Why doesn’t Arsenal play Guendouzi and Torreira together?

There is much being made of Arsenal’s new 19 year-old midfielder Matteo Guendouzi keeping Lucas Torreira on the bench for our opening four games, despite the Uruguayan being our most expensive acquisition this summer. Guendouzi himself believes that he is getting the nod because of his consistency in pre-season while Lucas was recovering from the World Cup. Guendouzi said: “I had a good pre-season, I was illustrated during the preparation matches in Singapore.

“I think it weighed in the balance and it gave me the opportunity to start the league games.

“I knew how to answer this. It’s up to me to keep working so that the team can win as many games as possible.

“In any case, at Arsenal, I have everything to progress. And we have everything to make a great season.”

What I don’t understand is the reason we can’t play BOTH of them from the start. Torreira is yet to play 90 minutes this season and again only played half of Uruguay’s friendly against Mexico at the weekend. we were worried he was injured but his manager reassured us. Fabian Coito said: ‘I took Torreira out as a precaution.’ before adding that the midfielder had complained that his calf had felt a bit tight during the first half.

He has obviously recovered now according to the training pics seen yesterday, so why can’t we see both Matteo and Lucas start together on Saturday and see if we can help our leaky defence?



  1. Declan says:

    It’s not Guendouzi keeping Torriera out, it’s Xhaka for some inexplicable reason.

  2. Sue says:

    I’m glad Torreira is ok & back in training. I would love to see him start on Saturday

  3. Paulista says:

    Cant wait to see both of them starting games together.

  4. Roshan says:

    I want to see Xhaka and Torreira first. I want to know why he plays so much better for Switzerland and not for us. Is it because he has a proper DM alongside him? If this is the case play him without torreira.

    If he is still bad. Then can’t see Guendouzi and Torreira being a bad combo.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Roshan, I agree. Xhaka is not a DM. Playing Xhaka with Torreira as the DM will allow Xhaka to play a similar deep lying playmaker role for Arsenal as he does for Switzerland.

      1. But Xhaka was a DM yesterday versus England. Moreover, a deep lying playmaker is simply a fancy term for a DM that can pass…and as we have seen Torreira can do that much better than the calamitous Xhaka. We need to ask ourselves what we really want from our DM, to defend or to create. If it’s to defend Xhaka is not the man, thus, Xhaka in my opinion should be a CM and subsequently we cannot start a team full of CMs (Guendozi, Xhaka, Ramsey) and no DM (Torreira).

        1. iffybright says:

          He doesn’t have the footwork nor the skills to beat a man in tight spaces just like Santi, pogba Silva Modric Naby Keita and so because of this factors, it will be terrible for Emery to play him upfield…..

          Another factor, is that he doesn’t have a Football brain…
          We need Skillful ,Tenacious and ball playing Central Midfielders…..

          Xhaka, Ramsey and Ozil are shit and overrated

          1. I think Xhaka may possibly excel if he were the designated CM in a 4-2-3-1 formation ike Toni Kroos who with a similar slow, immobile style has done. However, I realise Xhaka is no Toni Kroos thus I think a 4-3-3 formation with Xhaka one of the 2 CMs would work out well for him. He wouldn’t have to attack all the time or defend all the time as a single CM would like Santi Cazorla did.

        2. Midkemma says:

          A deep lying playmaker isn’t a DM, a DM is a DM, ever wondered why a DLP and DM have different names?

          One is a defensive mid, the other is a mid who sits deep to help dictate the game play, they can overlap but they are not the same… Otherwise it would be called the same thing.

          You said Xhaka is a CM in your opinion, that CM is kinda right but he sits deeper than normal… It is what makes a DLP different to CM. They are usually sitting deep alongside a DM.

          GK Line: Cech
          DEF LINE: Lich-Mustafi-Sokratis-Monreal
          Deep CM: Torreira – Xhaka
          AM: Mkhi – Ozil – Auba
          CF: Laca

          That is an easy way to show what I mean, Xhaka is sitting deep but he isn’t the DM, Torreira would be the DM and Xhaka should be offering Torreira and the CB passing options constantly so they always have a man to pass to.

          1. A deep lying playmaker IS a DM! No way you can tell me a deep lying playmaker who is a CM will sit behind a defensive midfielder..because that is normally where deep lying playmakers are found, behind everybody bar the defenders! So how can a CM sit behind a DM? Guys like Andrea Pirlo and Marco Verratti were DMs who were good at linking the defence and the attack hence were branded “deep lying playmakers”.They sat behind everyone else. They are simply DMs good at distribution. A very good DM with good passing will inevitably be branded a deep lying playmaker.

          2. Midkemma says:

            A DM is a DM, we have a name for it already.
            If you wish to call DMs DLP or CF a GK then that is your choice.

            I never said a DLP is a CM, you have so stop strawmanning it.

            Verratti is a CM who can defend, that doesn’t make him the DM, heck even Emery didn’t play Verratti as the deepest player, it was Motta.
            When we have been looking at Rabiot, some people was saying “Oooh a DM.” So I guess Rabiot is a DM, Verratti is a DM, Motta is a DM… Emery plays with 3DMs.

            I also think you get DM and def minded B2B mixed up. The player who sits AHEAD of a DLP and is pressing from the moment the opposition gets the ball doesn’t make them a DM, they could very well be like Vieira who wasn’t a DM when he had Gilberto next to him but he was tough like one and defended further forward… He wasn’t a DM like Gilberto though.

            Oh and a DM with very good passing be called a DM, some players can DO MULTIPLE ROLES so they could fill the DLP at THE SAME TIME.

            These players are usually desired by the best to play in that deep role and act as a DM who can also play the DLP. Or vise versa. It doesn’t make them the same type of role though.

            Actually, after typing all that, I think I got it!
            Anyone who has attempted to make a tackle is a DM right?

          3. Not sure why you felt you had to take the patronizing route with me but here are my thoughts nonetheless. A proper DM must be capable of breaking attacks at the back and regaining possession. A DM once he regains possession, must through good vision, pass the ball either to the wings spreading play or to the fowards initiating attacks. He is therefore playmaking and will be called a deep lying playmaker. You may choose to decorate or complicate it but the reality is a DM and a deep lying playmaker are the same thing. If a DM can defend but is unable to pass with vision then he probably should be playing as a CB rather than a DM.That is why I say, any DM that passes well will eventually be branded a DLP.

          4. Midkemma says:

            DM = Nzonzi/Coquelin.
            DLP = Xhaka/Cazorla(in his later years with us)

            Difference is clear.

            Some players can do both and those are sought after (Xabi Alonso type), that doesn’t make the role interchangeable though, they are different and as such have different names.

            In regards to the passing, it is like I said in regards to tackling, every player needs to be able to do it under Emery for Emeryball to work. Ramsey needs to put his foot in, Ozil does, Mkhi and Guendouzi… Not forgetting Xhaka as well.

            They are not all DMs because they should be tackling, like a DM isn’t a DLP just cause he can pass the ball.

            Coquelin was a DM, not a DLP. Just have a loot at the praise he got for his def work while slated for moving the ball forward, he lacked the DLP abilities but he was still a top DM. Proven when he had a top playmaker who was positioned DEEP to play ALONGSIDE him (Cazorla).

            It is simple tactics in the end. You want the deep lying CM to do what role? A position on the pitch doesn’t mean they will play a role, tactics come into play and different areas on the pitch can lead to different ‘jobs’ depending on the tactics.

          5. ozziegunner says:

            QD, I’m with Midkemma on this one; Xhaka as DLP would play in front of Torreira as DM to assist Torreira defensively (provides height) but also an outlet driving forward with his passing ability.

          6. jon fox says:

            I am with anyone who thinks the dreadful, cumbersome, non aware and slow Xhaka should be NOWHERE NEAR Arsenal. He is not a player of quality at all, no matter where he plays. He is crap and let us be honest about that instead of a foolish positional slanging match. His best position? Anywhere away from Arsenal!

    2. Jeff says:

      According to statistics,Xhaka have the most forward pass in our team and he also rank 6th in entire division.We will miss his forward pass once he’s been substitute out so it’s not wise to left him out.Ozil forward pass is just half of Xhaka passes.But his sprint record is so low means he is not athlete enough to be a defensive midfield because he is poor in tackling and fail to track back.He need a proper defensive midfield beside him and let him play more advance between them.Break up play in higher area and conceded less foul in dangerous area.

  5. Innit says:

    Sounds good to me
    I like both

  6. Innit says:

    What I like about Xhaka is that his name begins with “X”. That is unusual.
    We have a Z with Zelalem
    Would be nice to have a Q and Y
    Also I , O and U would be cool too

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Unfortunately Innit there isn’t 26 players in the team, but maybe Arsenal can cover the whole alphabet across the full squad? ??

    2. jon fox says:

      Is this the level of debate we have now reached? Oh dear!

  7. Alldwayfromafrica says:

    Hahaha…crazy innit….quicy promes would have been cool for us giving our lack of wingers….youri teilemans also got madt potential but we got enough in the middle….we already have ozil for O….don’t know anyone starting with I or u

  8. Famouxo says:

    I for iwobi
    I always watch Xhaka for Switzerland that guy is a monster midfielder for the switz ,but why is he not flourishing in Arsenal I think he need a proper DM to play along

  9. ks-gunner says:

    Xhaka is not that bad as people make him out to be. Due of him being miss used by Wenger for to long Fans have won an image of him they hardly cant lose now. I do trust Emery. He knows what good for us.

    I am against over reacting and overrating youngsters. In the end we fans become monsters when they stop performing according to our expectation. Therefor for me Xhaka and Toerriera should start.

  10. gearoid de burca says:

    the old saying of if a player is good enough then he can play anywhere on the pitch rings through here.

    1. Phil says:

      Not too sure about that- I would not want Cech as our Creative Midfielder after watching his footwork of this season.
      I understand what you are saying but probably the word versatility comes to mind.We have seen Ramsey wide and it doesn’t help him or us.Same with Ozil.Santi was played wide when he first came to the Club if anyone care to remember and he was just not cut out for that position.Of you didn’t play him centrally then you would never get the best from him and surely that is the Managers responsibility is it not?
      Let’s take a 3 man midfield.Depending on the width up front we would have One deep lying Defensive minded player,One Central playmaker and One box to box player.Which means two of our front three must either offer or cover the width.If we rely on our Two full backs for the width( which seems to be the case at the moment) Zthen the responsibility to cover must come from midfield-which means Two Defensive minded players.
      I believe Emery wants versatility and movement from and in front of his midfield which his system is designed to offer-its just not there yet.
      And as for a Versatile Player I would suggest AMN is the only one in the squad who can cover both full back positions and also midfield.But it is all sounding a bit square plugs in round holes and Wenger found to his cost this would never work.
      If Citeh are the benchmark we are aiming at let’s remember they won NOTHING in Peps first season and they took time to gel to his system.Lets not expect Emery to get everything sorted overnight especially as we will never have the funds Citeh threw at their problem areas.
      But also let’s remember that we are with a Manager who has recognised a change in system was required and seems to at least identified what is needed.

      1. Gab says:

        I like your analysis. Always look forward to it when issues like this are are discussed.

        1. ozziegunner says:


  11. ddkingz says:

    we should keep faith in xhaka and hopes he improve

  12. Chabaloah says:

    Torreira did not have a pre season and is probably not match fit just yet. The country did not play him as he had a slight issue with his calf, he could be nursing that calf much like lacazette was nursing an injury for half of last season without our knowledge.

    We are probably being precautions especially seeing as our training has intensified, it would be unwise to over exert a player both off and on the pitch, lacazette, Danny Welbeck, both have had long term injuries and over working them isn’t always good especially going into winter when the games pile up.

    Xhaka has the most forward passes in our team and I think he needs to be paired with a real DM, although his mobility is an issue, he improved once torreira came on.

  13. ade says:

    Our team plays more matually with stability whenever xhaka n torriera r playing together this season so far.

  14. ackshay says:

    xhaka is a good player but he simply isn’t suited for our team, in wenger team he was the lone dm protecting the cb which he cannot and for emery he lacks the physically speed to press or the speed of thought to position himself better to compensate for his lack of speed.

    Cazorla was a slow player but his quick reactions, ability to dribble in close spaces plus his incredible footballing brain allowed him to have a head start over most opponent. So it hide his weakness.

    Ramsey, guendouzi, torreira is our midfield for the season. ramsey is the attacking one, torreira is the fast dm with good close control dribble and guendouzi is a mix of hardworking defensive player with good passing plus he rarely loses his cool.

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