into proceedings having been leapfrogged by Manchester City to the summit of the English top-flight, but in the knowledge that a three-point haul of their own would guide them back clear of Pep Guardiola’s champions.
And, when all was said and done, secure a hard-fought victory is precisely what Arsenal went on to do.
This came as Gabriel Martinelli’s early opener was added to courtesy of a brace on the part of Bukayo Saka, en route to an eventual 3-2 final scoreline.
As alluded to above, though, one member of Arteta’s ranks who was forced to watch on as his teammates got the job done against Liverpool comes in the form of Kieran Tierney.
The Scottish international was widely expected to be afforded a starting berth at left-back, owing to the ongoing absence of summer signing Oleksandr Zinchenko.
In turn, it came as a major surprise upon Mikel Arteta instead opting for Takehiro Tomiyasu, naturally a right-full.
Tomiyasu, to his credit, went on to enjoy a stellar 90 minutes against Liverpool, keeping Mohamed Salah quiet throughout.
Speaking to Sky Sports on Friday, though, Kieran Tierney was nevertheless drawn on the decision, and the reasoning of boss Mikel Arteta.
And the former Celtic standout went on to provide a thorough explanation for as much, in responding:
“The day before, he [Arteta] said, ‘It’s not on your performance, this is just a tactical change I want to make’. I’m gutted, but I’m not going to be angry. Tomiyasu played amazing & the game-plan worked.”