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Tierney and New Dilemmas


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Watching Kieron Tierney score a fantastic goal for Arsenal with his right foot has made me change my opinion about him playing at right back for us as I have always thought he would cut in and use his left. However, he was playing left back for Arsenal and they may have given us a few problems:

1. Do we now abandon our back three, which would allow us to move McTom into midfield and adopt a back 4 with Tierney and Robbie as the full backs (Most teams now seem to be operating with a 4-2-3-1)? Bear in mind the back 3 was partly formed to shoehorn Tierney into the side.

2. If we persist with three at the back then we can have the luxury of playing 2 upfront so a fully-fit Griffiths can be accommodated. In a 3-5-2 then we could potentially have a midfield of, for example, Tierney,McTominay,Gilmour,McGinn and Robertson! So - who would our back 3 be?

It would be hard on SOD but Palmer could then be left out.

 

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Absolutely. Technically speaking, all three are in the middle, it's not like any of them are gonna be hugging the touchline. I know. It makes no sense. Exactly. They are professional footbal

I’ve no idea how proficient Tierney is with his right foot. I hope under Arteta at Arsenal it’s something he’s working on improving, it’s always good to be able to be able to use your “weak” foot to s

I’ve no idea how proficient Tierney is with his right foot. I hope under Arteta at Arsenal it’s something he’s working on improving, it’s always good to be able to be able to use your “weak” foot to some degree. And it’s something that really annoys me about British players and the coaching (or lack of) that the receive. All professional football players should be able to play short-medium passes with both feet. All attackers should be able to finish from close range with both feet, it’s not difficult to coach/learn. 
Having said that, it could well be that Tierney could have hit yesterday’s shot/goal 100 times and 99 of them would’ve went over the bar, by the post, I’m not sure how comfortable he is on his right.

As far as playing 4 at the back, the big problem is the Centre-Half positions, we lack real quality there (compared to almost every other position). We play 3 at the back for various reasons. 
1) it allows both Robertson and Tierney to play in the left side of the pitch

2) it allows us to compensate with numbers the lack of quality we have at centre-half. 
I could see us going 4 at the back against “lesser” teams. Against the “better” teams, I think we’d be very soft in the middle of defence. 
I do agree that in the coming years a back 4 would be the best formation to play to get the best from the players we have in the squad and others on the cusp of joining, but I can’t see where we get the good quality international centre-halves we need to comfortably play 4 at the back.

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1. No. 100% no. We've struggled and fallen for 18 years with a back four. We failed to qualify for 9 tournaments. We were constantly shaky at the back. We were easy to play against.

We switch to a back three for 8 matches, resulting in qualifying for Euro 2020 and almost winning our Nations League group.

Speaks for itself.

2. When everyone is fit? Tierney - Cooper - McKenna.

There's a reason why Levein and Strachan both flirted with a back three, and it wasn't to shoehorn Tierney into the team. It's because Scotland are ridiculously hopeless with a back four.

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1 hour ago, Taylor1996 said:

1. No. 100% no. We've struggled and fallen for 18 years with a back four. We failed to qualify for 9 tournaments. We were constantly shaky at the back. We were easy to play against.

We switch to a back three for 8 matches, resulting in qualifying for Euro 2020 and almost winning our Nations League group.

Speaks for itself.

2. When everyone is fit? Tierney - Cooper - McKenna.

There's a reason why Levein and Strachan both flirted with a back three, and it wasn't to shoehorn Tierney into the team. It's because Scotland are ridiculously hopeless with a back four.

3 left footers there , think it would be unbalanced. Only my opinion but would have Gallagher in there instead of McKenna 

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2 hours ago, Taylor1996 said:

1. No. 100% no. We've struggled and fallen for 18 years with a back four. We failed to qualify for 9 tournaments. We were constantly shaky at the back. We were easy to play against.

We switch to a back three for 8 matches, resulting in qualifying for Euro 2020 and almost winning our Nations League group.

Speaks for itself.

2. When everyone is fit? Tierney - Cooper - McKenna.

There's a reason why Levein and Strachan both flirted with a back three, and it wasn't to shoehorn Tierney into the team. It's because Scotland are ridiculously hopeless with a back four.

Gallagher on performances is our best cb currently. Picking Cooper or McKenna ahead of him would be bizarre. 

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3 minutes ago, 0Neils40yarder said:

Gallagher wouldn't get a game for leeds or forest

Thankfully that’s not how the National squad is picked.

After Marshall and alongside Christie he’s probably our player of 2020 & was picked ahead of both Cooper & McKenna in games this year.

Dykes wouldn’t get a game for Sheffield United but he’s better for us than McBurnie, another example of why the above isn’t really relevant. 

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8 minutes ago, ProudScot said:

Gallagher on performances is our best cb currently. Picking Cooper or McKenna ahead of him would be bizarre. 

Gallagher has been playing in the center of a back three. Any half decent center half can play there if you provide two defensive midfielders to shield the defense.

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2 hours ago, Taylor1996 said:

1. No. 100% no. We've struggled and fallen for 18 years with a back four. We failed to qualify for 9 tournaments. We were constantly shaky at the back. We were easy to play against.

We switch to a back three for 8 matches, resulting in qualifying for Euro 2020 and almost winning our Nations League group.

Speaks for itself.

2. When everyone is fit? Tierney - Cooper - McKenna.

There's a reason why Levein and Strachan both flirted with a back three, and it wasn't to shoehorn Tierney into the team. It's because Scotland are ridiculously hopeless with a back four.

I'm not so much arguing against the concept of a back 3 as trying to find a way to get more out of Tierney and McTom in an attacking sense. Can T. play right wing back and give us potentially a very attacking mid. 5?

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25 minutes ago, ProudScot said:

Thankfully that’s not how the National squad is picked.

After Marshall and alongside Christie he’s probably our player of 2020 & was picked ahead of both Cooper & McKenna in games this year.

Dykes wouldn’t get a game for Sheffield United but he’s better for us than McBurnie, another example of why the above isn’t really relevant. 

Gallagher has had two world class players on either side of him while playing for scotland...I pretty certain Liam Cooper or big McKenna would be every bit as comfortable in the middle of that back 3

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14 minutes ago, Third Lanark said:

I'm not so much arguing against the concept of a back 3 as trying to find a way to get more out of Tierney and McTom in an attacking sense. Can T. play right wing back and give us potentially a very attacking mid. 5?

Tierney as a right wing back would be really interesting. Removes our weakest player (realise he’s done ok recently) and we can slot in Cooper or McKenna in the left centre back position. 
 

Lots of teams play inverted wing backs. It would actually be more palatable than Tierney at right back as part of a 4.  

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Honestly, any further posts proposing Tierney as RB/RWB should incur an immediate ban. He isn't even a competent right back, let alone a good one.

Sorry TL - the above is not a personal dig at you, one of the more considered posters on here. There's a reason Tierney hasn't been considered as a RB since Strachan moved on though.

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1 hour ago, noctonjock said:

3 left footers there , think it would be unbalanced. Only my opinion but would have Gallagher in there instead of McKenna 

I don't understand why people think we need a right footer.

Atalanta tore up Serie A last season with three right footed center back. No one in Italy said they were unbalanced.

16 minutes ago, Third Lanark said:

I'm not so much arguing against the concept of a back 3 as trying to find a way to get more out of Tierney and McTom in an attacking sense. Can T. play right wing back and give us potentially a very attacking mid. 5?

Yeah. I know. And I'm not looking forward to us getting a new manager, going back to a back four, and me getting my drum out again.

I think so. It's worth a shot.

The good thing is that we have a lot more options that we had in previous years, especially with the emergence of Gilmour and Turnbull.

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49 minutes ago, ProudScot said:

Gallagher on performances is our best cb currently. Picking Cooper or McKenna ahead of him would be bizarre. 

It's a coin toss between those three. I could live with any two of the three partnering Tierney.

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Could Tierney possibly displace Robertson at Left Back ? 
 

Tierney more physical and versatile than Robertson but certainly gives S.Clarke a headache with selection...... 

Robertson offers more assists / crosses into the box but Tierney now injury free is flying. 

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2 hours ago, Taylor1996 said:

I don't understand why people think we need a right footer.

Atalanta tore up Serie A last season with three right footed center back. No one in Italy said they were unbalanced.

Exactly! No one would have batted an eye or even mentioned it if all 3 CBs were right footed. Far too much is being made of this. Play our 3 best CBs. It's very simple. Deciding who those 3 are is the hard part. Adding the "strong" foot into the equation just complicates matters.

Some people are talking about playing Tierney and Hickey at RB but baulk at the thought of a left footed RCB. Wingers switch sides all the time, as do pretty much every other position. They are professional football players. They can handle it.

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54 minutes ago, broraboy said:

Robertson offers more assists / crosses into the box but Tierney now injury free is flying. 

Can't say I agree with this part. Been a long time since Robertson has looked much of an attacking threat for Scotland. Tierney created more chances in 90 minutes against Slovakia than Robertson has in probably his last 10 games. 

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2 hours ago, Barney Rubble said:

Honestly, any further posts proposing Tierney as RB/RWB should incur an immediate ban. He isn't even a competent right back, let alone a good one.

Sorry TL - the above is not a personal dig at you, one of the more considered posters on here. There's a reason Tierney hasn't been considered as a RB since Strachan moved on though.

Haha but it’s a dig at anyone else that suggests it?!

Playing Tierney RWB isn’t that mad. It would be if we had a good standard right sided full back or if we didn’t already have a world class left back. 

He’s progressed 3 years since Strachan played him at right back. Not a good enough reason to not explore this option again. 

Belgium play 3 at the back too and play right sided wing backs on the left.  They’ve done ok...

Leicester have also played a right sided player on the left of defence all season. 

Saying Tierney can’t do similar is doing him a bit of disservice.


 

 

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21 minutes ago, Super_Scotlandfan said:

Haha but it’s a dig at anyone else that suggests it?!

Playing Tierney RWB isn’t that mad. It would be if we had a good standard right sided full back or if we didn’t already have a world class left back. 

He’s progressed 3 years since Strachan played him at right back. Not a good enough reason to not explore this option again. 

Belgium play 3 at the back too and play right sided wing backs on the left.  They’ve done ok...

Leicester have also played a right sided player on the left of defence all season. 

Saying Tierney can’t do similar is doing him a bit of disservice.

O'Donnell is a RB/RWB and does a competent - not brilliant - job there.

Tierney is never a RB/RWB. Playing him in that position does a disservice to his natural abilities as a footballer and to those who are more natural at RB/RWB. It's lose-lose-lose.

We lose attacking thrust on the right because he's inclined to cut inside to his natural foot. We doubly lose because any opposition that does its homework will play a natural left-winger against him with predictable consequences.

The triple loss is to the spirit of the squad from watching their natural place being taken by a fish out of water.

Keiran Tierney at RB/RWB is not a good idea on so many fronts - it doesn't warrant further pursuance.

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4 hours ago, 0Neils40yarder said:

Gallagher has had two world class players on either side of him while playing for scotland...I pretty certain Liam Cooper or big McKenna would be every bit as comfortable in the middle of that back 3

Tierney and McTominay aren’t world class. 

Do agree other defenders could slot in and play well as part of a 3

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31 minutes ago, Barney Rubble said:

O'Donnell is a RB/RWB and does a competent - not brilliant - job there.

Tierney is never a RB/RWB. Playing him in that position does a disservice to his natural abilities as a footballer and to those who are more natural at RB/RWB. It's lose-lose-lose.

We lose attacking thrust on the right because he's inclined to cut inside to his natural foot. We doubly lose because any opposition that does its homework will play a natural left-winger against him with predictable consequences.

The triple loss is to the spirit of the squad from watching their natural place being taken by a fish out of water.

Keiran Tierney at RB/RWB is not a good idea on so many fronts - it doesn't warrant further pursuance.

Cutting inside does not = bad, especially when he’ll be doing it further forward as a wing back. 

It’s definitely worth a discussion as inverted wing backs have worked for some very good teams with players less talented than Tierney.

Clarke may try this out in training or during part of the games in March. He wouldn’t be mad for doing it...maybe SOD will end up continuing there but it’s worth exploring.

I’d like to see Scotland not just qualify for tournaments, having to play guys like SOD will always give us a lower ceiling. Taking a risk with something more inventive (like Clarke has done with McTominay) to try to get Tierney into more advanced areas might take us to the next level. 

or maybe it won’t...worth exploring anyway. 
 

 

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Agree with everything Barney has said about Tierney as a RB/RWB. 

 

Never heard of anyone playing an inverted wing-back. Give me some examples please. 
Plenty teams playing inverted wingers sure, but that’s a totally different thing. 

 

Three left footed centre-backs would be uncomfortable due to the fact that left-sided players are generally pish with their right foot. 

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58 minutes ago, McTeeko said:

Agree with everything Barney has said about Tierney as a RB/RWB. 

 

Never heard of anyone playing an inverted wing-back. Give me some examples please. 
Plenty teams playing inverted wingers sure, but that’s a totally different thing. 

 

Three left footed centre-backs would be uncomfortable due to the fact that left-sided players are generally pish with their right foot. 

Belgium do it. 

Their problem is producing lots of right sided wing backs/full backs/wingers.

They play Castagne (who was also Atalanta doing the same thing and played at left back today for Leicester), Meunier, Carrasco, Thorgan Hazard, Chadli...all right footed as wing backs. 

I remember at the last Euros their only only weak position was at left back. They’ve got round that problem by changing to a back 3 and playing a right footed player at wing back. 

It might not work out with Tierney but it’s worth a shot. 

If we play Christie it might be too much cutting in but it might work with someone like Fraser playing behind the striker. 

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8 hours ago, Tartan blood said:

Exactly! No one would have batted an eye or even mentioned it if all 3 CBs were right footed. Far too much is being made of this. Play our 3 best CBs. It's very simple. Deciding who those 3 are is the hard part. Adding the "strong" foot into the equation just complicates matters.

Some people are talking about playing Tierney and Hickey at RB but baulk at the thought of a left footed RCB. Wingers switch sides all the time, as do pretty much every other position. They are professional football players. They can handle it.

Absolutely. Technically speaking, all three are in the middle, it's not like any of them are gonna be hugging the touchline.

I know. It makes no sense.

Exactly. They are professional footballers. It's not like they're being asked to play a different sport.

Look around our team: McTominay (Box to box midfielder playing in the middle of defence), Ryan Jack (Anchorman, who started out as a right back), McGinn (Our attacking midfielder who began his career as a left back), Ryan Fraser (winger, but he's playing as a false 9) and Tierney (centre back, who is a left back) and yet some people find my "Robertson/Tierney could play as an anchorman" idea a difficult concept to understand.

And for the record, Robertson and Tierney would both be better than McTominay in the anchorman position. But like the idea of 3-5-2, the idea will be mocked till Steve Clarke tries it.

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8 hours ago, ParisInAKilt said:

Tierney and McTominay aren’t world class. 

Do agree other defenders could slot in and play well as part of a 3


Maybe not World Class but both playing at the very highest level and if the Euros were to start next Month then I’d have to have these 2 in the starting XI 

It’s an argument / dilemma all us thought we’d never have, Scotland having the luxury of Players fighting for many positions. 
 

Andy Robertson at Liverpool is exceptional no questions with his defending prowess and amount of goals/assists but he has the luxury of such a strong defence/system that allows him to get forward.
Tierney would also flourish under Klopp’s team but I do think we’ve got a lot more to see from Tierney now he is injury free and starting to fly. 

Maybe the question should be, how do you play Tierney & Robertson in a starting Scotland XI and and what positions and formation ? 



 

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