Why Kieran Tierney doesn't need to apologise to anyone

By David Walton

October 14, 2018

Kieran Tierney’s Scotland career certainly hasn’t been as successful as his Celtic one. That, we could all agree on.

But his mistake in the 2-1 defeat in Israel that cost his country a precious draw was a low-point. Tierney, playing out of position as always, swiped into his own net to turn the game around in Israel’s favor. It’s by no means a disaster, but Scotland threw away the chance to take charge in their Nations League group.

Now Scotland, Israel, and Albania are all sitting on three points each after playing each other once. Therefore, Scotland simply have to win both matches to guarantee a playoff place for Euro 2020.

Kieran Tierney made a costly error against Israel (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

Tierney was the man to come under fire for his own goal. But the Celtic and Scottish warrior doesn’t need to apologise to anyone for his unfortunate gaff.

At this stage, the left-back must be getting sick of being shifted around to accommodate Andy Robertson. The Liverpool star had a terrible game on Thursday night also, but Tierney consistently has to be shuffled around.

Alex McLeish has confirmed that he’ll always look to play both when available, but it isn’t working. The Hoops defender doesn’t look comfortable at left centre-back in a back three, yet still he plays there.

Mistakes to be expected

Mistakes should be expected when playing players out of position. Left-back is a lot more different to a left-sided centre-back. One of Tierney’s strongest assets is getting forward and smashing crosses into the penalty box. For Scotland, he isn’t getting the chance to do this because Robertson is occupying the role.

There’ll be endless debate about which of the two players are better, but this article doesn’t look to answer that.

Tierney is a consistent performer for Scotland in a position he’s not suited to. He’ll have taken the own goal particularly hard on Thursday night. But he has nothing to apologise for – he’s a consistently hard-worker who does anything to play for Scotland.

Tierney captained the side in their defeat to Red Bull Salzburg (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s now about looking to the future for Tierney. He’s dropped out of the Scotland squad for the friendly against Portugal this afternoon. That was probably for the best considering McLeish will likely pick more fringe-players.

Therefore, Tierney should switch his attentions to this Saturday’s hosting of Hibernian. The Hibees are set to pose Celtic huge problems as you would expect, and Tierney will play a big part in trying to overwhelm Neil Lennon’s men.

The Hoops star captained the side against Red Bull Salzburg, but most likely won’t this Saturday.

So long as Tierney goes into this one with a clear mind, he should perform to his reliable standards. As for Scotland duty, however, the Celtic man doesn’t need to say sorry to anyone.