Football

Ian Wright hails Kieran Tierney as a future Arsenal captain after confronting Ezgjan Alioski in Leeds United draw


The Scotland international confronted Alioski after the final whistle (Picture: Getty Images)

Ian Wright has labelled Kieran Tierney as a future Arsenal captain for the manner in which he confronted Leeds United defender Ezgjan Alioski after Sunday’s goalless draw at Elland Road.

Nicolas Pepe got himself sent off early on in the second half for a headbutt on Alioski, but the Gunners managed to hang on with 10 men to earn a point.

After the final whistle went, Tierney appeared fuming at the Leeds wing-back for the way he went down under challenge from Pepe.

Tierney had to be calmed down by his team-mates and Arsenal staff (Picture: Getty Images)

As he marched over towards Alioski, Tierney had to be pulled back by his team-mates and Arsenal staff members.

The Scotland international has been one of Mikel Arteta’s more consistent performers in what has been a stuttering start to the campaign.

The Gunners sit in 12th place in the table after winning just four of their opening nine league games and have now gone over seven hours without a goal from open play in England’s top flight.

But despite their poor run of form, Wright singled out Tierney for praise and backed him to be a future captain for the north London club.

‘Kieran Tierney in the way he reacted at the end of that game, he’s a future captain for our club,’ the Gunners legend said on his Wrighty’s House podcast.

‘Yes we know what Pepe did was silly and he will very much regret that but Tierney could not deal with the fact that a professional done that to another professional player, dived.

‘Seeing somebody else talking to him, that really riled Kieran Tierney up, he’s not having that.

‘You look at Tierney, it’s the attitude and the mentality that Arsenal need right now, not enough around him maybe In his eyes have got that.

‘That’s why he went and approached Alioski to say to him you’re out of order.’

Wright doesn’t believe that Pepe’s challenge on Alioski was a ‘headbutt’, insisting it was more of a coming together between the two players which didn’t warrant the ‘dive’ from the Leeds defender.

‘As much as we didn’t lose the game after, you see that player intentionally get him sent off, because whatever we say as silly as Pepe was, that was not a headbutt,’ Wright added.

‘It was a coming together, it’s not enough for him to dive, go down like he did.

‘But we’re playing in times where you do that because you know the consequences and you know what’s going to happen you will be sent off that. But Kieran Tierney is somebody I’ve got so much faith in.’


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