Kieran Tierney has spoken out after Arsenal lost 1-0 to Burnley on Sunday.
In the midst of bleak on-field events, those who speak up off it can often be the ones whose voices carry the most weight. After Arsenal fell to a fourth consecutive home Premier League defeat, who to rally behind became ever clearer.
That isn’t to say every word uttered in the aftermath of such a rancid loss is to be cradled and treasured. It’s hard to find any solace in such dark times.
Kieran Tierney, however, projects a different image. Swiftly finding his way into the hearts of supporters, his demeanour on the pitch is reflected in his emotion off it.
Gutsy with every display, regardless of how fruitful his efforts may be, the Scot is a player fans can unite behind.
"“We are not showing the manager what we can do and how much we believe in him.“Every game there are signs we are doing a bit better but it is still not good enough. At half time we need to be going in in the lead but we are not doing that.“Hard work is the only thing [that can fix this], nothing else for it. There are no excuses. There is nothing I can say that will make people believe a positive thing is going to come out of this.“We are lucky we have a great manager. We just need to show better on the pitch.”Source: Goal"
While the toxicity levels within this squad may never be fully divulged until further down the line, certain characters offer solace. With deadwood in abundance, the amount of surgery grows increasingly extensive, but not all the branches are rotten.
At this stage, it’s all about ensuring there is a long-term process. Removing the head of the snake will cease only feed the short-term demons that will reset the cycle. Comprehensive change is required at Arsenal, but that involves championing what little positives there are and building around them.
Tierney is unquestionably part of the process, as too are Bukayo Saka and Gabriel, among others.
As the light at the end of the tunnel flickers to the point of near invisibility, that dependable core of players are the ones who won’t lead us astray.