Press conference

Arteta on… Tierney’s injury and how we will adapt

It was announced on Wednesday that Kieran Tierney will miss the next four to six weeks after sustaining a knee injury in our defeat to Liverpool at the weekend.

It gives Mikel Arteta a headache as the Scotland international is our leading chance creator this season, so how will our manager adapt the team to cope?

“It could have been worse because the action looks quite scary but he's feeling better and the damage is not that bad. At the end of the day, it's not the bad news that maybe we were expecting after the game,” Arteta said.

“We're going to have to go day by day to see how Kieran is feeling, how he is reacting. When we get close to playing time and training with the team, depending where we are and how he's feeling, we'll make a decision.

“We're going to have to make some adjustments because his qualities are unique and we don't have anybody with his qualities within the squad unless we start to move a lot of pieces. Without any time to train, it is a little bit dangerous to do. But we're going to have to find different ways to fulfil that gap and use other things that can be as effective as well.

“You have to change something and you have to find a different way of attacking. At the same time, the structure when you are defending and in transitional moments has to be stable and has to be done by players that are comfortable doing that.

“We knew that position was a weakness around the squad, because we didn't have anybody to replace Kieran, and we have to find different solutions.”

So could the injury to Tierney see us return to a back three in the coming weeks?

“The team has to have the flexibility to adjust when it's needed,” Arteta added. “Sometimes because of what the opposition is doing and sometimes just to adapt the quality of the players that we have.

“Sometimes because opponents cannot just predict what we are going to do. So there are different ways of doing that and we have to be flexible.”

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