Can Torreira and Xhaka bring back Arsenal’s Glory Days?


They say dynamites come in small packages and in Arsenal terms that perfectly describes our newly found midfield dynamo, Lucas Torreira. Over the years Arsenal has struggled to find a reliable midfield enforcer and this was partly due Wenger’s unwillingness to listen to the demands of the supporters. With Unai’s eye for detail the capture of Torreira is the best signing of the season so far and the best thing to happen for Arsenal since the days of Gilberto Silva and the Invincibles.

The diminutive midfielder has been a revelation for Arsenal and is without doubt now the backbone of the team. The jury was still out for Torreira but his dominant display in the middle of the park against a well drilled Liverpool side has confirmed that in Torreira we have a gem of a midfield maestro. For greater parts of the game he imposed himself on Liverpool with aplomb. He won tackles, he won headers, he initiated attacks from the back and that is the aggression Arsenal lacked under Wenger.

The Telepathic Combo……
If the performance of Torreira alongside Xhaka against Liverpool is to be replicated over the course of the season then surely the days of glory will be back before long. Unai Emery has defied odds and has already built a strong team that looks likely not to lose any match soon. It is now 14 games on the bounce without tasting defeat and the come-from-behind draw against Liverpool tasted like a victory, given that the team was expected to be decimated by Liverpool by most pundits including Ex-Arsenal guys like Paul Merson, who seem to think we are still managed by the stiff and stubborn Professor from France who had the audacity to make substitutions in the last minute of injury time and expected miracles..

Arsenal endured two losses to Manchester City and Chelsea early in the season and those results were a rude awakening for Unai Emery. However, I am impressed by how he went on to stamp his style on the team which now clearly understands the Unai style of game execution. The season is still a long way to go and that gives me more hope for a brighter future.

The Rebirth of Xhaka
The arrival of Torreira has seen the resurrection of Xhaka, a player who is a very controversial figure among the Arsenal faithful. During Wenger’s time it was difficult to tell the head or tail of Xhaka’s performance. He was a shadow of the player who used to attract attention when he was in the Bundesliga. Under Unai, Xhaka has been paired with Torreira who claims Xhaka makes him tick. The duo’s performance against Liverpool at the Emirates was just a marvel to watch. The two players understand each other well and are complementing each other well.

I know Unai needs to sort out the central defence soon but so far our midfield base of Xhaka and Torreira is bringing stability in the team. Could this be the combination that will make the Glory days a reality during our lifetime? Could this be the piece of the puzzle that will make Unai our Hero? Is this the Combo that will see us being counted among the big boys of England once again?

Come on you Gunners.

Gooner-talk by Ramsey@Zim-Arsenal desk……


  1. Xhaka has definitely improved under Emery but he is No Viera. I am very happy that he has improved
    He was not improving under Wenger

    Torreira is the signing of the summer.. we’ve needed someone like him for so long

    I think Torreira and Xhaka will be a good combination this season

    With Ramsey leaving next year, I think his head maybe elsewhere. His performance has been poor

  2. If Xhaka continuous this form then this will become the perfect duo for our midfield, sort of a Matic-Kante duo that won the PL for Chelsea.

    Next year we are getting Nelson at RW with his form and Iwobi’s form on the left, we have 4 young players ready to take Arsenal to the next level.

    With ESR, AMN, Guendouzi, Holding, Bellerin, Mavros, Nketiah and Leno the future looks bright.

    To be perfectly honest, I would sell, Mhki and Ozil in the summer if we can find any buyers for them. Bring in a top CB, LB and another young attacker like Havertz.
    it might take another year maybe two but this young team will have the tools to fight with the best.

  3. Amagore, so do you think Emery will listen to the “demands of the supporters”?

    If you do, he will have to play / not play Ozil in a No.10 role / not play him at all / sell him / play him on the wings or even in a diamond formation.
    In other words, any professional manager assesses his team as HE sees fit and either lives or dies by the sword of his convictions.
    This notion that supporters have any influence over any manager choice of players is absurd, but as an example and If that WAS the case, Iwobi, Xhaka, Bellerin, Holding,Chambers, Ozil, Welbeck, Cech and Mustafi would all have been sold.
    That might have made things a little difficult for X and T then don’t you think?

    Not sure if you watch many premier league games, but every manager in nearly every game has the “audacity” to make a substitution in order to influence games during the last minutes of a match. It’s often referred to as tactics.
    I believe Emery bought on Welbeck in the dying minutes yesterday…was that to try and influence the game or make sure he’s played the requisite number of matches to collect his premier league medal at the end of the season?

    Of course Xhaka has improved and one of the reasons is the excellent signing of Torreiro. No-one could possibly dispute that surely and a DM was long overdue.
    Why AW didn’t act on this is a mystery to everyone but him….and what has that to do with the way these two players are performing under Emery?
    Diddley Squat.

    Along with four of the five signings made at the beginning of the season, the side has become stronger (Lichsteiner being my query) or, as you put it, built a strong team.
    I agree…that leaves seven players and the entire bench (Lich the exception) as players inherited by Emery from the “french professor” and what the handle has to do with anything I fail to understand, unless you are implying he is intelligent?.

    What we should be praising is the wisdom of buying those other players previously, by whoever it was, adding to them and admiring Emery for his tactics, coaching skills and superb man-managment levels to build a strong team that might bring the glory days back.

    I couldn’t be happier with the way Emery is changing things, who knows he might have the ingredients to get his own Invincibles together, starting with Xhaka and Torreira.

    Your observations on Xhaka and Torreira are really well described, although we seem to have forgotten Song and Coq, also tireless and valuable players during their time at Arsenal.
    Let’s just see where we finish at the end of the season before we all shoot ourselves in the foot, much to the delight of the media and Merson!!!

    1. Ken Some of us might suggest to you that Emery has no need to listen to us virtually 100% of Gooners who never understood why Wenger flatly refused all entreaties to put the decade long gaping hole at CM right. At least Emery has no need to listen to us fans, certainly not so far, in the way that Wenger never did, as virtually all the posts I have ever read on Emery are hugely supportive, even somewhat adoring(and maybe even a bit previous, so to speak). On the wider point of listening toALL fans, I obviously agree with your previous comments about there being as many differing opinions as there are fans- or that drift at least. But Emery has not put a foot wrong yet and the 80+% who craved Wengers sacking (which included many/most of those who gave him a special send off in his final home game, since the vast majority of fans are decent and felt for the man, as distinct from the manager) would be hard pressed to find a single complaint about Emery between the lot of us. Even I still have the highest true regard for Arsene Wenger as a man and of course for his first decade or so. But I choose always to live in the here and now and so am concerned with the present , not the distant past. Finally Ken , though Song and to a lesser extent Coq, were OK at times, neither were good enough long term at DM FOR THE LEVEL WE NEED OR WHAT TORREIRA IS SHOWING SO CLEARLY. This flat refusal to find a proper long term DM was my biggest single beef with Wenger.

      1. Jon, if you live in the here and now, why on earth do you keep harking back to the past? That is surely what our previous manager and his term of office is!!
        AW has gone, it’s history and it’s both good and bad.
        As you state, everyone on here, are very positive about Emery and once again, that also has nothing to do with our previous manager.
        If you want the fanbase to move on and become one, why do you keep insisting on bringing up the past?
        Surely you know that you will get a response and I have to ask you this…what is the point??
        Your choice of words are inflammatory and are not used by anyone else as far as I can see. Is that how you would normally address a “decent man”?
        My responses are always retrospective, as I have no need to keep justifiying my previous views, simply because they don’t matter anymore.
        The sooner the minority of our fanbase accept there is no point in comparing the past to the present the better.
        Why do we keep banging on at each other when there are so many positive things to talk about under Emery?

  4. Watched the game in Malaysia in the wee hours of the morning.Our little
    terrier maybe a tough nut but in a one on one he was repeatedly
    outmuscled. That said he is maybe a Konte replica.We need strong guys
    If Emery wants to win the epl he has to boost the size of his player from
    s to xl/xxl.
    I am more confident that Emery tactically is much better than the fm and believe
    if Arsenal have a 2 goal lead they will go to win and wont be pegged back.
    Who can ever forget the 4 goal lead over NU and almost lost.
    No wonder RVP left.He was frustrated with the FM’s philosophy of pretty soccer
    without winning.

  5. Ramsey’s back-heal goal won “Goal Of The Month” on MOTD2…
    Closely seeing off Abbu’s other magnificent team goal sums up my mood right now ??????

    Emery ?????? has put the fun back in loving this beautiful game we had grown accustomed to under Wenger no matter how shit ended!!!
    Props to whoever had the vision of effectively ‘PULLING THE TRIGGER’ and getting the ball rolling for the smooth continuity that I feared we missed out with the PEP situation and him going Citeh.

    I know it’s early days but I for one knows how football dictates my day to day life and really, how they week goes so I’m gonna enjoy this abundance joy I’m feeling and have been feeling for months ???

    C O Y G

  6. Torreira + Chaka (Present) = Gheundozi + Nile (future)



  7. Now people are talking xhaka, xhaka,xhaka. Early days but I’ll gloat. And that’s the proper way to play xhaka. Round peg in a round hole alongside square peg in a square hole.

  8. Cm that plays well paired with proper Dm; amazing how keeping things simple works out. Put talented players in their best positions, and in situations suited to their strengths. When opportunities present themselves, and armed with correct tactics they perform with confidence.

    No need to reinvent the wheel, play guys out of position, lacking the necessary skill set at this level, and somehow expect miracles. Teams look to exploit weaknesses, so why create any for them?

    Emery doing his job; coaching.

  9. Only if Xhaka can score and assist consistently from set pieces

    Otherwise, Guendouzi has better vision, skills and mobility, whereas Maitland-Niles is more agile and better defensively

    1. Guendouzi has lots of potential, but no way he has more skills and vision for now. Only mobility i could agree (headless chicken sometimes honestly).

      1. Definitely more skills and about same vision..but he’s a bit of a lightweight for now ,compared to xhaka


  10. I cannot wait to see AMN and Torreira in the center .it could work because AMN is almost like Chamberlain but with better brains

  11. Team next season
    Bell……… Holding…. Sok….. New LB
    …………….torree…….. Xakai……………
    Nellson…………………………… Iwobi…….

  12. Off Topic, just going back to the bias predictions debate, been watching Dermot Gallagher on Sky Sports “Ref Watch” Apparently the challenge by the Liverpool Goalkeeper Allison on Mikitaryan was just a football incident but the identical challenge by Leno on Van Dyke was a definite penalty. Make you laugh these ex referees, especially those who wore long sleeve ref shirt all his career. The reason? Apparently Gallagher has Manchester United tattoos on both his arms.

  13. Amagore, You claim that our having no proper DM was “partly due to Wengers unwillingness to listen to supporters”. Excuse me but only PARTLY? IT WAS ENTIRELY DOWN TO WENGERS ARROGANCE , NEGLECT OF HIS CLEAR DUTY, HIS STUPIDITY AND SHEER INCOMPETENCE IN FAILING TO SEE WHAT ALL US SUPPORTERS WERE LOUDLY CALLING OUT FOR MANY , MANY YEARS PAST. That alone , even apart from all his many other faults, was a clear sacking offence and should have been done many years before it finally happened.

      1. John, It is not only Wenger, but more importantly the owner and CEO who should have listened, since I have been loudly calling for WEngers sacking, MANY YEARS , prior to it happening. Think where we could be now. Truth is WeNGER NEVER LISTENED TO ANYONE AS HE WAS FAR TOO ARROGANT AND OUT OF TOUCH WITH MODERN FOOTBALLS METHODS AND PHILOSPHY. He was way before his time and his outdated methods had long been overtaken by other more modern , in touch mamagers. If only THEY had listened!

        1. Jon, with your obvious knowledge regarding what Wenger should and shouldn’t have done, why have you never pursued a career as a professional manager of a premier league team?

          John Hodges, if Wenger HAD listened to Jon, we would have sold Iwobi, Bellerin, Xhaka, Ozil, Mustafi, Holding, Chambers and Welbeck and he was asking Emery to do the same!!!!

          Thank heavens he didn’t, as Emery has proven that AW’s “dross” actually were excellent signings that needed his expert guidance.
          It was time for AW to go and his resignation showed he realised that too.
          So thankful he has left a brilliant group of young players such as AMN and Nelson of course. Thanks Arsene, Unai appreciates what he has inherited as he has publically said many times.

          The belief that ANY ONE supporter thinks they can influence any decision taken by the club is, in my opinion, THE ABSOLUTE HEIGHT OF ARROGANCE.
          We are talking about professionals not soothsayers with an opinion.

          John, it was actually stated by Jon himself just recently that any manager who took notice of fans views would need 25 players at every game and ridiculed the idea…just as is this idea that “if only THEY had listened” is!!!

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