Does Guendouzi Do It For You?

Emery said this about Guendouzi in his pre-match conference for the Liverpool game:

Matteo is very young but he has talent, his talent is to adapt to what we need. We are working tactically and individually, a lot on videos and a lot on the pitch. It’s a big challenge for me and him to achieve a big level here. Last year his process was very good but we miss a lot with him to achieve big moments.

Really, really I am very optimistic with him because he has this talent. We can improve other things, physically – we are working in the gym – his mentality. He has potential right now to help us achieve the best performance.

After the game, Emery praised Willock but also said that Douzi had a good match.

I thought that Douzi had an “OK” game. He ran a lot, he had a lot of passes but he (and Sokratis) were beaten for the Matip goal on a corner kick and he did not have one shot on target, not one key pass. Douzi is only 20 and we shouldn’t be too harsh on him but it is clear to see that there is a lot of room for improvement. I think for him, it is about:

  1. Becoming more effective with his running and his passing
  2. Being tactially more aware on defensive, transition and offensive phases
  3. Becoming stronger physically as well

Torreira, Willock and Guendouzi have fantastic attitude and also a great desire to run and work hard for the team. They are young and full of energy but none of them is a DM as of now and they need to play with someone who is more sound defensively. If we are playing in a double pivot (DM-MC), then none of them can play together unless Torreira is confined to a DM role and none of them should play with Xhaka. So what is our best available DM-MC pair?

Now back to Douzi – I think he is a well liked players and fans – but should he command a starting spot for EPL games? Wouldn’t it be wiser to help him grow as a player by playing him in Cup Games and then giving him some game time in the EPL as a sub?

Back to you…Does Douzi do it for you? Here are somes stats for you to help you make up your mind: https://www.premierleague.com/players/50512/Matteo-Guendouzi/stats?co=1&se=274

RC78

61 Responses to Does Guendouzi Do It For You?

  1. Sue says:

    I have to admit, i was surprised to see him start against Liverpool (same with Willock)
    He dilly dallies on the ball a bit too much for my liking…and he definitely needs a goal…and i agree, there is room for improvement. With more games under his belt, i think we’ll see an improvement! So he’s not quite there for me yet, but he is a little sweetheart though.. i love his hair.. i love how he always makes a thing of showing his appreciation to the fans, whether we’ve won or lost.
    I’ve read that we’re going to offer him another deal, so there is potential, hey?!

  2. Johnno says:

    We have to play this boy, controlling a midfield at his age is impressive ( not against liverpool ) bur he will get there. No doubt we have a huge talent on our hands. You only improve by playing, i say play him.

  3. RC78 says:

    I like the kid and I think he can be a very good player for us and am glad we re offering a new deal. Am happy to play him but not necessarily as a starter vs big teams. The kid is bright and full of running and am glad he s a gunner but he really needs to become more decisive with more assists, goals, key passes, through passes and be better defensively and not giving away the ball cheaply

  4. GoonerB says:

    Thanks RC. I like the lad and think he should be kept and see how far we can develop him. I actually feel he should at this stage be in the 1st team squad but maybe is not quite developed enough to be in the strongest 11.

    If anything, purely based on style of play and athleticism, I feel Willock is more suited to the high energy EPL games and has crept slightly ahead of Douzi as a 1st 11 consideration.

    At the moment I am not too sure of Douzi’s identity as a midfielder. What type is he and what system will get the best out of him? Personally from what I have seen of him to date I see a BTB type DM.

    With that in mind, for Douzi and even Willock, much could depend on how we set up our midfield combinations to balance each other to see these young players develop to their fullest. I could take that even further and say that getting this midfield balance right is one of the key areas that will potentially affect our progression as a side and define Emery over this season.

  5. VP of Oz says:

    ditto with Johnno

  6. isaac onyango says:

    lets b realistic,Matteo has talent but not to start a leage game at anytime for a team like arsenal.
    mere seeing him in our midfield on
    we the fans needs a win not a quality for running all over the pitch

    please kindly play him in emirates cup as he grows up but at the moment,no place for him.

    UE made us not to qualify for champions last year bse of his fake tactics,
    we have the quality,y bencing them

  7. Bojangles says:

    He is more advanced at this stage of his career than Willock, yes he is a year older. I like Willock too. I think we have the makings of two very good mf’s. Even though he still has much to learn I still prefer him in midfield than Xhaka, for his energy alone.

  8. Against Liverpool was the first time I’d seen him play on the right of a midfield diamond. He’s probably done it before, but I must have missed it, and it didn’t seem to suit his style of central midfield. He had to cover a lot more turf & not all that successfully TBH, and in that heat it must have been exhausting. I like his attitude, he doesn’t hide, looks for the ball, is always there to receive it and drive forward.
    He goes down a little easily and too often for my liking, but that’s just a minor criticism.
    I recently saw his valuation as £40 million, so in that respect I see him as an asset, but even without that I’m in the pro Douzi camp.

  9. myk says:

    I think under the right manager Douzi can become a legend, however with Emery l doubt becoz l am yet to see the players he nurtured or even his football identity. Look at Klopp, Anorld has improved massively, the same with robertson, matip. with Pep, sterling has improved, look now at zichenko. Come back to our team and the manager. who has improved under the tutorship of Emery? Niles, xhaka even douzi is still running without direction. Our team has got raw talent which need a good manager to tap and develop it otherwise if Emery fails to do that we will end up with walcotts, gibbs, chamberlain. stars whose careers plateaued before reaching their peak.

  10. AmericanGunnerFan says:

    I don’t think Guendouzi will ever be a top-flight player. He lacks the vision and composure to take control of a match against a high-quality opponent. It’s not enough to know where your teammates are supposed to be (which can come with experience), the impact players know where their teammates and opponents are, because they can see the whole pitch without having to take time to scan the field and process the information, and have the composure to execute the proper action regardless of the pressure put on by the opponent. Guendouzi will never be that quality of player.

    Can he be a useful squad player? Yes, on a limited basis right now. He brings a lot of energy, but not having the tactical sense or experience to know where his teammates should be in different situations, he spends a lot of that energy running around like a headless chicken and giving the ball up to the opposition needlessly, especially when put under pressure (it’s one thing to have a game-plan to go over the top of the opponent, it’s quite another to blindly whack the ball straight back to them because you’re not aware of the fact that the open spaces your teammates are able to exploit are down the flanks, not the middle of the pitch). Given time and space by inferior opponents who decide to “park the bus”, Guendouzi can be effective and useful because he will be able to look for the right play to make. With experience, he may even develop enough tactical sense to be able to provide a spark off the bench against quality opponents, depending on their style of play. But, even with the limited options available in the midfield, I would not start or give heavy minutes to Guendouzi in matches against top-flight competition or clubs that press aggressively. I would prefer Willock or Torierra to him in those matches. I would also look to find a replacement for him with superior vision, the sooner the better.

  11. LBG says:

    Definitely does it for me.
    Fabregas was running our midfield at 18! Of course he isn’t Fabregas but cant see why the old adage, ” a good young un……”
    Self Righteous, good observation, and he is left sided predominantly.
    Agree with his “deficiencies”, especially wandering. But……. needs a solid, ‘disciplined’ central holder to teach/yell at him when his positional compass goes astray. Daviiid will do for the moment until we find a 6′ 4″ Terrier!
    …….has a dynamic(key pass) in him, unlike some!!
    ……….and I believe, like Fabregas will eventually score more.

    Already stated, feel to blame him for Matip goal is ridiculous.
    A future legend for me!

  12. fatgingergooner says:

    I would add Ceballos into the list of players willing to work and fight for the team and I think he has shown a real willingness to defend when we don’t have the ball which someone like Özil should take note of.

    I don’t agree that Willock and Geundouzi cannot play together as they did just that against Burnley and I thought we were pretty good in that game. In games at home where we should control the ball and be aware of fast counters, then having the energy of Willock and Geundouzi is priceless as it means we can play without a DM, which is a bit of a wasted position against poorer sides imo. However, in games against the big sides away then I’d be tempted to play Torreira or Xhaka at the base of midfield with 2 or 3 of Willock, Geundouzi, Ceballos, Torreira just in front and then the pace of Auba and Pepe so that we can play quickly on the counter, as was the plan against Liverpool. If we are brave we could play the 2 in front of the DM and then either 3 across the front (Auba/Laca/Pepe) or someone in the 10 and then 2 strikers.

    Ultimately, it’s horses for courses and no doubt we will see all different combinations this season.

    As for wether Geundouzi does it for me, I think he needs to score goals and be better in the build up of our attacking play. I like his energy and the defensive side of his game will improve with experience, but I’m not convinced the attacking stuff can be taught so easily and I worry he could become a Flamini type who offers energy and tenacity but not much else. If you look at Willocks all-round game I would say he’s much further on and looks a far bigger talent. I’d also have Torreira in front of Geundouzi right now.

  13. Both Wilock and Douzi are necessary players when the need arises and not sufficient players. Both can start in cup games like Carabao and FA cup matches and NOT as premier league starters. Experience cannot be bought with money….Never should both be a starter in big games else,, we will struggle against opponents except for new comers.I am also using this medium to remind us last season when Emery played Douzi and Elneny in midfield away at Everton and at home to Crystal Palace. We lost both games because of the manager”s selection.. Against Liverpool, lets analyse our midfield players: Xhaka, Douzi, Ceballos and Willock…none is physical, none has pace or power… none is tough tackling. While leave Uruguay international (Torreira) on the bench in a match of that magnitude? No top 9…Why diamond formation leaving Robertson and Arnold to deliver crosses into our box with ease. That;s the 64 thousand dollar question we need to ponder as the pains is for all friends and fans of Arsenal.

  14. David James says:

    He should be sent on loan before the European window closes. He can’t tackle, has no vision , can’t head the ball, can’t score- manager and his sycophants say he’s talented. I must be missing something.

  15. RC78 says:

    Which midfield 3 would you like us to emulate?

    Xavi-Busquets-Iniesta
    Artur-Busquets-Rakitic
    Modric-Casemiro -Kross
    Zielinski-Fabian-Allan
    Essien-Makelele-Lampard
    ….

    In any case, there is always a strong DM at the basis of this trio. We don’t have such a DM. Torreira shouldn’t be confined to this DM role because he has too much energy and also has a good awareness in terms of attacking play so for me, he can be our Allan or Pjanic.

    We need then a player that is better at breaking lines with his runs, dribbles and passes and some goals who can act as our Iniesta and Modric. Some say it could be Ceballos this year but what about next year? Should it be Willock or ESR? I don’t think Douzi can be that guy because you need better passing and shooting.

    So if Torreira is our MC and if Ceballos or Willock is our other MC, should we try to mould Guendouzi as our future DM? Or shall we have him as a back up to Torreira?

    These are hard questions but if we are to groom the player and help him grow, we need to nurture him to become better in a certain position

  16. RA says:

    Morning GoonerB, 😜

    I was bemoaning my inability, yesterday, to find something to differ about with your good self.

    And Eureka, you must have read that and this morning you have thrown me a little bone to chew on.

    You said, above, : “I see (him) as a BTB type DM.”

    My understanding of a Box to Box player is someone physically capable of covering every blade of grass, as necessary, and engaging in attacking and/or defending like a warrior.

    A Defensive Midfielder as I understand that term, is a player who controls midfield, tackles like a demon, links in with the back 3 or 4 defenders, as well as supplying the forwards with good ball — and never, ever moves his ass over the half way line. Never.

    So you are going to have to explain yourself my man as to how you see those conflicting definitions.

    And none of your hypothetical explanations such as, — the Defensive Midfielder wears a shirt with the initials ‘DM’ on the front, and when the sun is in the eyes of the opposition, craftily hides behind the Ref, and then, when no one is looking, streaks down the centre of the pitch into the opposition penalty area, with the words ; “I’m really a ‘BTB” on the back of the shirt, and below that the derogatory word “Suckers!!’ – as he unleashes a shot.

    I am agog waiting for your response!! 🤪

  17. allezkev says:

    Guendouzi is quality, he just needs to polish up those rough edges and watching him and Willock develop in our midfield is just the tonic for me after too many seasons of watching players on big wages with big reputations constantly failing to turn up.

  18. Pat7 says:

    I’d keep him as a starter like Willock ensuring they are not overplayed with Torreira, now he has had his holiday after late competition – the reason he was not started against Liverpool – to share in the workload along with Ceballos. All are extremely important to us along with ESR as our energy base.
    So excited to watch these lads gain experience and confidence especially with less quality opposition. Too much has been made of our weekend defeat in the 3rd game of the season by some of the comments above and we’ve yet to see the difference our new Assistant Coach will make which I feel is massive!

  19. Rasp says:

    Thanks RC. I certainly think that Guendouzi is an ever improving talent and he has the potential to be a great player. I am undecided as to whether he’s ready for the biggest games. He certainly didn’t disgrace himself on Saturday and you cannot fault his effort.

    The post begs the big question … is the result and nothing but the result the only thing that matters when putting out a team in an EPL game?

    I’d say no. Every game has to be treated in the context of the season … it’s a marathon not a sprint. Bringing through young players is all part of the strategy, so top marks to Unai for giving the chances to the likes of Holding, Guendouzi and Willock.

  20. LBG says:

    Certainly the poor guy generates the full spectrum of views!!
    Think the ” no gooders, loan him, sell him” better get used to those flowing locks!!

  21. Mike M says:

    Morning all. In my assessment of our 5 potential starting midfielders he is joint 3rd with Willock. Ceballos and Torreira would be my first two, then Joe and Gwen next. I think you could perm 3 from those 4 all day long. Ozil, Miki and Xhaka would by 5th by a distance. We are in transition and there’s no better quality for us over the next phase of our development as willingness to fight for the team. As FGG says, he qualifies in that aspect. I look at it this way. Where’s Liverpool’s Ozil? They don’t have one. So if we’re going to laud our incredible front 3 (which I do !!) then we need something different from our midfield. Douzi fits that bill. Compare him to Wijnaldum, Milner, Henderson, Fabinho. Very similar imo. Keita and Ox are different. Then again, neither started against us. I see it different to many by saying I’d actually play him in the bigger games because you can rely on him. Against the lesser teams his lack of creativity might mean we could pick other options. Just my take.

  22. fatgingergooner says:

    I actually like our midfield options these days. It wasn’t that long ago that we had too many attacking midfield options (Cazorla, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ox etc) without anyone to sit behind. I’d say that we now have a more balanced midfield group which contains attacking types (Özil, Ceballos), hybrid types (Willock, Xhaka, Torreira) and defensive types (Geundouzi, Chambers). The issue we have at the moment is probably more about how many world class midfielders do we actually have? We seem to have a lot of talent in there but not much in the way of finished articles.

    As for requiring an out and out holding midfield player, I’m not 100% sure that it’s needed these days. I look at the midfield partnership of Gerrard/Alonso and believe that we could have more of a duo in the middle who both work hard but have complementary attributes. Players like Kante, Fernandinho and Pirlo have changed the idea of what that anchor in the midfield is capable of and I don’t think they just have to be a ball winner anymore. Those are 3 very different types of players but all of them massively successful in that anchor role. I believe we need to stop obsessing about having 1 HM player who’s great at winning the ball and is just happy to sit on the halfway line. Football is about partnerships and players complimenting each other, and in a midfield 3 of Torreira/Willock/Ceballos you would have a lot of energy, a fair bit of skill and attacking know how, and the tenacity needed to win the ball back. I’d like to see it in action and hopefully Emery can get the partnerships right to get the best out of the talent we have.

  23. LBG says:

    Ginger
    Agree completely. Its because of that unnecessary “obsession” IMO, with that kind of holding midfield player that I think Daviid can play the role, AND show us his undoubted long ball and forward carrying creativity.

  24. Mike M says:

    FGG. Here’s a question that I don’t know the answer to, mostly because I didn’t really know anything about him before we signed him but what role do you think we signed Torreira for? I really though he’d be our anchor DM along with Xhaka. Indeed when we signed Xhaka I thought that’s what he was too !! Now I understand interchanging so if LT or XG go forward, someone covers them but without the ball, shouldn’t they be our deep lying midfielder and if we lose the ball, be busting a nut to get back in front of the defence centrally? Or is it that the roles are changing in the PL?

  25. fatgingergooner says:

    Mike,

    I have to say that they’ve both baffled me a little aswell. I think roles have changed a little in that clubs now realise you can get more from a HM player than just tackling, so in that respect these 2 could be perfect modern day players as they both offer more (Xhaka with his long passing and Torreira with his attacking play) but the problem seems to be that neither does the defensive part well enough in the first place! I can’t answer your question about why they were bought, but what I would say is that there are a couple of things to ponder when looking at the signings. Firstly, they were bought by different managers who have different ideas about what our midfield should look like, and secondly, and probably more importantly, they were both bought within a certain budget limitation. What I mean by that is sometimes when you don’t have infinite financial backing, you have to compromise a little bit on a players skill set and hope that you can develop him as you want, which is always a bit of a gamble. Maybe both managers saw tenacious, tough tackling players and thought they could mould them into a HM type, but actually when they’ve had them on the training ground, it’s turned out that they don’t quite have the discipline or the ability to read the game as they had hoped. Xhaka just seems to lack the ability to sniff danger before it’s happened, whereas Torreira doesn’t quite have the positional discipline required and seems to enjoy getting involved in the attack a little more than expected. I wonder if both were bought with that HM position in mind but it just hasn’t worked out.

    I actually think they were our best partnership last season and their skill sets complimented each other fairly well. I’d like to see them get another crack as a pair or maybe even as a 3 with Willock behind 3 attacking players.

  26. RA says:

    Mike,

    I think referring to; “busting a nut to get back in front of the defence centrally” and “Xhaka” don’t fit too comfortably.

    I think it is possible that Xhaka might try and do that, but the Tea-Lady with her trolley would beat him while smoking a fag.

    That’s why he gives away so many fouls by tugging on shirts to slow the opposition down.

    On an aside, I wonder if the same people who were calling for Embers to use more of the kids from the youth teams, are the one’s now demanding Douzy should be let go.

    I think Douzy is a really excellent, whole-hearted player who gives everything for the cause, but he makes terrible mistakes, and is using the wrong shampoo, so we have to let him go!!

    Yikes, this contradiction stuff must be catching!!

    The ‘terrible mistakes’ bit is rubbish and we should not let him go — the wrong shampoo bit is right — Rasper told me that!! 😛

  27. RockyLives says:

    Thanks RC

    What an interesting discussion.

    We all watch the same games, yet some of us see one version of Gwen while others see a completely different (indeed, opposite) version.

    I start out in the “he’s a star in the making” camp but this chat is forcing me to reconsider.

    Why do I think he’s a star in the making? Well, in certain games last season and already this season he has had performances that put me in mind of players like Paddy Vieira and Yaya Toure. I don’t mean to say his performances were at that level, but that they were of a nature that, if he continues to develop, could reach Vieira/Toure levels.

    And yet… there is no doubt that in many games last season he was not all that good and against top class opposition (as we saw at the weekend) he can struggle to make an impact.

    Are these teething problems and developmental issues which he’ll resolve in the near future? Or is he just a more limited player than I (and others) are giving him credit for?

    I can only conclude that his excellent games for Arsenal stuck more firmly in my head than his poor ones and this has led to a kind of ‘confirmation bias’ in my attitude to how he performs now. I have, at some mental level, made a decision that he is good and potentially very good, so I see his performances through that lens.

    Perhaps others are doing the opposite, having had one of his poorer outings lodge in their head and therefore writing him off as decidedly average.

    I am going to try to be more dispassionate henceforth and watch his performances with a more calculating eye.

    That’s the joy of a Blog like this and a Post like this where nice people debate in a civilised manner – it can make you rethink and challenge your assumptions.

    Until my confirmation bias has been overturned however, I still see him as definitely being in the starting rotation.

    Sorry for the psychobabble.

  28. Mike M says:

    @FGG and RA (historically) I agree about the original intent of the signings but in the case of Xhaka I think he’s therefore a bust and we should offload him (RA has intimated this on many occasions wrt management and leader/ownership I believe). As far as Torreira and by extension Guendouzi, let’s see how they develop and give them a chance. If they don’t out run the tea lady, let them go too.

  29. Rasp says:

    From The Independent last year …

    … It was the biggest decision of Matteo Guendouzi’s life. It was the start of this summer and the 19-year-old needed to choose what type of environment would help him to grow, at which football club would his future take place.

    It had been a difficult season for him, playing in patches for FC Lorient in Ligue 2 but falling out with manager Mickael Landreau and often being left out of the team. He could have played for France at the European Under-19 Championship in June, but he wanted his future finalised instead.

    Not many teenagers from that position would have their pick of Europe’s top clubs, but Guendouzi is different. Borussia Dortmund, the great talent nurturers, had followed him for some time. So had Paris Saint-Germain, who wanted to buy back the player they released four years ago.

    But Guendouzi only wanted Arsenal. Sven Mislintat and Unai Emery had both sought after him with their former employers, and when Arsenal first approached Lorient, the French side knew they were serious.

    “Arsenal contacted us and it was very clear immediately he was a player they wanted to sign,” Lorient president Loic Fery remembers. “Once we had those clubs starting to be interested, we asked him where he wanted to go. He told me that Arsenal was his preference. He wanted to play in the Premier League and Arsenal would be great for him.”

    Lorient were happy to sell him there. “One thing we don’t do at Lorient is let players who have such big potential go to clubs that are not top notch,” Fery says. “We definitely felt Arsenal would be a very good match for him.”

  30. RA says:

    Good point, Rocky,

    It is interesting too, that some people view, say, Xhaka through a lens of excellence (and they are, of course, perfectly entitled to do so) but take umbrage if another blogger does not.

    You are correct in your observations about Douzy, but given that he came from a small French club in a lower league, and was introduced to the Premier League almost immediately, at the tender age of 18 or 19, it was almost inevitable that he would feel obliged to show he was worthy of the honour, and did not pace himself, and most of his off-colour games happened towards the end of the season, as did Torreira’s, who was in a similar situation.

    He is a ‘good un’ in my opinion, and as experience seeps into his games so he will mature, and develop a playing rhythm that does not leave him shattered and occasionally prone to mistakes, but able instead to ration his energy wisely. (Like Ben Stokes) 😀

  31. Mike M says:

    @LBG I understand your theory on Luiz, indeed it would likely cut out the mistakes that seem so costly but throughout every discussion about him since we bought him, I’ve never once thought UE would play him at DM or that he was bought for that role. As I said, I’m not arguing a for or against his ability to play there, just if Unai would even consider it. What do you think?

  32. RA says:

    Very wise, Mike,

    it took a bit of bravery for me to mention the Tea Lady as we have a nifty one where I work, and I am embarrassed to admit that I have often started out down a long corridor, on the third floor, with her and the nefarious trolley safely in my line of sight, she having not seen me, only to find they are both still there, ahead of me, at the end of the corridor.

    I have never admitted I was trying to catch her and blast past, leaving a con trail in my wake to show my mastery — but somehow she knows – she never looks up at me, but there is that little quirk to her lips — and worst of all — she is old — 60 at least.

    Still, I am in good company with lead boots Xhaka.🤪

  33. fatgingergooner says:

    Mike,

    I think most would agree that Xhaka has been a bust, but I don’t think he’s a terrible player. He is of a good age so if we did sell I still think we’d get our £30m back and I still think a few big teams would go for him (not the Barcelona’s of the world but the tier below) which is an indication that he is a decent player. I’m just not sure he has the pace or consistency for the PL as RA has pointed out. I actually quite like him but he’s a typical Arsenal signing of the last 10 years whereby he’s better than most in the bottom 14 teams in the PL, but not good enough to mix it with the top 5. I’m happy for him to stay in the squad at the moment though and I’d rather Elneny be sold, but if Willock continues to progress and our recruitment is strong then it won’t be long before we say goodbye to Granit!

  34. fatgingergooner says:

    Is football and the PL seriously going to allow Bury and Bolton to go under today???

    Apparently Bury only owe £2m. How many England Internationals would it take to generate that kind of cash? Are you telling me the PL clubs couldn’t muster £100k each to sort that debt out?

    I know it’s not their responsibility, but it’s a sad time when clubs are going under whilst players, staff and managers earn what they earn at the top.

  35. RockyLives says:

    Couple of comments I’m in total agreement with:

    Redders (on Gwen): “…it was almost inevitable that he would feel obliged to show he was worthy of the honour, and did not pace himself, and most of his off-colour games happened towards the end of the season…”

    Mike (on Xhaka): “…he’s a typical Arsenal signing of the last 10 years whereby he’s better than most in the bottom 14 teams in the PL, but not good enough to mix it with the top 5.”

    Perceptive assessments both.

  36. Mike M says:

    @ Rocky – actually that was FGG replying to me. However I’d like to take credit for it because it’s a perfect summary of the guy !!! Thanks FGG !!!!
    I think my point is that he causes deficiencies in our mentality and I would rather see him go, along with Mesut, Miki and a couple of others. However as FGG also astutely points out, we don’t have the money to completely rebuild the squad so he can be a useful squad player while we’re in transition. But I wouldn’t have started him at Liverpool, nor in any big games and seeing this is a Gwen thread, I’d take Gwen over him any time any day.

  37. LBG says:

    Mike and Fgg
    Replying to your question before reading other answers. All the extracts of Terriers work for Uraguay before we bought him showed him breaking up play, Kante style in front centrally of his defenders. But additionally showing ability to move forward and play “dynamic passes. Of course, this action never showed intensive, bullying, (often Manshitty style fouls/pulls etc, to break up play) close marking of Premier League. I think we got what we paid for. Not sure Dick has used him “consistently” enough, or that he doesn’t need both to put on some upper body bulk and/ or be stretched on a rack!

  38. LBG says:

    Mike M
    Not sure if Dick considered Daviid there. Think/hope his hand might be forced
    1. With return of Holding and Chambers( plus Freddie and anyone else with nous at the Club suggesting it. After all he did do it at Chelski!
    And 2. If Daviid makes similar “errors” of decision making in next games, esp Tottnum. ( for God sake Daviid get your hands off Kane and Son)!

  39. kelsey says:

    I like Guendouzzi, full of energy with an amazing engine but I fear burn out but Emery likes him and I believe Emery sometimes fields his favourites (remind you of anyone) as opposed to fielding his best team available.Of course I might be wrong.

  40. RockyLives says:

    Kelsey
    “fields his favourites” – you’re right, but don’t you think all head coaches do that?

  41. fatgingergooner says:

    Kelsey,

    No manager fields ‘his favourites’ more than Jurgen Klopp, yet Liverpool don’t often look jaded. I think if the team train correctly, believe in what they are doing, and more importantly, are getting results, then they will find the energy from somewhere.

    Having said that, there is a life-span to the sort of high pressing, high intensity game that Klopp asks for, and it’s interesting that he himself has hinted at a year off once his Liverpool contract expires. He’s obviously learned his lesson from his time at Dortmund when in the last year, he and his players looked absolutely shattered and they did well to avoid relegation in the end.

    At 20, I don’t think Geundouzi has too much to worry about in terms of burnout, but Emery seems to be like Klopp in his demands from himself and his players, so it may be that both players and manager will need resting at some point in the future if they are still around!

  42. RC78 says:

    At Psg, Luiz played mostly as CB but when he played DM, he did great. I wouldnt be opposed to seeing him or Chambers play as DM.

    I also think that our defensive players would be better suited to a 343 or 352 system because our FB are actually better at being WB. The major issue of playing 3 at the back is thst you have to get rid of a mid… But who?

    Holding, Sok, Luiz – AMN, Torreira, Xhaka, Kola – Pepe, Laca, Auba

    That team wouldn’t be easy to play against but would Torreira manage to orchestrate our game?

  43. LB says:

    RC

    Was Emery in charge at PSG when Luiz player DM or more simply did Emery play Luiz as a DM?

  44. fatgingergooner says:

    RC,

    Why is it that you keep pushing for the 3 at the back? What do you feel it will give us that 4 wouldn’t? Is it purely that you think we have wing backs and not full backs at the club (I think bellerin and Tierney are good enough to play in a 4). It seems like it was tried in the PL a year or 2 ago but now everyone has gone back to the 4. I imagine there is a reason for that.

    I suppose there are 2 ways of looking at it. You could say that the defence is our weakest area, and therefore the more numbers we can get in defensive positions the better in the hope that we will defend better as a unit. I understand this thought process but I’m not sure it worked for us. The opposite idea would be that the defenders we have are amongst our worst players in terms of quality, so the less of these players in the side the better! That would be the way I view it. I would much rather have another midfielder in the team who is a better player than say Monreal or Sokratis, and if the midfield do their job correctly then we should be able to protect the defenders anyway.

    I’m interested to find out your thoughts as I know that you really like the idea of us playing 3 CB’s.

  45. Sue says:

    Fred.. Eddie starts for Leeds!

  46. RC78 says:

    @LB – no
    @ FGG – My ideal set up for the team would be a 4321 but this really requires a strong HM against strong teams especially and we don’t have one. All successful teams have an HM – the role has slightly changed but ultimately, there is one player in the midfield that is more in charge than others of covering the defense and breaking the opposition plays (usually they register a lot of blocks, interceptions). Why do I say 3 at the back? I feel like our FB can bring a lot more to our team if we played with a back 3, we also know that Luiz is better in a back 3 system and it seems that Holding was quite good in that system too. Now, I am not saying that we should play in a 343 or a 352 always but I think the system may have some merits maybe against teams like City and Liverpool or against teams that play deep against us.

  47. fred1266 says:

    Yea saw it sue and they losing hopefully a Eddie hatrick second half

  48. fatgingergooner says:

    RC,

    I understand your logic and of course I can see the benefits of a) having a quality HM player, and b) getting the most out of the full backs, however, I have to say that I’d rather we set up to get the most from our attacking wide players and our central midfield players as I feel they are huge in today’s game. Liverpool have shown that you can get huge amounts from your full backs in a back 4 whilst at the same time getting match winning performances from your attacking players, and I feel that is the model that we should go down. Liverpool have 3 midfielders of different skill sets but all of them can attack and all can defend. The same seems to go for City. Both those teams also have fantastic attacking players but I think with the addition of Pepe we may not be far behind. I think Bellerin and Tierney will also prove to be not far from Liverpool and City in terms of full backs comparison, so in order for us to compete, we need to get the most from our CM and CB players as those are the areas where we are currently outmatched.

    We all know our CB’s are not up to scratch and that we will continue to put us far behind until the position is sorted (we are all praying Saliba and Holding are the answer but I think 1 more top quality signing will be needed), and there is no doubt our CM players are well behind what those teams have on offer, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of what we do have. I reckon a trio of 3 interchangeable midfield players is the way to go. Of course we will want 1 who takes the majority of the defensive responsibility, and 1 who maybe does more of the attacking, but I think it has to be far more fluid than just saying 1 HM, 1 CM, 1 AM. I really liked what I saw against Burnley with Willock, Geundouzi and Ceballos switching positions and being flexible during the game. If we can get Torreira to have that mindset then I think we could be on to a winner. With that in mind I’d still want a 433 or a 4231, but Özil’s inability to defend makes me worry about the 4231 in the big games.

  49. Sue says:

    Fred… he’s done it again!! Come on Eddie, another one please!!

    Wilshere has scored his first goal for the hammers… #superJack

    Welbz is playing for Watford, made me laugh, the reporter said he lost his balance, shot & it went high & wide!!
    Welbz off target – never 😂
    Our U21’s are 1-1 & both teams down to 10 men

  50. Sue says:

    Our U21’s lost on penalties! (I got it wrong, Northampton weren’t down to 10, doh!!!)

    Jeez, Colchester just beat Palace on pens!!!

    Urgh, Stoke won on pens 😖

  51. fred1266 says:

    Damn we lost on pens but glad Eddie on the score sheet again

    Sue mustafi gone yet

  52. Sue says:

    Sorry to disappoint you, Fred…. no! His Dad has said to drop the asking price!! Got until Monday……….

  53. RC78 says:

    Rasp – I think that fgg comment on midfield combinations could be a good post for tomorrow.

    FGG – I don’t disagree with you but I feel that until we have solved the CB and DM situation you have identified, playing with 3 at the back would provide us with more defensive stability and allow our wingbacks to contribute more offensively. Again, I like a 4321 system best but given our current squad and of our aim is to build from the back and be compact defensively, maybe 3 at the back could be a good option in some games

  54. Rasp says:

    Hi RC, there have been so many great well reasoned and convincing comments today – I can’t remember a day when the quality has been so consistently high. P
    I have a post lined up for tomorrow but could certainly use FGGs comment on Thursday thank you.

  55. RC78 says:

    Rasp – good to hear about the posts being lined up until Th. I agree with you that today s comments were particularly nice to read.

    @all – thanks for debating on the Douzi situation today

    @Sue – Mustafi and El Neny are out before Monday

  56. fatgingergooner says:

    Looks like Bury have gone. Sad news

  57. RockyLives says:

    Rasp – agreed.

    An excellent day’s blogging. The knowledge and insight of many of the regulars on here is humbling at times.

  58. RockyLives says:

    Dreadful shame about Bury.

    Perhaps there is now a chance for local people to relaunch a club without all the bad debt and skeletons in the cupboard (but I suppose they would have to start at the lowest level and try to work their way back to the pro leagues).

  59. Rasp says:

    Morning all …

    … New post …

  60. […] This week there has been a lot of discussion about how our collection of mid-fielders fit into different systems and what our best combination could be. The following comments formed part of that discussion a couple of days ago. Mike M says: August 27, 2019 at 2:40 pm […]

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