Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney has revealed that Mikel Arteta has told him to use this summer’s European Championship to “express himself” and “enjoy” the adventure.
Scotland will embark on their first international tournament in more than 20 years when they lock horns with the Czech Republic in their opening Group D match in just under a fortnight’s time.
Scotland made it to this summer’s rearranged Euros via the play-offs back in November after a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Serbia, meaning they will rub shoulders with some of Europe’s household names this summer.
Like for every member of the Scotland squad, this summer’s tournament will represent a first opportunity to play at an international tournament at senior level for Tierney and he will be hoping to impress, even though he faces a stern battle with Liverpool’s Andy Robertson for the left-back spot.
But even though he may not be first choice for Steve Clarke’s side this summer, Tierney has been sent a message by Arteta, which, in a nutshell, is urging him to enjoy the experience and make the very most of it.
Tierney told The Sun: “I had a meeting with the Arsenal manager and he just told me, ‘Go and express yourself with Scotland, enjoy yourself, bring energy to the team, bring energy to the camp.’
“He’s always so supportive of me, and tremendously positive. The manager always brings the best out of me.
“With regards Scotland for the Euros he also said, ‘Give everything you have, that’s how you get the best out of yourself, and it will help the team the most.'”
Tierney joined Arsenal almost two years ago under former manager Unai Emery, but has developed at a rapid rate of knots since Arteta took charge in December 2019.
The former Celtic man has become one of the best left-backs in the Premier League, with his ability to attack and bomb forward from the full-back position rarely going unnoticed.
Hailing the impact Arteta has had on his career, Tierney continued: “I listen to everything the manager tells me, word for word. I love working with him, he’s helped me massively.
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“If you can see the differences in my game in the last 18 months or so it’s because of Mikel Arteta and what his coaching staff have been telling me to do.
“I’ve been working on their advice every day. I’m really grateful for what the gaffer’s done for me.”
Tierney’s Scotland kick-off their Euro 2020 campaign against the Czech Republic on Monday, June 14 and then face England a few days later on Friday, June 18. A meeting with Croatia on Tuesday, June 22 will conclude their group stage campaign.