It is very strange that Unai Emery kept the same starting line-up that we had in our last-gasp away win at Cardiff two weeks ago, as it seems that every game this season we have started very slowly and uncoordinated, but when the new coach finally makes his tactical changes, we improve drastically.
A lot of this could simply be because Torreira is always one of the players to come on of course, as it proved yet again yesterday. As Emery himself said after the game: “In the first half we didn’t control the match like we wanted to. Also, we needed that control to input our ideas. We conceded a lot of chances for transitions and counter-attacks, but not giving away major chances. They had a lot of corners and a lot of possibilities to arrive in our box. In the second half, the balance on the pitch was better – our positioning and when we were attacking we didn’t make the transition easy for us. I think the key is the first goal. This goal gave us the confidence to continue to improve in the match. We finished the match with the result.
“I want to give every player confidence. I am very happy with Matteo and also very happy with Lucas. Maybe in the second half we needed a little more balance on the pitch with the positioning. Lucas gives us this balance.”
So do you think Emery likes us to struggle before making the changes, or do you think he should be playing his best team from the start?