Kieran Tierney says there is pressure being at the top of the Premier League
‘We want to last as long as possible’: Arsenal player Kieran Tierney says there is pressure at the top of the Premier League but warns of caution with just nine games so far this season
- Kieran Tierney has called for calm with just nine games of the season over
- The Scottish star admits there is pressure on Arsenal to stay at the top
- Tierney says he remembers what position the Gunners were in at this time last year
- Arsenal top the Premier League, one point ahead of champions Man City
Kieran Tierney has admitted Arsenal are under pressure to remain at the top of the Premier League, but warned there is still a long way to go this season.
The Gunners have made an impressive start to the season and are currently at the top of the Premier League, one point above champions Manchester City.
Sunday’s 3-2 win over Liverpool was seen as a sign that Mikel Arteta’s side should be taken seriously as a title contender, but defender Tierney remains cautious with just nine appearances so far this season.
Kieran Tierney has called for calm with Arsenal leading the league after nine games played
The Scottish star has reminded fans of Arsenal’s position 12 months ago, where the club were in the bottom half of the table, but is keen to enjoy the lead this season and want to stay there as long as possible.
“It’s only been nine games and after nine games you can’t say anyone is anything.” Tierney told the official club site.
“If you look at last year, we were at the bottom of the table and climbing up, so there’s still a long way to go and there’s no point even thinking that way.
‘You want to stay’ [at the top] naturally; I have a bit of experience at Celtic when we had to be at the top and also stay at the top, so it’s known to me in that way that the pressure is on you to stay there. The other teams are after you and we want to keep that up for as long as possible.’
Tierney has had to compete with Oleksandr Zinchenko for a place in the Gunners first team this season
While Arsenal have flown so far this season, it has been a stuttering start to the campaign for the 25-year-old. After suffering a pre-season injury, the Scot found himself battling for his place with Takehiro Tomiyasu and new singing Oleksander Zinchenko.
However, Tierney is now fit again and determined to make the most of his first-team opportunities, especially before the domestic game takes a breather for the World Cup.
“It’s been tough.” He looks back on the first months of the season.
“I missed preparing for the season when I came back from injury, and the first game I played was Palace – that was the first week of training I had. I’ve just been trying to get minutes here and there so it’s been a tough start, but whether I’m first, second or third choice, I’ll just keep working hard and see where it takes me.
Arsenal have lost just one game this season and are on top by one point over Manchester City
‘I wouldn’t say’ [competition] motivates me more because whether I’m the only left-back or there are five left-backs, I’m still motivated to play and do well. From day to day nothing changes in my life; whether I play or not, I just work as hard as I can. I train hard and when the manager calls me, I’m ready.
“I want to play every possible game. If you don’t play like all footballers, you’re disappointed, but when you get your chance, you have to make sure you take it.”
The Gunners’ sudden rise to title contenders has raised expectations at the club, but Tierney believes progress alone is the first goal for this season.
He added: “Progress is the most important thing. We’ve made progress every year, so we want to keep making good progress. You just want to finish as high as possible, and we know what we want and we’ll keep working towards that.’
Arsenal return to European action this week when they take on Bodo Glimt on Thursday, before heading to Elland Road at the weekend to take on Leeds.
Mikel Arteta celebrates 3-2 victory over Liverpool on Sunday, with Arsenal returning to the top