Friday, January 27, 2023

Torreira likely to miss rest of the season + City team news

Lucas Torreira will miss 8-10 weeks while he recovers from the fractured ankle sustained in the 2-0 win over Portsmouth last week.

While there’s an outside chance he could feature in the FA Cup final, the injury effectively rules him out for the rest of the season.

The news from Arsenal’s medical team comes as a big blow to the player who was starting to look like his old self having been restored to a holding midfield role under Mikel Arteta.

In his absence, the Spaniard will now be heavily reliant on rotating Dani Ceballos and Matteo Guendouzi alongside Granit Xhaka. We wish Lucas all the best with his recovery.

Our injury problems don’t stop with our little Uruguayan. Having sat out Saturday’s win over West Ham, it looks like Shkodran Mustafi is also a doubt for Wednesday’s trip to the Etihad. The German has a tight right thigh.

On the full-back front, Sead Kolasinac needs another three weeks to recover from his shoulder problem and Hector Bellerin, as revealed by David Ornstein, is nursing a groin issue. In better news, Kieran Tierney is back in full training and will be joined this week by new boy Cedric Soares. We wouldn’t be surprised to see them getting minutes with the under-23s at some point.

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Dave M

Well at least we can [probably] remove Torreira from the list of summer transfer speculation [although can’t really assume anything with agents these days].

Major bummer, this was his chance to really stake a claim on his squad position. I like Torreira’s fight and workrate a lot and I think he still has potential to be a key player for us, but this really hurts (him and us).


He is a key player for us now. The defence always looks safer when Torreira is playing. I’ve been baffled as to why Arteta hasn’t played him more.


Given Mikel’s desire to make us more clean sheety, it is surprising.

Perhaps giving him game time would have improve his distribution and understanding of what passes his teammates require.

He is still a young player after all


The way I see it, Arteta wasn’t playing him because we were playing teams with the 10 defenders tactics. He would have been played for sure against attacking opposition such as City, Liverpool, Tottenham. This makes his absence even more worrying.


The line up on Wednesday gonna be an interesting one.

Really hoped both Mustafi & Bellerin are fit. With Torreira out, thought Arteta might be interested in 3-4-3 (Sokratis, Mustafi, Luiz + Saka and Hector as wingbacks), now it seems we might be forced into Sokratis at RB (+ Mari at CB). Wouldn’t be surprised with Nelson at RW instead of Pepe as he seems more switched on defensively and could help out Sokratis.

Dave M

Yeah, I agree with all this except Mustafi. He has been much better, but he’s been a walking liability in big games for us in the past. I like the size of Mari and technically he is everything Mustafi is too, with a cultured experience. I’d definitely go Sokratis at RB, he’s much more solid than AMN – he’ll probably be targetted by their attack, but he is surprisingly mobile for a big man. I think he’ll be ok. I’d also probably lean on Nelson, but I wouldn’t be against Pepe here. This game SHOULD be perfect for Pepe, we… Read more »


With Guendouzi? A player unable to keep the ball and to create instead of Özil? OK.


Guendouzi has 88.3% pass completion rate and 1 assist this season.

Ozil has 88% pass completion rate, and 2 assists this season.

Ozil has been playing attacking midfield, Guendouzi defensive midfield.

We need to repeat our first 40 minutes at Anfield this season, but this time do it for 90 minutes, and be more efficient with our chances.

If we come out and play football away to City? We’ll get smashed 8-0.

United have shown us the blueprint, and Norwich did exactly the same early on as well.

Guendouzi was our best player in our 0-3 home loss in December.


Also Ozil has an average of 46 passes a match and with a completion rate of 88.6%. The difference in class is for all to see.


I don’t hate Ozil but I don’t like his apologists. We all know Ozil and Guen play in two different positions. Still below is the comparison in PL. Ozil Guen Big chance created 1 1 Passes per match 46.44 49.45 Assists 2 1 Crosses 72 6 Cross Accuracy 28% 17% Trough Balls 2 7 Accurate long balls 21 67 these stats are from “Team play”. I will not compare Defense stats as Guen is way much better there and that is expected. Even Attacking stats of Guen is better than Ozil. Does it mean Guen is better player than Ozil,… Read more »


Except that Ozil’s passing has been responsible for inning us matches. Maybe not assists but still in the build up.

Eddie Hoyte

Hoping to see AMN back in the team, at least until Soares resumes first team action.
Sokratis is a slow player and he will get skinned alive by Sterling or probably cost us that game because we all know how aggressive he can be, and Sterling isn’t the type of player who won’t Frustrate Sokratis easily


Watch City have the game of their lives against us after downing tools against UTD. We cannot afford to have Sokratis as wing back for this game. It’s not the defensive part I worry about, it’s the fact we will lose an entire flank from an attacking perspective and invite pressure on ourselves. Bellerin and Martinelli need to play in this one.

Dave M

So you are saying we should go there and try to play them off the pitch through possession-over-everything mentality? Yeah, that has worked real well against City in the past. We have to invite pressure, play a disciplined defensive structure (Arteta has shown we can do that) and then play on the break. Our current team is simply not a team that can compete with an attacking possession driven force of Pep’s Man $ity team. We have to play pragmatically and be prepared to play fast and direct on the counter. EXACTLY the formula used to break down $ity this… Read more »


I watched the game last night and Utd’s flanks were easily the most dangerous attacking outlets. Wan Bissaka was man of the match. Ederson and the city defence are vulnerable at the moment.

Dave M

Yeah, but that is even more conducive to playing patient defensive minded football with disciplined pressing and fast counter attacks. We try and pass them off the pitch we’ll expose outselves against a better possession team that can be deadly in space, away from home to boot!

Eddie Hoyte

Dave, No it’s not about us going there trying to outplay them.
That right was so weak in the last game against West Ham, Ozil to drift to the right flank a couple of times because Sokratis offered nothing up front.
With AMN at least we know he plays Arteta’s system very well, he’s been solid while attacking and defending. Why go with a defensive mind if we could go with both?
Also you sound as though City is a team anybody could defend against when they choose to attack

Dave M

When has AMN shown he can play within Arteta’s system? I mean Arteta himself has called him out specifically for his inability to do what is being asked of him…hence why Sok is being preferred. I’d prefer to see us structured defensively here and use our forward line to counter at pace, than play aggressively with “wingback style” on both the flanks. Saka can do this in the current setup because of Xhaka’s conservative (left-leaning) tactical setup. But in such a big game against a very strong attack we cannot have full-backs bombing down both flanks.

Eddie Hoyte

Exactly my point… While Sokratis could do against Sterling. (I doubt it) the right flank would be weaker.
At least AMN can defend and attack


Hopefully this doesn’t prevent us from moving him on.

He’s an honest player with a fantastic work-rate, but he’s extremely limited as a footballer.

We’re one paced and lightweight, and the least dynamic team in the Premier League.

I like both Xhaka and Torreira, but restructuring our midfield should be top priority, they just make us so slow and ponderous.

I fear for us if we get our incomings wrong, we’re really not a very good team, and poor recruitment, or players taking too long to settle into the league, could see us drop much lower than mid table.


What’s happened to Holding? I know it’s not an immediate problem for Citeh, with Luiz, Mari and Papa all fit, but he seems to have fallen badly out of favour. The guy was smashing it before his ACL and ok, he misplaced a few passes when he came back, but that’s not unique with our defenders.

Maybe he’s in the same position as AMN in that he isn’t training properly, but he was my hope for the backbone of our team for the foreseeable future. At the moment you could see him being sold in the summer…


Shame Bielik was sold and Chambers is injured. They could at least have made cover on the bench.

Is Niles is totally out of the picture now?


Man I miss Chambers! Huge fan of him. With his ability on the ball, surely Arteta would fancy him as well.


Soares is like the new Debuchy. Why? I think Mari and Luiz should be good to hold the middle. Don’t think Mari is as solid as some would imagine but good enough given little time to adjust to league. BUT I can’t see why we would play Sokratis out right. hopefully Bellerin is ready and fit bc we will need him to have the pace to burn both defensively and going forward. If he can’t play full 90, I’d personally prefer AMN come in for remainder. City are very quick on that flank with Sterling. Midfield won’;t miss Torreira. Another… Read more »

Steve Vallins

Responding to earlier comments regarding Guendouzi and Ozil’s pass completion percentages .
IMO they pick up the ball in different areas of the pitch , Guendouzi plays much safer passes sideways to backwards where Ozil will play more riskier passes going forward and into the oppositions penalty area , other than saying completion rate is similar they are not comparable in there effects on the game

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