Mikel Arteta accused of 'confusing' Kieran Tierney
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Mikel Arteta accused of 'confusing' Kieran Tierney

Mikel Arteta has been accused of 'trying to be too clever' with his decision making following Arsenal's 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa. 

Arsenal were outclassed at the Emirates in every department, with Bukayo Saka handing Aston Villa the lead through an own goal before two quick goals thanks to Ollie Watkins' brace. Adams, who has been a huge fan of Arteta since he took over last year, says the Spaniard needs to stop chopping and changing and instead should focus on playing a back-four. 

"It was such a poor performance coming off of the Manchester United game and I think Arteta was trying to be too clever," the former Arsenal captain said on Sky Sports’ The Football Show.

"He’s gone back into the three, offloaded three with [Hector] Bellerin popping in to make the four into midfield, and Tierney for me is in that too narrow position, he’s a left-back for me. Every full-back who has come to the club in the last five years, maybe more, has never been taught how to play full-back. They’ve become kind of wingers, they bomb on and it leaves the central defenders isolated."

"And I don’t care how good you are, if Rob Holding is left one-vs-one, at some point that forward is going to get the better of you over the course of the game. Hector needs support, he needs to be worked with."

"I’ve not seen a full-back improve when they join Arsenal at the start, we’ve got Gael Clichy, Kieran Gibbs, endless [examples]. Lee Dixon, my old great mate, my old colleague, reminds me so much of Bellerin when he came to the club. He used to bomb on, he was fantastic, he would bomb down that right side all day long. But we needed to teach him defending and at the end of his career, I think he turned into one of the best right-backs in the world. He was fantastic at defending and that’s because he was part of the unit, he knew everything the central defender was doing. It’s partnerships across the back four. They can be, but he [Arteta] needs to work with the full-backs."

On Tierney

"I think Tierney has got it all, he’s got a fantastic attitude. He’s someone you can really work with but to play him left-side center-half, and then sometimes playing him left-back, the kid’s going to get confused. ‘You’ve got to put him in at left-back and work with him. I think he can be a real talent when he bombs down that left."

The Gunners, who are 11th on the log will be travelling to Elland Road to take on Leeds United after the international break. 

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