Former Scotland manager, Gordon Strachan, has been singing Kieran Tierney’s praises before today’s FA Cup final game at Wembley against Chelsea.

Arsenal's Scottish defender Kieran Tierney controls the ball during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London, on July 18, 2020. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Scottish defender Kieran Tierney controls the ball during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London, on July 18, 2020. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / POOL / AFP)tierney

The former Celtic man has done nothing but impress since arriving at Arsenal despite his injury problems.

Rumour has it that Arsenal, due to injuries to other players, have been training with Tierney at centreback, a position he has already played for club and country.

MIKEL ARTETA has experimented with deploying Kieran Tierney at centre back for today’s FA Cup final at Wembley.
Sami Mokbel, Daily Mail, Saturday, 1 August, 2020: MIKEL ARTETA has experimented with deploying Kieran Tierney at centre back for today’s FA Cup final at Wembley. Arsenal manager Arteta, who is also considering a start for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, has a selection headache in central defence for today’s clash against London rivals Chelsea with Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers all injured. The Gunners are expected to play with three central defenders, with David Luiz and Rob Holding set to start. The only other available recognised centre back is Sokratis but he is clearly out of favour with Arteta, having played just one minute since the restart. That has left the Gunners boss considering the option of using left back Tierney as a central defender against Chelsea today in what is unarguably the biggest day of Arteta’s fledgling managerial career so far.
Tierney has briefly appeared in the role for Arsenal since the resumption in June but such a move would repesent a huge gamble in a Cup final. It is understood that, in training this week, Arteta explored the option of Tierney playing on the left side of a back three with Maitland-Niles at left wing-back. Fellow left-sided defender Sead Kolasinac is fit and has also played as an emergency central defender during Project Restart, an option which could allow Tierney to play in his usual role. Meanwhile, Brighton are interested in signing Maitland-Niles before next season.

But Gordon Strachan, who managed Scotland between 2013 and 2017, has no worries about him. “He has the type of mind that allows him to think that whatever he tries will come off. He has complete faith in himself and it’s totally justified,” Strachan told the Daily Mail.

“I played him at three positions for Scotland. Left back, left of three centre backs and also right back.

“My two best players were left backs — Kieran and Andy Robertson — so I shifted Kieran across. He never complained. He just got on with it. That’s how good he is and that’s how good his attitude is.

Arsenal's Scottish defender Kieran Tierney (2R) celebrates with Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Watford at the Emirates Stadium in London on July 26, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Scottish defender Kieran Tierney (2R) celebrates with Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Watford at the Emirates Stadium in London on July 26, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney / POOL / AFP)

“He has what I call that lunatic mentality, and I mean that in a good way,” added Strachan.

“He was like Scott Brown at Celtic. It gets cold in Glasgow you know but those two would walk around with just their T-shirts on.

“Kieran has a first-class approach. He listens and takes in information and, crucially, he listens to what you are telling other players too so that he understand their roles also.

“He is bright and he smells danger, just like Virgil van Dijk does at Liverpool. He isn’t in that class yet but there are similarities.

“And he backs himself. He is brave like that. Many full backs or central defenders won’t push out on to a winger, for example. They are happy to let them cross. At least they can’t get beaten or embarrassed that way.

Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin (Photo via Arsenal.com)
Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin (Photo via Arsenal.com)

“Kieran won’t do that. He will get out there and say, “If you are gonna cross this, you will have to get by me first”.”

Strachan opted to play Tierney in a back three when Scotland faced England as he wanted a defender confident enough to deal with Dele Alli. He certainly got that, as Arsenal fans have learned this season.

Still only 23, Tierney has already won the Scottish FA Cup twice with Celtic.

During the final in 2017 against Aberdeen, his first cup final win, he was injured so badly he had to be taken to A&E where his mouth required surgery.

via celticquicknews

He needed the emergency dental work after a stray elbow from Aberdeen’s Jayden Stockley caught his jaw. Once that was done, Tierney then jumped in a taxi and made it back in time to collect the trophy.

The defender had, apparently, stayed in his kit the whole time.

He said: “I honestly couldn’t feel much. I had just had an operation which meant an anaesthetic.

“But I’ve watched the moment when I lift the Cup a few times and it’s brilliant. It felt like a fairy-tale for me getting up the stairs in time to do that.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 19: Kieran Tierney of Celtic celebrate with the Celtic fans during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian FC at Celtic Park on May 19, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MAY 19: Kieran Tierney of Celtic celebrate with the Celtic fans during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian FC at Celtic Park on May 19, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

“I literally just got back into the stadium, looked up and there were only a couple of people still waiting to lift the trophy.

“So, I just ran up the stairs. Everything happens for a reason in life. For me, to get back there on time was just brilliant.

“I had been running through the car park in my boots, so I got a bit of abuse from Aberdeen fans. But I was just so happy. I had heard on the radio we had scored in the last minute, so I was full of emotion.”

At Wembley on Saturday, should Arsenal win the cup, there will be no stairs for Tierney to climb this time. Due to the pandemic, the cup will be presented on the pitch with Prince William appearing by video link.