Arsenal want answers over Kieran Tierney but asking the wrong ones

Arsenal are seeking clarification of the situation around Kieran Tierney after the Arsenal defender was told he would have to self-isolate for 14 days, missing the Manchester City game, because Scottish teammate, Stuart Armstrong, has tested positive for Covid-19.

Arsenal's Spanish first-team manager Mikel Arteta (R) talks with Arsenal's Scottish defender Kieran Tierney (L) on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage in London on September 12, 2020. (Photo by PAUL CHILDS / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Spanish first-team manager Mikel Arteta (R) talks with Arsenal’s Scottish defender Kieran Tierney (L) on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage in London on September 12, 2020. (Photo by PAUL CHILDS / POOL / AFP)

Since the positive result was returned all members of the Scotland party have been tested and found to be negative. Tierney, however, has been identified as one of four ‘close contacts’ and instructed to self-isolate despite his protestations that he followed the guidelines correctly and maintained the required social distance.

Arsenal issued a statement on Wednesday saying, “Our medical team have confirmed that Kieran was socially distant at all times from the player who tested positive and has broken no rules regarding COVID-19 protocols. We are currently seeking further advice and clarification of the details.

“Kieran has also been in touch and has said: “I’m so disappointed and frustrated to be in this situation. I have adhered to all regulations and made sure I was socially distancing from my team mates in the hotel. I’ve also tested negative. I know Arsenal and the SFA are now in discussions with the Scottish authorities to gain a further understanding.””

Not that long ago, Mikel Arteta spoke about his concerns regarding players jetting off on international duty. He was worried that the bubble constructed in the Premier League would not be as well maintained across the globe and you do have to think he has a massively valid point.

“We have much more information right now than we had many months ago when that happened,” Arteta told reporters.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15: The goalposts are disinfected by a member of staff wearing personal protective equipment during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on July 15, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Glyn Kirk/Pool via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 15: The goalposts are disinfected by a member of staff wearing personal protective equipment during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on July 15, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Glyn Kirk/Pool via Getty Images)

“The bubbles that the Premier League, the clubs and the Government have been able to create to try to keep everybody as safe as possible are working really, really well.

“But we all know that the issue is still there.

“It is not going away and we have to keep the same approach and be always very careful, very conservative and try to maintain this business because it is really important in many, many aspects.

“We are lucky in our profession that we have found a way. Not many professions can say that.

“Let’s respect that and try to keep going in the best possible way.

“Obviously when everyone has to fly away to very different countries, I think at the moment it’s a little bit of an experience.

“We don’t know what the outcome is. We want to believe that they are going to follow a lot of things that are implemented and working well so fingers crossed we don’t get any bad news.”

It would seem the height of folly to send players globetrotting when there is a pandemic in full swing and we need to limit people’s movement and interactions as much as possible.

Now, in addition to having to worry about player’s actually catching the virus, or helping to spread it, we also have to consider the implications of them being tagged as a ‘close contact’ whether they have been or not. Caution is, of course key and in an ideal world Tierney would simply self-isolate for two weeks and that would be that.

But we live in a world where money rules over everything, including health.

What other reason can there be for a second international break before the season is even two months old when most of us are being told to stay in our homes as much as possible and not even to see loved ones?

That’s the question that should be asked.