Who partners Torreira? – Poll

Having sorted out Arsenal’s right side rearguard and assisting flank provider yesterday, today we turn our attention to the midfield pivot.

Everyone is clamouring for Lucas Torreira to start just in front of the back four. Surely the only reason for this not happening so far is due to fitness and/or acclimatisation. So Torreira is a given.

The question then arises, ‘who partners him?’ or, in fact, ‘can he handle the job on his Jack Jones?’.

Let’s take a look at the candidates………………..

Granit Xhaka – building up some decent experience of Premiership skirmishes, Granit possesses a fine left foot. His passing range is good though eye of the needle passes are rare. He’s more of a spread it wide to the wingfenders kind of midfielder.

Mo Elneny – economical, functional and effective, Mo does his job with a minimum of fuss, shifting the ball to others in better positions to deliver a telling pass. Has a great engine and is very mobile.

Matteo Guendouzi – his storming pre-season earned him a place in the team for our opening fixtures. Has a keen eye for a pass and really does like to play the ball forwards into dangerous positions which makes him stand out. Let’s hope the occasional misplaced pass so far, doesn’t knock his confidence too much and he continues to shine.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – it has been mooted that A M-N could be an effective element of a double pivot. Fast, confident and excellent in the tackle, he does seem to possess the necessary attributes. Has become a bit of a utility player with Arsenal’s need for an auxiliary left back and others suggest his natural position is further up the line providing ammo for the strikers.

Aaron Ramsey – could Aaron find the discipline required to remain in that central area of the midfield? Or maybe Lucas requires a partner with more of a box-to-box feel.  Perhaps Aaron might partner Torreira against particular types of opposition? Though maybe Rambo’s creativity and eye for goal are wasted playing in a deeper role.

Mesut Ozil – perhaps Unai has asked Mesut if he fancies becoming more of a Pirlo-style midfielder, conducting the whole orchestra from a deeper podium and that has caused some consternation. Apparently Mesut has had the highest number of turnovers so far of anyone playing in Emery’s new Arsenal high press.

What do you think? Perhaps you don’t think Lucas Torriera will be the first name on the team sheet even when he has got used to London and the English Premier League?

Maybe Unai Emery already has a good idea of his ideal team members and all with be revealed in the fullness of time.



53 Responses to Who partners Torreira? – Poll

  1. chas says:

    Some of the new guesses at how an Adidas Arsenal kit might look incorporate the three stripes associated with the brand. What do you think – something like this?

  2. chas says:

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks Chas

    57 votes already!

    I went for Ouzi but this supposes a deep two, but as you say, in certain games torreira may be able to cope on his Jack Jones Cante style

    I do think M-N will come into the reckoning for the reasons you give ie fast, confident and excellent in the tackle

  4. LB says:

    I suppose the question is: who partners Torreira in games against the likes of Cardiff and who partners him against City away?

    An interesting thought crossed my mind when considering this and that is how is UE going to deal with having both Ramsey and Ozil fit for the weekend.

    Ramsey would be my choice to play along side Torriera with Ozil slightly further forward. This may solve the puzzle of UE having to play them both but it does cause a problem with Xhaka. A player who may not be everyone’s cup of tea but as of now has not done any thing wrong.

    So with that in mind I think Emery will opt for the easiest choice and leave Torriera on the bench arguing that he still needs more time to acclimatise.

    In other words, still more pandering.

  5. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas, I went for Ouzi, but like Micky, I’d expect UE to mix it up according to the opposition.

    The reports are that he’s into micro management and goes into great depth analysing the opposition, so let’s hope he can get to grips with th dynamics of the combinations soon as we can’t keep leaking soft goals.

    What about the rumour that Yaya is in London for a medical to sign for an EPL team …. who could that be???

  6. LB says:

    Maitland-Niles, hmmm, hadn’t given him enough thought.

    If we are talking about the M-N who turns into the player we all dream of then he would surely be the ideal partner.

    He can spread the ball round as well as the best of them, he can run with it, he is fast and importantly he can defend.

    The question is, is he really ready to take on that responsibility?

    Guendouzi looks slightly more advanced than M-N so much so that I expect to see the partnership of Torriera and Guendouzi in the Caraboo cup.

    Which, irritatingly I will not be around to see.

  7. mickydidit89 says:


    Yaya: I’d guess Fulham or W’Ham

  8. LB says:

    The Flamini – Fabregas combo.

    I had completely forgotten about that when I wrote the other day that we have not had a proper DM since Gilberto.

    Looking at the two names above I find myself justifying my view that Ramsey — Torriera would work. The main concern that people have voiced of Ramsey playing in that role is that he is not defensively aware enough, well neither was Fabregas by any stretch of the imagination.

    I realise that the two players are totally different. I like Ramsey’s ability to add goals and, well I could drool for hours on how much I liked about Cesc.

    Makes a deep sigh and presses post comment.

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Or Ozil out and YaYA in. Highly unlikely and hopefully completely fanciful

  10. gazzap says:

    Xhaka Second!? Thats at least 29 people who don’t actually watch our games then.

  11. Ahimbisibwe Osborn says:

    I chose Mateo G. He likes to play the ball and forward thinking; which he can become better at if he knows there is someone to cover him behind. The two (Torreira & Guendozi) can act as holders so that the front guys can be more free with a lessened burden of defending. This would even help the idea of playing Auba with Laca.
    Or else we use 4-3-3 and add Ramsey to help out on Bellerin on the right.

  12. LB says:

    Hi Gazzap

    It is good to read one of your comments on the site. I used to blog as London but changed and have been here for a while.

    This is friendly place with less cynicism and more humour than certain other places. I hope you come back.

  13. LB says:

    That’s it BR

    Ozil is being sold and as a sop we are getting Ya,Ya

    If the rain would stop I could go out and stop annoying people……..

  14. LBG says:

    Said it before, and will repeat often….
    Terrier and Ouzi sitting right and left in front of back four, with AMN centrally in front of them. The New Generation for a New Chapter in Arsenal history. ” If you’re good enough, you’re old enough”.

  15. VP of Oz says:

    Yaya Toure is close to signing for a new club after “passing a medical in London”, his agent Seluk has claimed.

    “Toure @YayaToure has passed a medical in London. Yaya is close to signing a new contract,” Seluk said on Tuesday evening.

    As fans started speculating over Toure’s potential destination, Seluk responded, saying first “It’s not West Ham, 100%” and then “It’s not Crystal Palace, 100%”.

    Earlier this year, Seluk said he was so confident that any new club would be satisfied if they signed his client that Toure would repay “half his wages” if they ended up unhappy with his performances.

  16. fatgingergooner says:

    Well it won’t be Özil for obvious reasons, Elneny is efficient but Geundouzi seems to do what he does but with more forward thinking passes, so that rules the Egyptian out. AMN certainly looks like he could do the job and I was bigging him up last season, but that’s before we signed Geundouzi and Torreira, so I think he’s dropped down the pecking order although I agree that if he can stay fit and put some games together he certainly could be an option. That leaves Xhaka and Geundouzi. As people have said I think it depends on the opposition.

    Some have a real issue with Xhaka but I think if he’s viewed by fans as a CM player rather than a HM player then we might grow to like his play. We currently expect him to stop goals which doesn’t seem to be his game. With Torreira doing that job it might allow us to see what Xhaka does actually bring to the table, which is a fantastic passing range and an element of calmness on the ball. I also like the idea of a left foot/right foot combo in the middle. It would give us great balance and it gives us the ability to get both full backs forward effectively with the opposition having to worry about both flanks equally. That can only be a good thing for the likes of Özil who loves to drift into spaces created by others.

    As for Geundouzi, its very very early days so I’d prefer to see a bit more of him before giving him a starting place week in week out. No doubt though that he looks talented and will probably be the option in future seasons.

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahem, I thought the window was closed for English clubs to trade between each other, or is that just the prem?

  18. fatgingergooner says:

    I’m guessing Fulham for Yaya. Although just because the medical was done in London doesn’t necessarily mean a London club does it? Could be a cryptic one.

  19. Rasp says:

    Yaya’s wages will be a problem to the smaller clubs …. what about Chelski ….. no one’s daring speculate that it could be us? 🙂 🙂

  20. Rasp says:

    Yaya could have been our new Vieira 12 years ago if we’d taken the option to sign him back then … but now …. I don’t think so ….

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahem, I thought the window was closed for English clubs to trade between each other, or is that just the prem?


  22. mickydidit89 says:

    Is he out of contract and not at any club at all?

  23. Rasp says:

    He’s out of contract Micky, he could sign for Billericay

  24. fatgingergooner says:

    I think we are all just praying it’s not us, Rasp!

    He hasn’t sprinted for about 3 seasons!! Özil is like a Tasmanian devil in comparison to a (allegedly) 35 year old Yaya.

  25. fatgingergooner says:

    Xhaka was decent against West Ham.

  26. chas says:

    Hey, we crept up to 9th in the Prem table as a result of the mancs catastrophic result on Monday!

  27. mickydidit89 says:


    Özil is like a Tasmanian devil in comparison ha ha ha 🙂

  28. LB says:

    Ya Ya and the high press lol

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey Chas, into single digit position and it’s not even Christmas.

    Hope we haven’t peaked too early

  30. chas says:

    Aye, we overtook Palace and the mancs since Saturday without us even playing and by virtue of them being shitter than us.

    Upwards and onwards!

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    Don’t play at all must be the logical conclusion

  32. chas says:

    It might help our away form!

  33. Gööner In Exile says:

    Yaya in Granits role…..most definitely…..experience would be what we were getting in there. But my guess would be West Ham with Pellegrini. More likely Chavs or Spuds for extra body. I’ve not looked at our 25 man squad are we complete? AMN won’t feature as he only just turned 21. But we probably don’t have that many who qualify under Home grown rules anymore to add more who don’t. Limit is 17 non homegrown.

    In other news I have tickets for me and G for Watford happy days although row 7 of Family Enclosure so naff view. He has only really asked when we will go back to see my friends in the pub so I don’t know why I bothered with the game 🙂

    On the discussion above I think if we are operating the press it has to be a similar player with the ability to move the ball quickly but also tackle so on current offerings Guendouzi.

  34. LBG says:

    The little maestro Santi C, back on the pitch for Villarreal. Now he is better than Xhaka and Toure rolled into one!

  35. Rasp says:

    I’m hopeful that Torreira can turn into the new Santi. His talent for pinpoint forward passing was not something I’d expected, but a very pleasant surprise added to the attributes we already knew to he’d bring to the team.

  36. Haha Rasp….well done his agent on the PR stunt 🙄

  37. Rasp says:

    Just what I was thinking GiE. I was listening to a scathing appraisal of the role of Football agents by Simon Jordan on TS this morning. It went something like this.

    The buying club agree a price with the selling club … then…

    The agent negotiates a basic minimum salary, … but that’s not the end of it….
    Once that is agreed he then asks for a signing on fee
    …. then a relocation fee…
    …. then an appearance fee….
    …. then a win bonus ….
    … then a loyalty bonus…
    … then a goal bonus if he’s a striker … or a clean sheet bonus for a keeper
    … then an agreed annual incremental increase
    … and after all that, he tells the buying club that he’s worked on their behalf in making the deal (also for the player and the selling club … serving 3 masters apparently) and they must pay him a fee for his services …

  38. chas says:

    If the player is going to Greece or Turkey there’s also to consider the
    … sacrificing a goat before the game bonus
    … insurance premium for cover against being hit by a flare
    … kevlar strip in case PAOK Salonika owner again decides to enter the playing area with a gun after a disputed goal for the opposition
    … plus a season’s supply of immodium

  39. GunnerN5 says:

    Well Chas, the side of me that wants attractive attacking football would like Guendouzt and Ozil to partner Torreira and the side of me that wants a combination of a strong defensive midfield and surprise attacks suggests Xhaka and Ramsey.

  40. jjgsol says:

    What do you mean by “turnover”?

    Gained the ball or lost the ball?

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    Agents are the scourge of football – they have made prima donnas out of the players, priced the top tier of players out of the reach of most clubs and created a financial crisis for many clubs. The end result is that they have become offensively wealthy by being leaches.

  42. fatgingergooner says:

    Love a good turnover.

  43. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. Thanks, I couldn’t find the connection.

  44. Rasp says:

    Getting a large piece of the pie analogy = agents?

  45. Red Arnie says:

    wonderful post, Chas. 🙂 I voted for AMN, more in hope than in expectations. 🙂

  46. chas says:

  47. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Barry Fry. 😀 Loved him when he was at Barnet FC. I had a season ticket there for a few years (along with WH Bob) because they played alternate weekends to the Gunners.

    The man was a scoundrel

  48. chas says:


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