Steve Clarke urges former Celtic star Kieran Tierney to not make an ‘a*** of himself’ at Arsenal like he did as a player 8 days ago

STEVE CLARKE’S 421-game Chelsea CV tells you he was a model pro.

As do the FA Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup and League Cup medals and his place in the Blues’ all-time centenary XI.

Steve Clarke won his fair share of trophies during his career
Steve Clarke won his fair share of trophies during his career
Kieran Tierney has struggled for minutes at the Emirates this season
Kieran Tierney has struggled for minutes at the Emirates this season

Even he admits, though, there was a spell at Stamford Bridge when his frustrations saw him make an “a*** of himself” as a player.

But he has no fears Kieran Tierney will go the same way in similar circumstances at Arsenal.

The former Celtic defender has found appearances with the Premier League leaders hard to come by and hasn’t started a league game since Boxing Day.

But Clarke says that’s part of being at a successful club and praised Tierney for not following his example.

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The Scotland manager said: “Kieran understands it’s one of the things you have to deal with at a top-level club.

“I’ve spoken to him and he’s handling the situation well.

“I had it myself as a player. In the early days at Chelsea it was a little bit easier, but once the foreign influence started and better players arrived, you find yourself at a level where you’re maybe not selected for every game.

“You’ve got to deal with that and that’s what he’s doing. You have to be a good pro and work as hard as you can.

“I actually had six months where I let myself down. I didn’t train or work as hard as I could to be in the team when Bobby Campbell was the manager.

“Thankfully, I saw the error of my ways, knuckled down and got back in.

“Everyone deals with these situations differently. If I could go back to when team selection was wobbling a little bit, I’d do it differently.

"So I can pass that experience on to people now, give them the benefit of my situation. You try to impart that knowledge to players who are experiencing something similar.

“You can say, ‘Look, I made an a*** of myself there, be careful what you’re doing, do the right thing’.

“I saw I wasn’t going anywhere and had to knuckle down. That’s what I did and I ended up with a pretty decent career.

“But you have a choice. Run, try elsewhere or stick it out.

“Kieran’s good enough to play at the EPL’s highest level. He should knuckle down, see out the season like the good professional he is and see what the summer brings.”

Scotland kick off their Euro 2024 qualifiers with a double-header against Cyprus and Spain.

Clarke’s 23-man squad is smaller than normal because the games are at Hampden and he revealed there were several candidates on the fringes.

He said: “Dominic Hyam at Blackburn has done well, Murray Wallace has done well at Millwall, Liam Lindsay at Preston too, there’s a lot of them.

“Lawrence Shankland can consider himself unfortunate. He’s having a good season and hopefully that continues.

“Kevin Nisbet came back from injury and was on fire, but unfortunately he’s picked up another injury and Tony Ralston played for Celtic the other day.

“So there are loads of people around the periphery who haven’t been selected.

“The good thing for me is I know they all want to be selected and they’re all fighting to be in the squad.

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“We might pick up another couple of injuries, but because we have two home games, it’s easy to call somebody in.”

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