Ian Wright identifies major worry for Mikel Arteta after Arsenal draw against Crystal Palace

Ian Wright felt Arsenal were 'lethargic' in their 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace
Ian Wright felt Arsenal were ‘lethargic’ in their 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace (Picture: PLP)

Ian Wright fears Arsenal’s stalemate against Crystal Palace on Thursday night highlighted Mikel Arteta’s worrying over-reliance on injured full-back Kieran Tierney.

The Scotland international joined the Gunners from Celtic in a £25million deal in the summer of 2019 and has emerged as a key component of Arteta’s rebuilding project.

His attacking prowess, defensive aptitude and leadership qualities had all been in evidence over the course of a four-game winning run which came to an abrupt end at the Emirates last night as the visitors emerged with a deserved point.

Tierney was said to have missed the game as a precaution, but his deputy, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, endured a difficult evening and was eventually substituted with 25 minutes remaining after an error-strewn performance.

Asked if Arsenal had become too reliant on the Scotland international, Wright said: ‘One player does make such a difference and I think it’s a bit of a worry because you take him (Tierney) out the team and that side doesn’t function.

Kieran Tierney missed Arsenal's draw against Crystal Palace through injury
Kieran Tierney missed Arsenal’s draw against Crystal Palace through injury (Picture: Getty)

‘And when we are talking about the way Kieran Tierney gets up and down, and we are talking about for the full 90 minutes, he never stops and this is why, you look at someone like Aubameyang today, didn’t quite get the chances he normally gets because Kieran Tierney is normally flashing things in and around the box.

‘It didn’t happen today really on either side with the same amount of crosses when Kieran Tierney is playing.

‘It has to come from somewhere else. I think the set-pieces today, when you consider Arsenal have a set-piece coach, the balls that were coming in were very good balls they weren’t being attacked very well.

‘Those are the things When it’s not quite going for you when you are trying to play your game you’ve got to find another way.’

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