Kieran Tierney insists the entire Arsenal squad are ‘buying into’ Mikel Arteta’s plan despite the club’s disappointing restart to the Premier League season.
The north London side were unbeaten in the league since the turn of the New Year prior to the season’s suspension, but have returned to action with poor performances in their back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Brighton.
Arteta’s side have slipped into the bottom half of the division ahead of tonight’s trip to Southampton, but full-back Tierney has backed his side to improve under Arteta’s stewardship and says the Gunners must ‘stick together and kick on again’.
“Every day in training you know you’re going there to work,” Tierney told Sky Sports. “There are times for a laugh and a joke – Mikel loves that as well – but when we’re working, we’re working.
“It’s a lot of tactical stuff as well, and that’s going to help us all get an understanding of how he wants us to play. I’ve said before, something like that is not going to just work straight away, it’s going to be a process, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we need to stay focused on that.
“There are going to be bad results and bad games, but as a team we need to keep the confidence, stick together and kick on again.”
Tierney says the players are ‘hurting’ following their successive defeats since the league’s restart, but says the Arsenal squad are fully behind Arteta’s methods as the Spaniard bids to turn things around at the Emirates.
“All the players are hurting, it’s a tough time for everyone at the club, but there are going to be better days ahead,” he said. “The last two results haven’t been ideal, but the work-rate is still at 100 per cent every day in training. We’re working so hard and we’re working to the gameplan that the manager wants. We all believe in it and we’re all buying into it.”
The Scotland international has made his first appearances under Arteta since the restart having been injured upon the Arsenal manager’s arrival, and the 23-year-old has been full of praise for how he was treated during his frustrating spell on the sidelines.
“He’s been brilliant,” he added. “Obviously I was injured when he first came in and that was so unfortunate because you want to impress the new manager and get off to a good start. But even then, he was good with me. He watched me from afar and asked for updates on how I was doing.”