Enough’s enough – Arsenal must start Torreira in every game

It has not been the most illustrious start to Unai Emery’s tenure as Arsenal boss, especially for our defence who have conceded 8 goals in the first 4 matches. They obviously need protection from their midfielders, and surely that was the reason that we bought Lucas Torreira to be our beast of a defensive midfielder?

The Arsenal legend Martin Keown certainly thinks so. “Emery now has his chance to reflect during the international break.” Keown said in the Mail. “This is a period of calm for the new head coach. If I was in his staff, I’d be saying we need to consider making a change to the system. Arsenal’s centre backs Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis aren’t really the best in possession of the ball. Emery has very creative players who play further up the pitch but he needs a figure who can sit in deep midfield. Lucas Torreira could be that man and he could then help the back two out.

“It can sometimes feel like we’re watching a youth team whose players are trying to be developed into passers. Manchester City play 4-1-2-3, with a deep midfielder and two creative players either side. That may be the way for Emery to go.”

I think this is a no-brainer! I know Emery thinks that Torreira needs more time to settle in and learn his new tactics, but he has looked more than able every time he has come on as a substitute. If Arsenal really want to stop leaking goals regularly, Torreira simply must start every game!

Sam P


  1. Counsel says:

    No one with a functioning brain would bench Torreira and play stupid xhaka

  2. gotanidea says:

    There must be some reasons why Torreira has not started yet and I believe it is because Xhaka/ Ramsey/ Ozil/ Guendouzi are still fit

    Keown’s idea of using Man City’s 4-1-2-3 or 4-3-3 with Torreira could work, but I’d prefer to use only in away matches:

    Lichtsteiner . Mustafi . Sokratis . Monreal
    …………Ramsey ………….Guendouzi
    Mkhitaryan …………………….Aubameyang

    1. JJPawn says:

      Proper control of the middle with that extra player is essential in modern football, especially a possession game. Only then can a pressing game work as the ball is contained to parts of the field, quadrants if you will.

      ——–Lich——-Koz——Mustafi———– [subs: Bellerin, Sokratis, Monreal, Holding, Kolas ]
      Iwobi—–Torreira—-Guendouzi—-Welbeck [subs: Ramsey, Elneny, Xhaka, Niles]
      ———————–Ozil———————– [subs: Mkhitaryan]

  3. sam Bukky says:

    Torreira won’t look as good without somebody alongside him. He’s a ball winner and not a midfielder general like yaya back in the days so the 4-1-2-3 system will expose arsenal badly.
    We only need a proper no. 8 who is confident on the ball and can dictate that shaky midfield of ours. But it’s true Sam P, we must start Thor? in every game f***ing game. bless.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Sam you are right and that is why in my opinion Emery will play Torreira along side Xhaka, for his passing once Torreira has won the ball.

  4. Sue says:

    He HAS to start against Newcastle!!!

  5. barryglik says:

    No I don’t think it is
    essential he starts.
    Neither do I think Lacazette
    and Auba have to start every game.
    Nor Ozil nor any body for that matter.
    Who ever we start Arsenal remain on track to place 5th/6th
    which is about right for the transitional season.
    Decent cup runs for the youngins and we’ll have a jolly fine season 🙂
    I reckon by the next international bore fest Arsenal oughta be top 6.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      barryglik, I am not saying that you might not be ultimately right about Arsenal coming 5th or 6th, but can’t we please at least stay positive after only 4 games of the season?

      1. GunnerJack says:

        Hi Ozzie – I don’t know about Barry but I had high hopes that Emery would change things round, although not necessarily with a top four finish but hopefully a top 5 or 6 position. But apart from that I feel let down by him. We finally got the defensive midfielder we’ve waited years for – and Emery benches him and plays Xhaka!!?? How can anyone in their right mind do that? If he continues to prise Xhaka into the team with a freakin’ crowbar, like Wenger used to do, maybe bringing in Torreira but leaving out Guendouzi instead then to me it’s just outright favouritism. Xhaka isn’t a patch on either Torreira or Guendouzi and I simply cannot find any reason whatsoever to have him in the team – or even on the bench. I think Wenger played him purely because he’d paid quite a lot for him and was desperate for him to come good. I don’t know Emery’s reason . . .

        1. ozziegunner says:

          GunnerJack, I agree with you totally on disappointment in Emery not starting Torreira. As you rightly say Arsenal has been crying out for a specialist DM since Gilberto Silva left, and Torreira has the potential to be as good if not better than Kante based on his performances at Sampadoria and progression with Uruguay at the World Cup. His inclusion will provide that shield/interceptor for the back 4 Arsrnal have lacked.
          We only differ in that I believe that Xhaka will improve playing along side Torreira in a similar role he plays for Switzerland. Guendouzi is definitely one for the future and should be managed while his body develops.

  6. John Ibrahim says:

    Usmanov to buy Charlton

    with Everton being the 7th

    big 8

    exciting times

  7. Sean Williams says:

    I think the future of Arsenal is now in the hands of both Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi. They are young but there is no reason not to play them. We will not win the PL this season so let them develop the unique partnership we need. Ramsey could make a trio with them. It’s fairly clear at the moment too that Lacazette and Aubamayang really fit together and should mainly play together.Then the choice is between Ozil, Mkhi, and Iwobe. If we want the creativity then a fully tuned in Ozil would be the best, on condition he gets into it. Maybe we can get a winger, like Leon Bailey, for next season. Still the real solid basis may well be Lucas and Matteo Guendouzi. With the odd better defender and an explosive winger, next season could see the return of Arsenal FC to the big guns.

    1. Phil says:

      Sean I agree and no doubt so do many others.It seems as though Emery wants to bring LT on slowly.He was most likely not match fit when he arrived but now his cameo performances demand a starting spot.I cannot believe he will not start up at Newcastle next week and I would absolutely have Guendonzi next to him.Interesting to see what team is picked

      1. tas says:

        we have four months of chaos with many injuries and games coming up players will be burnt out and fatigue will start so lets hope our Lucas will be injury free and roaring to go specially in the second half of the season where every team or players can make mistakes leagues are won or lost in this period, so lets not rush him in until the congestion starts

  8. Grandad says:

    The future is LT,MG and AMN but in the short term it looks as if we are “lumbered” with the slow moving Xhaka and the equally mediocre Mustafi.It will be interesting to see how long it takes Emery to dispense with the services of these two players.No doubt be will be influenced by their price tags initially but hopefully it will not take him too long to judge players purely on their performances on the pitch.

    1. Phil says:

      Grandad- I’m not too sure who would want to buy Mustafi and Xhaka.And If we did find a buyer just how much do you feel we will realistically get for them?.We reportedly paid around £35m for each of them and after their performances since they’ve been at The Arsenal I would not expect to recoup half of that.Emery has no choice but to stick with what he has this season and try to coach some performances out of them.I honestly don’t believe both players have played that badly this season although Xhaka proved in Cardiff he has a mistake in him every game.
      It’s a case of getting through this season and getting as far as we can in the League and Cups and see what money we get out of Kroenke for next season

      1. tas says:

        i have no complaints about Mustafi in the end of the last season and now his been playing well its players around him that is letting the defense down and causing panic, our left back and right back are never in the right place for defending they are used as wingers and don’t have enough time to recover for counter attacks and if you look back last season and few season before mostly we let in goals because of counter attack’s where defenders Bellerin Or Monreal always behind the opposition attack, they mostly get back but no time to focus and also i don’t like Zonal defending in our box we should be man to man marking players should know who to mark in set peaces according to their strength and height

        1. ozziegunner says:

          ?Lichtsteiner should start at RB and captain to bring leadership, experience, strength in the tackle, discipline and winning mentality to Arsenal’s defense.

  9. Grandad says:

    Agree Phil.We will have to bear with them this season unless our “esteemed” owner comes up with a meaningful case injection.Tas is entirely correct about the problems caused by the forays of our full backs.When Bellerin is attacking Montreal should be more of less in line with our centre backs and vice versa.

    1. Phil says:

      Cant disagree at all Grandad-we have been short of defensive discipline for over a decade both in quality of players and tactical awareness.I still believe we have good defenders at our Club (good but not great) but for some reason or another we always look so open.Better teams than Cardiff and West Ham would have scored a hatful against us but let’s not take nothing away from the fact we are a far better attacking force than we are defensive.As always it’s about the balance.Im sure if Emery wanted to put a team out in a 541 we would not concede as many.However we would not score that many either.
      It’s going to be an interesting transitional season that’s for sure

  10. Break-on-through says:

    The first real sign that I seen of our players coming round to Emery’s style football – Was that sweeping move down our right wing when Ramsey just couldn’t reach the ball whipped across goal. I’m sure yous know the move I’m talking about, one touch from each player with it totally ripping through the opposition defence. It was a PSG move, a little like a Barca move or a Wengerball one but different somehow. Maybe the ball whipped across first time is what made it different, Arsene would want someone using that space in behind defence to run with it. I thought Ramsey should have went with his head and dived forward for it, pity it didn’t get reached because it’d be a contender for goal of season for sure.

  11. herb says:

    The question of whether Arsenal need to play Torreira from the start is a simple one to answer. Non of the other players to play his position are good enough.

    On the positive side of things, I am really surprised that up until now, no one has come out to commend our centerbacks for cutting out setpiece and headed goals to a reasonable degree.

    Next, no one has come out to notice that Chelsea are these days starting an entire first 11 squad with non-english players. Kepa, Azipil, Rudiger, Alonso, Kante, Kovacic, Jorginho, Hazard, Pedro/WillianMorataIf it were Arsenal…..

    Anyway i encourage constructive analysis on this site and not sentimentality. Thank you.

  12. ozziegunner says:


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