Is Emery right to slowly introduce Lucas Torreira into the Arsenal starting line-up?

Arsenal’s most important signing of the summer was the early acquisition of Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria, and it was a very shrewd bit of business to get him signed before he played in the World Cup, as he impressed everyone with his solid performances and we certainly would have had a lot more competition for his services at the end of the tournament.

But the Uruguayan is yet to start a game for the Gunners, despite looking very comfortable when he was on the pitch. It was inevitable that Unai Emery was going to be asked why he wasn’t an automatic starter yet. “He’s improving and getting to know his teammates.” the coach said. “For me, all the minutes he’s playing are very important for the performance. [He needs] to continue working. Every minute they are playing, they are [improving] their performances. It’s very important also for me to have another [option] in midfield. Matteo has started very well in the Premier League. Xhaka is very important for us and Elneny is working well every day. We need good players and good commitment when they are on the pitch. Lucas is like that.”

The fact is that Lucas was one of the last to join up with his team-mates in pre-season, and he is not just having to learn about his new team and our tactics, he also has to get used to a new language and a new city and the intensity of playing in the Premier League. It is very sensible of Emery to introduce him slowly and Torreira will be the better player for it in the end, no matter how much we all want to him to play the full 90 minutes in every game.

Sam P


  1. Aussie Jack says:

    Sounds like very good `common sense` to me, he`s not just a footballer he`s a human being and his emotions need to settle in a new environment.

    1. Nero says:

      I the best way to to be thrown into the deep end imo…you swim or sink..Lucas is a tough lad, he can’t sink…too much benching may erode his confidence

    2. Sam says:

      Emery bought Torreira when no one really knew about him. For that i give Emery credit that he knows where best he can use Torreira and how. The Advantage we have to play Xhaka is his height for aerial duels. Imargine the match without Xhaka and Auba the only tall players remaining will be our centre backs and maybe Guendouzi

  2. Icent says:

    Torreira and guendozi combination in the midfield would be explosive.. I can’t wait for their pairing in that centre park. I hope Emery stick to that..

  3. Otunba_007 says:

    Well I support the coach’s decision win or lose…. He’s till trying to know all his players strength and weakness, I won’t join the bad wagons in bashing him for his tactics, we are improving surely and we are not as bad as the media and some people paint us to be

  4. Patrick_G says:

    Just a thought….. if Laca must fight for his place… why cant Xhaka be dropped so he can fight for his place….because i dont think he deserves to be playing….. Elneny will be even better in that position….Xhaka is a Bournemouth/Watford level player in my opinion… he doesnt suite the EPL, he must go to Turkey or Germany….

    1. gotanidea says:

      I suspect it’s because Xhaka’s shining statistics

      His successful and number of passes are staggeringly good. Xhaka is another man of statistics, just like David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil

      Whereas we all know that he is not very mobile in the field. But he just made one fatal mistake in the last four EPL matches (as opposed to Guendouzi’s three grave errors) and his defensive stats must be very good

      1. McLovin says:

        Xhaka can’t tackle nor intercept. That’s why his defensive stats must he horrendous.

        He can pass alright. Just like Arteta and Flamini before him, he’s the master of back passes and sideway passes.

        Can Torreira’s lack of English be the reason? Maybe he can’t communicate well enough with others? He’s the only Spanish speaking player in our starting XI along with Bellerin and Monreal. I don’t know how much Özil understands it.

        1. Sue says:

          Cech can speak Spanish too…. think he speaks about 5 languages!

          1. McLovin says:

            Maybe Mustafi as well.

            Guess they are ALL taught the same English language though, would make it easier to communicate.

      2. Tidan says:

        What are you talking about. His stats aren’t good at all.

        He has the most passes, but is 6th in successful passes. He is also 6th in key passes. The only good thing he can do is long passes really.

        9th in interceptions, 3rd in tackles but 1st in fouls.

        And you count only one fatal mistake which is a joke because the guy probably gives away more goal scoring opportunities than he creates. (I count at least 1 per game even if they aren’t capitalised on)

      3. Lance says:

        Guendozie’s errors did not lead to a goal while Xhaka’s did.

    2. Goona says:

      i also suggested Elneny on one of the posts on FB and they laughed me out the park,it hurt me actually

  5. gotanidea says:

    Yes, Emery is right. For instance, Riyad Mahrez, Adama Traore and Max Meyer are also slowly introduced to their new teams

    The head coach can assess this because they work with the new players on daily basis, unlike us, the fans and the spectators

    That was also why some players are always subbed and the others seem to be the head coach’s favorites

  6. Jimmy Jazz says:

    I dont think its any coincedence that Lichsteiner, Leno and Torriera havnt started yet. Its just Emery’s way of telling the whole squad that it doesnt matter who you are you dont just walk into the Arsenal team. You can be the 2 biggest signings of the summer and a multi medal laden full back, you have to prove you’re worth the place. It wont be long before they get their chance, then its down to them to grab it.

    1. barryglik says:

      Yet Socratis and a 19 year old
      Guendouzi just walked into
      the starting X1.
      Emery is feeling his way game by game.
      He trusts some players to start while some come
      from the bench yet some others don’t play at all.
      There already seems to be an “A” 14 PL team and a “B” cups 12.

      1. Admin says:

        Sokratis and Guendouzi were with Emery for the full pre-season, right from the start..

        1. ancha says:

          Admin… I like your points

        2. Lance says:

          But Xhaka wasn’t with the team for the full preseason. How do you explain his starting role every week despite his poor showing?

  7. Sue says:

    Seeing what a difference he makes when he comes on, I thought he’d have started by now!!
    I’m hoping he will against Newcastle!

  8. Sean Williams says:

    I do think that Emery is doing this the right way. It’s clear that Emery is learning that Xhaka and Ozil compromise the team. Xhaka by mistakes, poor positioning, and poor energetics, Ozil because he cannot physically last a very intense game. My guess is that young Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas are going to be the future of our club. They are both craftsmen and will bring the future for us. At the moment Cech and his suicidal distribution is damaging the rhythm and control of our games. He has to go. I see the trio of Matteo, Lucas and Arron Ramsey will be our major midfield. With the great combination of Lacazette and Aubamayang we will be a dangerous team. Of course Bellerin and Mustafi need to find discipline and may not be solid enough defensively to enable us to challenge. I cannot even begin to criticise Natcho as he has turned into a really good asset and player. Next season I can see us making a challenge. I really rate both Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi. Along with Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson we have the basis of the future Arsenal.

    1. Angus says:

      What are you talking about? 1st 2 games Xhaka was poor got subbed and Torreira wasn’t any better so Xhaka kept his place. Last 2 games Guendouzi was poor so he got subbed. Torreira looked particularly good last game and will likely start over Guendouzi next time out as a result. Where is this nonsense that Emery is learning Xhaka compromises the team? He’s started him every game and he played the full 90 in the last two it’s the total opposite of what your saying. Ozil however may well be on thin ice right now particularly if Ramsey keeps performing the CAM role because he hasn’t had a good game yet. Lucky the Mhki had a bad game when he was out ill and didn’t do much off the bench at Cardiff either otherwise he’d likely end up the bench.

      I think Emery is giving the defensive players more slack with the new system as defence is more reliant on organisation and understanding the system. Otherwise Sokratis certainly and probably Cech/Bellerin would of be candidates for some rotation at least.

    2. Sarmmie says:

      Pls anytime you come to bash a player, base your points and opinion with FACTS, as in FACTS, don’t ignorantly blame a player you don’t like
      As for your poor positioning and energetics, Xhaka has made the most touches, passes for arsenal this season also he’s only been dispossessed once this season, he’s the 6th midfielder with the Highest no of passes and he would definitely be higher up on that list if he’d played all prrmirper league minutes like the others above him
      If his positioning was that bad, how was he able to receive the ball more than everybody else, if he opened up in the wrong places, how come he was dispossessed only once?
      Mate, pls base your points with FACTS, mind you all those stats are directly from EPL app

      1. GunnerJack says:

        Stats are pretty useless because they never take into account the quality or the context of the stat. For instance pass the ball back to Cech, putting him in trouble from an attacker and you still get a ‘pass’ added to your total. Similarly pass forward to one of our attackers who is man-marked by two opposition CBs and gets battered as soon as he touches the ball and you still get a ‘pass’ point. Wonderful.
        Apart from that Xhaka has been mediocre for ever and no amount of stats will ever change the mind of someone who uses his eyes and intelligence to see otherwise.

  9. tas says:

    i think Emary knows what his doing with Torreira ease him in don’t pile on the pressure of a new country,home,club,friends, food,and team mates every person or players are different, Emery may be making him hungry for the first eleven, no mater how much we on the outside think we know we are not there day in and day out to know players feelings like Ozil’s WTF is going on there? i suppose we wont know until he retires

  10. sydney says:

    Unai is still trying to know his best X1, and with time he will assemble a good team. Remember Arsene left a badly balanced team and it wont be easily fixed overnight but we appear to be headed in the right direction. Lets give Unai space and I see a number of average players offloaded in January and reinforcements in right positions.

  11. sydney says:

    Meanwhile looking forward to Torreira and Guendoz partnership with Bernd in goal. Berrelin should give way to Litchsteiner as he is not improving, poor defensively, poor crosses ,and he bomes forward too much leaving his position exposed ultimately forcing our center backs to cover for him thus leaving the defense exposed.

  12. Durand says:

    Emery said he’d rather win 4-3 than 1-0. So he’s likely not interested in a pure DM (unfortunately) and until Torreria shows more attacking qualities he probably will continue to come on as sub.

    Don’t think he gives a rip about solid defenses, cares more about organization and communication.
    Lichtsteiner fantastic defender, but Emery continues to start Bellerin who bombs forward and has shown no defensive improvement, despite all the time with Emery in training.

    I’m only going by Emery’s words and how he wants to continually attack. Pressing and possession are his preferred method over a solid and strong back 4.

    I’m sure others will disagree, but I’m basing my opinion on what Emery said, and how the team has been “organized” and how they play; it actually explains why team looks unbalanced still.

    1. Sue says:

      As our attacking Is so much better than our defending.. I think we’ll have a lot more 3-2’s, 4-3’s!!
      We’d better get used to the roller coaster of emotions every week! Up then down, happy then angry, buzzing then deflated! Like you said the other day Durand – our matches aren’t for the faint of heart!!

    2. ozziegunner says:

      Durand, I hope you are wrong, because even with both Aubameyang and Lacazette firing and other players chipping in, Arsenal can’t score enough goals to cover for an indisciplined leaking defense.
      As has been discussed previously Arsenal has been waiting for a proper DM since Gilbert Silva left; Arsenal now have one in Lucas Torreira.
      Also Arsenal has been crying out for a leader for the defense and now have one in Stephan Lichtsteiner. The Arsenal defense should improve greatly once Emery decides to start both players.

  13. Trudeau says:

    I’m sure Torreira will be a nailed on starter before long and equally sure that he will make his fellow deep midfielder better (my bet is that it will be Xhaka at least until Christmas) and offer more protection for our CBs.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Trudeau, I agree with you. Xhaka is not a DM; however each time Xhaka has played with Torreira as DM and Xhaka in a more advanced role his performances have markedly improved.

    2. Angus says:

      I don’t think anyone will be nailed on which is a good thing. Emery has been stubborn with the defence but it’s a fair argument to say with the new system the defence should be given more time before players get rotated left and right. Seems fairly pragmatic.

  14. Grandad says:

    Wise words Sean Williams.I know we slag off TV and Radio pundits with some justification but most of them have played at a high level and to my knowledge, not one rates Xhaka.We are getting carried away with stats, playing from the back, high pressing etc.At the end of the day fans will be happy if their team is winning.

    1. GunnerJack says:

      . . . pundits . . . not one rates Xhaka – and some of them actively give him the stick he deserves! Gary Neville labelled him (and Ramsey) a disgrace in the cup final. I agreed. Not much changed since so I’ve no idea what Emery sees in him.

  15. achaks says:

    The most annoying thing in the arsenal team is how Ramsey is misplacing passes in the no.10 role. Xhaka needs to improve his mobility, tackles and ability to hold unto d ball strongly. Guandouzi will be a monster in d pack by next year. Tourerra should play too. Mikitariyan, ozil and iwobi should fight for the no. 10 role. While welback should start some matches too.

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