Saturday, February 4, 2023

Emery: Torreira can play further up the pitch

Unai Emery insists that Lucas Torreira is a very important member of his squad and stressed that the Uruguayan doesn’t always need to anchor Arsenal’s midfield to be useful.

Eyebrows have been raised at the fact the Uruguayan has only started twice in the Premier League this season with Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka seemingly the Spaniard’s first choice midfield duo.

Torreira has made five further appearances off the bench in the league, often in a more advanced position; a decision that Emery says he’s made in consultation with the 23-year-old.

“He is playing,” Emery said of Torreira ahead of Crystal Palace’s visit to the Emirates.

“I think he is very important for us. We are sharing and changing some matches with the midfielders like Guendouzi.

“I am very happy with him and we need him. Then we use different structures in different matches and he has confidence. I was speaking with him about his best position to help us in our shape.

“It depends on the shape. Last season his best position was playing as a deep midfield two alongside Xhaka or Matteo.

“This year we are playing also sometimes with just one and he can achieve with his quality to get to the box and get closer to score. He is very intelligent about getting space around the box and taking chances.

“Then also, when we prepare the team to do high pressing, for us he is very important because he is very intelligent tactically, but he can play in the two positions. [Either as] one of the two midfielders [or] he can play higher for the pressing and to get into the box.

“Sometimes we also use him as a one-man in midfield doing the covering for the two other players ahead.”

Given that this time last year, Torreira was earning plaudits for the way he was marshalling the midfield from a deep position – a role he was signed to do – it seems a little strange that we’re now trying to use him in a more advanced position where he’s deemed a goal threat. All the more so, when you consider we have Joe Willock, Dani Ceballos and the (purposefully ignored) Mesut Ozil within our ranks.

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This is a worse tactical decision than when Sarri had started playing Kante further up and Jorginho behind. Torreira flourishes in the anchor role with his tenacity – against Vitoria I noticed he was keeping the ball too much before releasing whereas last season he would release it faster after dispossessing the opposition. I don’t know what this clueless bum of a manager has in mind but he has clearly lost the plot if he ignores an established #10 we already have. Why make things more difficult for yourself, this isn’t like when Xhaka had to play at LWB/LB due… Read more »


Another thing: Unai mentions pressing higher up the pitch. Higher up the pitch there are naturally fewer Arsenal players and you’d want someone with pace like Gabi, Auba or Pepe Pressing up top. I love Torreira and want him in the starting XI always but he lacks pace for all that Emery mentions, also he may be tactically intelligent but that leaves other players who are proven in this position as utterly redundant

SB Still

Its usually bad enough when the manager and one of the star players go head to head. However, its these kind of muddled tactics that has Emery under pressure with bad performances and results. The PL performance and results are sub-par for this squad, as it can be seen from the performance and results in EL. Torreira is one of the obvious answers to shore up the defence. He is not the whole solution but can be a very useful part. Playing him further upfront only makes us more toothless in attack and it’s not Torreira’s fault. Many managers have… Read more »

Viva La Prof

If we lose today I think the players might turn against him.. we really must win


It looks like they already have

Whatever he is trying to do it clearly isn’t working

Johnny 4 Hats

Its a good job so many people know more about football than Emery as it’ll be easy to replace him. I see the words but all I hear is rabble rabble rabble.


I know when i see ‘isn’t working’. I think most of us do.


I think he’s definitely trying to emulate what Sarri did with Kante, and that was eventually successful in the end, but there are a few issues with it. First is that Kante actually started his career as a winger and is more technically adapted to playing an attacking role than Torreira, especially with his pace and dribbling skills. I’m not sure Torreira really has the skills to excel in the final third. The second is that whereas Chelsea had Jorginho behind who is adapt at moving the ball quickly and getting it in between the lines, we have Xhaka who’s… Read more »

wright gangsta

Ohh, I would love to see that midfield so much…… I think the main problem in our team currently is midfield, because having Holding and Sokratis as main CBs, with Chambers, Luiz and Mustafi as back up, is actually quite a formidable assortment of central defenders. And the main problem arises from the fact that while we have decent utility players in midfield, we lack playmaking. Only Ceballos is someone who is actively looking for 1-2s in midfield and makes runs to create space. But he gets handicapped, because if we win the ball back in transition, then usually it… Read more »


We have had issues at fullback as well but assuming Emery is sensible, which is not a given, I think we’ll be fine there when everyone is fully fit. Midfield is a bigger worry because the players are fit and available but Emery is choosing to play in a way that makes us less competitive/creative/stable/etc. Unless he majorly changes tac it looks like it’s going to be Xhaka, Guendouzi, +1 for the foreseeable future.


How dynamic were Guendouzi – Torreira – Ceballos when they played together on Thursday? This combination might jell, and hopefully it does, but they did not show much on the attack against Vittorio. Agreed, that the other issue here is the continued use of Xhaka, who seems to be the “experienced” one in the midfield picture besides Emery’s talisman. Say what we will about Emery, (and of course we say a lot!), but this part of the team will be an albatross for him all year.


@Oregoon your reply isn’t fair. Partnerships aren’t built after one game, they take time. Guendouzi, Torreira and Ceballos were only on the pitch at the same time for 45 minutes. Our midfield is constantly chopped and changed.


Beyond that, Torreira is the only defensive minded midfielder in this team. By that I mean, while we have the ball in the final third, the natural instinct of players like Ceballos, Willock, Xhaka and Guendouzi is: how can I position myself to help the team score this goal. Whether it’s a late run into the box, overlapping the winger, or placing yourself outside the box to pass or shoot. When you watch Torreira in those situations, you see that his mindset is: if we lose the ball right now, how do I position myself to either win the ball… Read more »


Thank you, we bow to your superior knowledge, Pakgooner. Just so we lowly minions can keep up, which teams did you coach to national glory? Since you have experience with technical terms like “clueless bum” (so distinguished you are to use such language), I imagine you can also give us more insight into the intricacies of top-level management?


its controversial but i kind of see where emery is coming from here, i dont see why torrieras aggression, electric decision making and hunger cant be used further forward. HOWEVER… this kind of tinkering and experimentation should realistically be reserved for when the team is playing harmoniously, and right now that just isn’t the case


Just because he can doesn’t mean he necessarily should.

Damo Dinkum

I’m pretty sure I can walk down to the shops in my undies, but that doesn’t mean it’s a role that I’m best suited to.

The Kolkata Gooner

Especially when he is primarily a DM, and we happen to be without a proper DM. And especially when there are other attacking players available further up the pitch.


Yeah sure, and while you’re at it, put Luiz centre forward, Pepe defensive mid, Lacazette and Aubameyang as centre back and Guendouzi in goals while you’re at it ??‍♂️


His best position is RW

A Gorilla

He’s going to start wearing pants on his head and sticking pencils up his nose soon. Madness




Say what? Are you being respectful?


Lucas, be very careful! Your coach already said “We need him” when talking about the Ö.


Rubbish. Torreira doesnt not have the skillset to play further up front. He is actually pretty poor when he is under pressure with the ball and generally falls over to try winning free kicks. He is not creative, he doesnt link play, he’s not a great dribbler. What he is good at is closing down opponents, getting his foot in, breaking up play and harassing players that dwell on the ball. All these skills are best suited to a screening midfielder.


He won the freekick for Pepe. So much ignorance on this site.


Vermealen scored bullet headers, should we have played him as a forward then?


He scored a good goal last year pressubg ol plsyibg a nun ber ten area against i St spurs last season v spurs last season also


While I don’t think he’s as bad going forward as you’re describing (I remember some nicely taken goals last year), but it’s like the manager saying let’s try Martinelli at centreback now because he can head it a bit. You could, but you’d be an idiot if you did.

Henry XIV

Fancy Emi Martinez at DM?


Will take massive flak for this..

But I actually think he could work there despite looking bewildered there so far and if it worked it would help us massively with pressing from the front and defending in midfield so I understand what he is looking for. The question is why he is played there while we have an obvious problem in the actual position that he does already master?


He has many of the tools for the position, although I’d like him to score more goals. It’s terrific to have an aggressive player like Torreira pressing right at the top, and his close control is ideal for the position.


Not sure why this has gotten so many downvotes, you’re absolutely right, it really could work. Sarri did it with Kante and more recently, Klopp with Henderson.

But we already have players that are better suited to no.8 (Ceballos, Guendouzi, Willock, maybe even AMN), plus he’s our best DM which is a massive problem position for us. And we haven’t yet figured out how to press as a team, which makes Torreira totally redundant higher up the pitch.

Cygans parting

Fuck it Unai, why not stick him in goal instead!!!……
I reckon he’d be fantastic and David Ospina wasn’t much taller.


I look back on the Wenger reign and think to myself they were truly the best of times. I am tired of commenting on Emery – everything that could be said has been said. What I do remember under Wenger was thinking games like those today were games when we would talk about how many we would score. I don’t have any confidence of us winning today – In fact, if I were a betting man I would put money on an away win. This is the worse team and manager in the thirty years I have been following the… Read more »

Public Elneny

Most of our squad is high quality and committed. I don’t see this lack of fight you mention (especially since Ozil’s been dropped).

It’s all down to Emery

Public Elneny

*Should probably clarify our awful football and mediocre results are 90+% Emery’s fault

John C

Joker, Wenger’s last 2 seasons were magnitudes worse just people have short memories.

We’ve played 9 league games, have 5 new players and are playing with a different formation, grown up people, result and performances won’t/don’t come immediately.

Olivije Žirod

2016/17 was not a bad season but a bad two months. We played the best football since 2009-2010. The last Wenger’s season was an anomaly. We were really bad away in the 2nd half of the season but we also gave up and went for a Europa League. Nevertheless, we were superb at home for the whole season. It was a confidence issue. Not saying Wenger would repaired it but we would never again be worse under him if he stayed. It was a weird season. We changed a lot of players in the summer who have been an important… Read more »

John C

Deary me, you’re clearly an Wenger fan not an Arsenal one. Wenger’s last season was the result of 10 years of bad management that is going to take several years to fix, is that not patently clear?!? In those 10 years we lost our fighting spirit, our drive, our ambition and replaced it with a culture of complacency, coasting and a lack of accountability. Is Emery the man to fix it? I don’t know, but I’m not going to judge him on 9 games considering the shower of shit he was left with. I don’t count last season as it… Read more »

Pete Strong

You miss this?

A Stoke 0-1
A Liverpool 0-4
A Watford 1-2
A Man City 1-3
A FC Koln 0-1
H Man Utd 1-3
A Nottm Forest 2-4
A Bournemouth 1-2
A Swansea 1-3
A Tottenham 0-1
H Ostersunds FK 1-2
N ManCity 0-3
H Man City 0-3
A Brighton 1-2
A Newcastle 1-2
A Man Utd 1-2
A Atletico Madrid 0-1
A Leicester 1-3
A Huddersfield 1-0

Olivije Žirod

I mentioned that we were very bad in away games, didn’t I?

John C

Under Wenger we would never have lost to a team like Sheffield Utd away, instead we would lose at home to part timers like Ostersunds instead!!

Forget about it

A thumbing conundrum that is.

Be good

Although you’re right, you’re currently [email protected] with the agenda!
It’s much preferred if you leave the facts out of your comments.

Public Elneny

Why do people feel the need to stan for one side or another in these unnecessary match ups between individuals?

Emery vs Latter-period Wenger, Emery vs Latter-period Ozil, Latter-period Ozil vs Xhaka, etc…

They are all/were all shite, end of.

John C

It’s called context

Public Elneny

You’re almost as baffling as Emery himself

John C

Only to someone who doesn’t understand English


Brendon Rodgers’ Leicester springs to mind.

You can have results and performances pointing in the right trajectory if the manager knows what he’s doing.

How long should we give this Unai fellow before our protests and criticisms can be viewed as objective?

John C

Leicester were champions 3 seasons ago, retain several of that squad and have been well run for a number of years, none of those things are applicable to Arsenal, so that’s your starting point.

Personally I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve seen half a dozen league games with our strongest starting eleven, including Bellerin, Tierney and Lacazette as well as Pepe more used to his new environment. I think of those things occurs and we don’t see positive signs by the new year then I think it’s fair game to start to wonder if he knows what he’s doing.


I said it years ago, I will say it again now. C stands for Cunt.

Henry XIV

Will just chill out reading comments.

Forget about it

There’s no C in John Terry and yet …

John C

I said it years ago AP stands for A Prick


But hes a our best defensive mid. So why the fuck would we want too?


Damnit, Emery! The faster you are out, the better!


I don’t see a problem with Torreira playing in front of Xhaka + Guendouzi in certain games away from home.

Zaha up against Chambers is a worry today, Chambers certainly isn’t the best one on one defender.

Palace will likely put 5 across the midfield, hopefully we can get an early goal and then force them into becoming a little more ambitious.

mEmery Gland

Are you god?


Yeah and Martinelli is better on the wing, Xhaka is the best midfielder at the club and Leno is Pirlo’s spirit animal.


I just can’t understand what emery is doing with some players. I do think we have the players to have a competitive team that should be getting 3rd place but confusing tactics and line ups are stopping us progress.


And when he gets beat, that leaves a whole lotta space between out attack and defense. Wait a second, Kante really excelled there too, right?


I can stick my fingers in the socket and turn it on. Doesn’t make it a good idea though…

Public Elneny

I wish I had some insight into the way Emery sees football!

He doesn’t seem to fit any of the typical schools of thought that most managers – even some of the best ones – neatly align to. He’s clearly not dogmatic and is an independent thinker. But the solutions he comes up with are just nonsense. Totally bewildering man!

John C

Emery’s the manager and it’s his prerogative to experiment with his squad to see what works. Imagine if Wenger hadn’t persisted with playing a winger up front when things didn’t go immediately to plan?!

Public Elneny

Henry had the raw ingredients to be a phenomenal centre forward.

Torreira doesn’t have the athleticism or creativity to be a ball-winning/box-to-box/no. 10/hybrid whatever – leave that to Guendouzi and Willock. But he does have the skillset to be a very good pure defensive midfielder, something we lack

There’s only value in experimentation if the result is ever likely to be good!

John C

Says you the professional chat room commentator.

He has the right to try, we’ve played 9 league games, it’s perfectly possible that he’ll start him at the base of midfield today. 2 league starts in that position is hardly the greatest sample size to garner what his intentions are, are they?

Public Elneny

Erm I think this is the 1st article I’ve commented on in at least a month!?

He has the right to try whatever bullshit he pleases – just as us fans have the right to criticise, and the board have the right to sack him for it

Do you also believe a country’s citizens country shouldn’t criticise it’s government? Stop worshipping authority

And true, I can only garner what his intentions were re Lucas for those 2 league starts (plus 4 cup starts), and they were pretty dumb.

John C

My apologies, I forget that I’m often replying to people whose first language isn’t English. No one is above criticism, however before I criticise I like to give people a fair crack of the whip and not make knee Kirk reactions. Following Wenger was always going to be difficult, especially given the cult like status and fanatical support he acquired over the past 2 decades, his replacement was always going to be harshly treated. As I’ve said before, the sooner he accepts one of these many supposed job offers he’s received and takes Ozil with him the sooner we can… Read more »


Hopefully, you will get thrown out on your ear with Emery when he gets sacked!

John C

And whose going to do that?

Viva La Prof

It is unfair for him that he had to follow Wenger, that’s a huge shadow to try and shine under. But he’d rather play an exciting Tenacious dm that we were crying out for as a number 10 while leaving Mesut Özil sitting at home. he’s had time, money, and chances. All smoke and no chicken.

John C

Nah, managers are supposed to leave a club in a better position than they found it and Wenger, through his own arrogance and hubris left us demonstrably worse.

Henry XIV

I read it earlier above. Someone mentions C is for Cunt.
I get it. Yep, understood. Umm hmm. I see it.


Sounds a lot like a person who doesn’t know how to use his players. After 18 months, how can a coach still be asking his players which position suits them?


Anything to not use Özil. Before we know it David Luiz will be playing the no 9 role. Unai literally wasting one of our best attacking set of players we’ve ever had. Joke of a manager. Someone needs to tell him we’re the Arsenal and not Sevilla.


This is all about Xhaka, Emery knows that he needs Guendouzi in the team which means that if Torreira plays in his natural position, then Xhaka sits on the bench. He doesn’t want to lose Torreira so he tries to fit him in just about anywhere and as he won’t play Ozil, he considers that position up for grabs. It’s like a kind of madness

Olivije Žirod

Or it is about Guendouzi as he is Emery’s favourite? Xhaka is the only one with positional discipline. If we played Torreira-Guendouzi then who will cover them. They are all over the place. For me Xhaka-Torreira is still our best pair.


If Henderson can play on the right of a midfield three with a DM in the middle, I don’t know why we can’t play Torreira at DM, and Xhaka in the right-hand CM position, if Emery is so desperate to have him in the XI. I don’t think there’s much to choose between Xhaka and Henderson. Of course Klopp is a brilliant manager, there’s that….

Cultured determination

Emery is a genius playing torreira as the box to box player. What a brilliant move by the manager. In fact he’s playiny him in his 2nd best position. Torreira’s real best position is in GK since he can close down and has fast reactions. He can save the opponent’s shot, boot it upfield andose the ball. Run up and intercept, play. Through pasa and burst into the box for the rebound. This is the problem with today’s manager. Thinka too much. Act too smart. Football is simple. Really. Leno in gk. Bellerin theirny fullbacks. Holding sokratis/luiz cb. Torreira anchorman.… Read more »


oh you crazy, common sense talking fool…


Ozil the savior. He will solve all our problems. In a same way like last 4 seasons.


I’m really starting to wonder about Emery, thought it was a great appointment but I remember someone saying he was the Spanish tinker man at the time. Well now we can see that he is a fiddler tinker man!!


Yawn, sounds like a manager clutching at straws to me.

Clearly no tactics, no plan, no clue and very soon no job!

Jack but

Getting Emery sacked, I wish we can sort that sooner rather later

Licor de Avellanas

Didn’t Bouldy say at some point last season that Laca can play anywhere across the front line and even the number 10 position? And that he was bloody good from there too!
It would mean we could keep Auba as central striker, Saka or Martinelli on the left and Pepe on the right.
Lethal, no?
Doesn’t solve how we drop Xhaka though ?


I figured as much going by this season’s shit show. So, OK, now he’s officially lost his mind. I give up, the guy’s clueless. Torreira is horrible further up and we suffer greatly when it happens.


Oh ffs, the guy’s making this comment as if Torreira’s capable of playing there as an emergency option. When what’s actually going on is that we now play Torreira exclusively as a number 10 (because… pressing?). Was at the game on Thursday, and watching our midfield function with this weird, muddled set-up was just pitiful. Emery makes me laugh too, Mesut. But for all the wrong reasons.

Jean Ralphio

Why can’t we just play players in their best positions? Emery still experimenting after over a year of having this squad. Baffling.

Be good

“ Given that this time last year, Torreira was earning plaudits for the way he was marshalling the midfield from a deep position”

Honestly, I’d rather we limit him to this role for now – much prefer that to using Xhaka.

Saying that, I read somewhere that he functioned as a Forward, a pseudo supporting striker, before being converted by his last coach.
Does he have one of the better strike rates among our midfielders in training?
Could this have something to do with his selection in the advanced position?




Clueless. Can’t wait for him to leave. But this sounds to me like he wants to use torr in front of guen and xhaka today, as this hardworking no 10 he so desperately wants.


Pete Strong

The problem is when Torreira plays as a deep-lying DM it doesn’t stop Arsenal conceding goals. He started in nearly all of Arsenal’s heavy defeats last season so maybe Emery prefers to create a new role for him where he presses high to stop opposition getting out. May or may not work, but it’s worth experimenting with.

Wenger on the other hand was a tactical dimwit who banged his head against a brick wall playing the same brainless system every week whether it was against Barcelona or Blackpool. We should be glad those days are gone, Emery out or not.

Cacio e Nico Pepe

I have no doubt that he can play further up. Not unlike how I can also join the Cirque the Soleil and break my break but won’t. Play the man in his position! Let him snarl/snap around instead of punting half-volleys into the stand.

Cacio e Nico Pepe

*Cirque du Soleil

Mark WahlBergkamp

*Kirk do Solay

I do oh so love our little Lucas.
I often wonder if Wenger had this current squad of players how he’d get on.
Not tryna start anything just a thought I often think.


No he can’t


I’m backing Emery on this one, as usual. He sees and knows the players better than any single person on this site. Lots of armchair experts around this joint 🙂


If Emery is determined to play Xhaka and Guendouzi, as well as a more defensive 3 man midfield, I dont understand why he doesnt just use Torriera in the middle with the other two flanking him. Lets all 3 do the things theyre good at. Torreira can tackle and recycle, Guendouzi can drive with the ball knowing hes covered and Xhaka can wave that left foot around.

Ok, it doesnt solve the creativity issue, but it fits the plan Emery seems to want to adopt. Can only assume he just doesnt favour the kid.

Wilsheres Middle Finger

More unnecessery confusing and contradictory nonsense from Emery.

Can’t wait for another higgledy-piggledy, timid performance v Palace today. All hopes pinned on Guendouzi’s penetrating runs in the last 15 mins or a moment of individual excellence from Auba.

Thierry Bergkamp

Emery doesn’t have a clue




“He is playing”… with his balls maybe. Emery is playing with our patience and with the values of The Arsenal


I can play golf in a thunder storm, it does not mean I should.


Torreira as our effing number 10, just get a Taxi for Unai, I have seen it all now


He ‘can’ play in goal. Doesn’t mean he should.

Anders Limpar

Bitch be high! #EmeryOut

tanned arse

I’m of the opinion that (if emery could get away with it) mustafi would be his most prefered ‘number 10’. He sees that position not for someone to create but for someone to run around and stop the opposition. His whole mentality to me is so out of sync to how I feel an arsenal team should approach a game

mEmery Gland

Im genuinely interested in your opinion reader, is Emery Kantefication of Torreira just misguided or will time prove me wrong, I digress…..after watching Torreira for a year now and purely in terms of attacking threat (forget the obvious defensive assets he has), would torreira be in your top 3-4 players to be played in a position where he would have to regularly attempt assisting or shooting? If it was me, I could think of a handful of players that I would feel more confident with in and around the box! People (emery) has/have forgotten quite how good he was last… Read more »


Emery is simple minded prick desperate to stamp his slimy feet. He comes up with bizarre ideas, to detriment of team, just so he can show that he is doing something. He is an idiot, a true moron.
Get this fucker out now #EmeryOut.

Henry XIV

I would love to have Arsene back just to see what his actions are and just to hear his classy remarks during interviews.
I miss the Boss.

Faisal Narrage

“Then we use different structures in different matches….It depends on the shape…This year we are playing also sometimes with just one…Then also, when we prepare the team to do high pressing, for us he is very important because he is very intelligent tactically, but he can play in the two positions. [Either as] one of the two midfielders [or] he can play higher for the pressing and to get into the box.”

He really doesn’t need have a style of philosophy, does he? Now it seems many of our players will suffer for it.


LMAO wasnt reading more then the headline

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