Kieran Tierney was the main creative force in the Scotland team against Slovakia this weekend, playing at wing-back for the side.

Serbia's midfielder Dusan Tadic (C) fights for the ball with Scotland's midfielder Callum McGregor (L) and Scotland's midfielder Kieran Tierney during the Euro 2020 play-off qualification football match between Serbia and Scotland at the Red Star Stadium in Belgrade on November 12, 2020. (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images)
Serbia midfielder Dusan Tadic (C) fights for the ball with Kieran Tierney on November 12, 2020. (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images)

In the absence of Andy Robertson through injury, Kieran Tierney moved further forward for Scotland on Sunday. After playing at left-centre-back in their Euro 2020 qualifier win over Serbia, he started at wing-back in the subsequent Slovakia clash.

The Arsenal defender certainly benefitted from the freedom to get forward. He created a game-high four chances, including one big chance, completing three of five crosses and four of six long balls. He also had an 89% pass accuracy and completed two dribbles.

Unfortunately, Scotland were wasteful up front. Despite taking six more shots than their opponents, they had the same number on target, and failed to score any of them.

In addition to the one Tierney created, Scotland missed three further big chances and lost 1-0.

There may have been a hangover from qualifying for the Euros a few days earlier. Playing 120 minutes and celebrating into the night afterwards probably took a lot out of the side. But Tierney was clearly still on his game.

Scotland face Israel next on Wednesday. Ideally, Tierney will sit the match out, having already played 210 minutes of football in the last four days. But you get the impression he’ll happily start the match if asked.

manchester united v arsenal premier league 1
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal and Kieran Tierney of Arsenal celebrate following their team’s victory on November 01, 2020. (Photo by Paul Ellis – Pool/Getty Images)

The question this all raises is whether Arsenal are getting the best from Tierney in his current left-centre-back role. It gives the team some flexibility to switch between a back three and a back four, but stops him from getting up the pitch as much.

If it keeps Bukayo Saka in the team, who was also excellent creatively on Sunday, perhaps it’s for the best. But it’s something to think about.


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