What a day of international football did we just have! In France v Argentina our ex-Gunner, Giroud, played the full game and he produced his third assist in three games. He was not one of the obvious stars in the French team but Dechamps clearly rates what he brings to the team, and I have no doubt he will play again v Uruguay on Friday.
But this short post is not about Ollie; it is about one of the shortest men in football I have ever seen on the pitch and who is, as you know, heavily linked with a move to Arsenal: Lucas Torreira. The Uruguayan midfielder played the full 90 minutes v Portugal tonight and had a vital role in their wonderful victory over Ronaldo and co.
I had yet to see him play a full game, but I am now really, really excited about Lucas joining us, if indeed the move will go through. He was clearly instructed to sit back and protect the right side of the box like a pit-bull, just in front of the back-four, as much as possible. He did this formidably: with full focus and a tenacity seldom seen at Arsenal in recent seasons.
In fact, the Portuguese players just didn’t even try and attack that area of the pitch during most of the game. Despite his small size he has real presence and he will steal the ball of any player, whatever their seize. He was clearly instructed to keep Ronaldo away from the box area at the start of the game, and he approached him like a Rottweiler on heat.
The defence knew they could count on him to protect them, and that is exactly the sort of player we need at Arsenal right now. He kept it simple and stuck to his task with full discipline for the whole game.
On top of this, Torreira made a number of crucial blocks and interceptions in the box v Portugal. He reads the game well and foresees danger before anybody else does, it seems. Again, that is exactly what we need in the team, especially when we need to see a game out. I have no doubt that without Torreira Uruguay would not have won the game in regular playing time.
Lucas Torreira is not yet a Gunner but please let it be so asap. He will make us whole again.
53 thoughts on “Tiny he may be, but Lucas Torreira is the Pit-bull we have all been waiting for”
Did you see that moment he put his head to the ground just to stop a pass? The man is a wild dog!
I like it, Volting G. A wild, barking mad dog! 🙂
Please, please, bring him to Arsenal. I also think Emery can develop Maitland-Niles into that kind of player. I think he can excel. And then we would have two young quality players in that position. Can’t wait for the season to kick off!
I hope Lucas can be the example of a new Arsenal attitude. Hard working, maybe less elegant, but extremely effective. Many of us have wanted that for a while now.
Three weeks back?
Was sure I’d wanted Steven N’zonzi to patrol our deep MF. Big, strong and sure. He of the stifling MF for Sevilla that doused United’s CL hopes. Until…
… I saw Lucas Torreira on YouTube. Wanted him immediately instead. Everything that N’zonzi is not– yet, even more.
OK to talk of Giroud TA.
Know why he went to Chelsea. Accomplished his goal of a starting position on a WC contending team. He’s doing all the things he’s always been good at. Hope he continues– except for the 2-4 times a season when we play Chelsea. Gotta’ love the HFB.
TA, I do hope you (we?) aren’t getting ahead of ourselves here. After days of hearing “Deal’s done”, it recently turned to a case of deal not yet over the line. One thing though, the quotes from the Sampdoria Director and another agent give hope that we’ve done enough to get it over the line after the World Cup.
I like a lot of things about Torreira (name like Terrier) and would really like to see what impact his work rate has on the side.
Okay; I have to confess I posted above (after reading the posts above mine) before going on to read your write up, TA. You weren’t getting ahead of things but were rather circumspect.
Here’s hoping that our new management (so far so good) are much slicker than the old regime at getting these deals over the line. In the past these things went on forever. This guy is a must have in my opinion.
For the first time, I’m disagreeing with David Ornstein. The Sampdoria President said the deal was done and that was done. The same was confirmed by their manager a few days later. Sky Italia’s Fabrizio Romano said the same and that the player will undergo a medical test imminently. After all that, then comes Ornstein with a completely different version of his own! The deal is done and I’m convinced Torreira will be wearing the red and white of North London. His display v Russia and Portugal spells enormous excitement among all Arsenal supporters world over. He absolutely immense!
Am particularly impressed by Torreira’s positional discipline. Remember he started his career as a striker and got converted on the way. Yet he is able to keep to his territory, simply patrolling in front of the defence. It shows a player alive to his role. A coach’s dream.
Cheers BKers 🙂
Yes let’s hope the deal gets done soon, is all we can say. We have been vulnerable through the middle when we are pushed back in our own half, so Torreira’s discipline and stamina will be very, very welcome.
Spain v Russia
Croatia v Denmark
Who will go through? On paper it should be Russia and Croatia, but Russia may spring a surprise and Denmark might do a ‘Uruguay’ on Croatia today. Hard to tell. Spain, like Germany, look like a team in late Autumn of their lifespan, but maybe they can sparkle once more. Croatia have a fab midfield and look more than okay in other positions, but Denmark will prove hard to beat and have one or two players to score a Cavani-like goal. Not looking fwd as much to these games and yesterday’s, but they should still be very watchable.
Another one bites the dust…
This WC is like Leicester winning the EPL.
What’s the odds on a Belgium vs Croatia final..?
Incredible story, for the Russians. Spain had all the ball but kept on with their side to side and backwards passing, barely giving Costa anything to feed upon. It may be down to the grit of the Russian defending, but with their ability, you’d have thought Spain should do a bit more to put balls in the box.
A curious bit of stat about David De Gea at this World Cup. He faced just 6 shots on goal and conceded a goal each time. Good keeper that he is, he was vulnerable every time he had to face a shot on his goal in Russia.
Very interesting stat Eris.
With so many top teams out, will we see Brazil biting the dust too?
Spain did a Germany yesterday but still they managed to score a goal and 3 penalties.
I think that Brazil will have too much for Mexico, but it should be a good game 84….
Japan will be enthusiastic vs Belgium but the top team from the Low Countries will have far too much ability to slip up against them, so it looks a certain Belgium vs Brazil Q/F and that’s gonna be one hell of a match up.
Brazil all the way, for me. Said it at the start; still stand by it. Russia will likely get to the semi-final as I see them beating Croatia. Interesting games.
The tiki taka teams flopped this year. Is this a sign that we need Emery to get the whole style of play better? I would prefer to add steel to our already fantastic attack and change our style defensively.
Kev and Eris, Neymar and Co just barely managed to break down their opponents after the 90th minute in their second game. In Mexico they have a strong and organised team.
This time round the world cup is not meant for betting. Those betting the sure-winners will lose badly.
Spain bored. They seemed terrified of losing the ball. No incisiveness. Just knocking the ball around themselves as if that was an end. 90% sterile possession. I hope Emery’s possession football would incoporaten some risk taking.
I never fancy 90% plus possession stats (Elneny), neither the 80% less possession (Alexis). The good balance, all things equal, is the eighty something percent. That’s possession and guts.
Tiki taka without a Messi is almost flawed. Pep’s City is very possession based but it has a much bigger vertical component it’s play than what Spain dished out yesterday. So boring, so ugly despite the skills.
I thought Brazil at the start Eris and it does seem to be falling into their lap, but having seen Mbappe destroy Portugal I’m leaning towards France knocking them out if they get past Belgium.
A big “If”, that is, Kev. France are a good team but it will be interesting to see how they fair against a team parading equally gifted players, with similar level of motivation, not to mention the X-factor that is Thierry Henry, which Belgium possesses. For every run Mbappé can make, Belgium have Hazard and Mertens. For every header Giroud wins, they have Lukaku. We already know how Dembélé dominated Pogba for the spuds, while Griezmann is well matched by Debruyne’s creativity.
Brazil play without fear and a lot of confidence. They will have their hands full against Mexico, no doubt, but I feel they will find a way to win it.
You have more confidence in Mexico than I, my friend.
After their faux-showing versus Germany was exposed — by Germany’s subsequent poor performances (dropping to bottom of Group F)? The match versus Sweden, they were pretty bad. Oddly, had Germany scored from any of many chances– we’d be seeing Germany-Brazil today instead.
I’d have liked to seen that one.
Wondering if Brazil might’ve tried to return the favor on that 7-1 scoreline, last they met.
Mexico are a very quick side and break away with great efficiency; I expected a good game of football but thought it will be more open than it turned out. Mexico started well and gave the Brazilian defence a lot to worry about, but all that intensity waned later and Brazil has come in stronger and but for some unlucky bounces of the ball, may have been ahead.
Like I stated, I feel Brazil will find a way to win the game…and they should be leading by now.
One thing, though; there’s been a pattern by Brazil when they are taking their corner kicks where they have more men waiting at the back than in the box, waiting for the set piece. Strange. It means they’ve studied the Mexican style and realized they can be dangerous from defending corner kicks. Vela has been immense and with Brazil having to play with 2 non first team full backs, there’s been a bit of a problem with defending the wings, especially from the right back, Fagner, who seems to be uncomfortable defending against Vela.
Hmmm. Thought I sighted our own (ex-player, Brazilian left back) Sylvinho as one of the assistant coaches on the sidelines for Brazil. All greyed up. 😀
Appreciate the summary thus far.
At work and nose-down all morning here.
Sokratis officially a Gunner. Taking the #5 shirt.
The second defender we’ve sign with captaincy experience.
A great trait to be bringing into the team.
Oh well, better you than I, mate (since the big bucks earned aren’t split with me, eh).
You must know it ended 2-0 to Brazil; could have been more, if you ask me. Just watching the side, you will feel Neymar frustrates the incisiveness of the Brazilian forward play, yet it is evident they will be weaker without him (like it showed in 2014 v Germany). Willain was immense today and played like a man possessed.
They look like they have another gear they can step into, the Brazilians, if required. Oh, and I confirmed it was indeed, Slyvinho on the sidelines. He’s been the technic(al) assistant for 2 years now, from what I read.
Belgium v Japan almost here.
Nice one there, jw1. Best known (worst kept) secret of the transfer window, as it stands. It’s July 2 and first day of the month, so expected given the reported request by Dortmund for it to be delayed till July.
Welcome to the Arsenal, Sokratis.
All for a 5-day weekend starting Wednesday– celebrating our independence from colonial rule. 🙂
All due respect to Mexico– they are the one other team (USA) that I see most often in this hemisphere. And they performed typically. Flashes of brilliance, that one expects should flash more often than it did or does. Vela will always be a fave of mine. Playing in LA in the MLS– seemingly deciding he prefers ‘staying local’. Believe he could still be relevant in Europe.
The world cup has finally arrived. What a match! Belgium 3-2 Japan.
Great game of football; probably the most exciting in the round of 16, so far. Japan has become the first Country, in a while, to lose a game after going 2 up. And it was somewhat, down to Fellaini’s introduction (for those who vehemently detested the very idea of his being linked to us). No better plan B option.
This has to be one of the best, if not the best World Cup that I’ve witnessed, VAR has helped no doubt, but in most cases attacking football is winning the day…
Yes Eris, France vs Belgium would most certainly be a fascinating match up, so much talent in both squads of players, especially the France right back, who looks a player. I think he plays in the Bundesliga so he would be well coached.
Sokratis has finally arrived, he looks quite a big unit, in fact he looks a bit of a hard nut and that’s just what we need, and playing with the No.5 shirt you say JW, that’s a good omen.
Now let’s get Torrieira and Banega over the line. Happy days.
Agree on all counts.
All six teams through — have — played good football for most of the tournament.
As fans, the unexpected nature of the makeup of those countries heading for the QFs — is a reward.
As for Sokratis first presser?
Very much enjoyed this line:
“Arsenal is one of the three biggest teams in the Premier League and one very big club.”
Sounds like Greek for: “Very happy to be here and Tottenham is sh^t.” 😉
Jw1, come on. Of course spuds is sh**.
I am rooting for France to win the next match. OGAAT as our favourite Ollie is playing well.
For Sokratis, he is a good player with a strong defensive play, so he will be good to be paired with Bosscielny or Mustafi.
A MAIL IN YOUR BOX.
84, if and when Koscielny returns (Dec) and importantly recaptures his form, we’re gonna have more centre backs that even George Graham collected in 1990, when he had Adams, Bould, O’Leary, Colin Pates and then signed Andy Linighan.
Currently Emery has 6 centre-backs, but I’d keep them all, we’re gonna need them with 4 competitions to play in and the Checkertrade Trophy where Mavropanos can play as an U21, also Monreal can focus on being a left back again.
The links to Soyuncu has gone dead now, not sure that Arsenal are willing to lay out £35m with the prospect of a big contract hike for Ramsey allied to possible big packages for Torrieira and hopefully Banega.
Nice one, England. Broke the penalty shootout hoodoo, at last. If any group of English men could, it was going to be this one. They have power, experience even if a relatively youthful team and some talented players (a trait Southgate doesn’t seem to hold so highly in his qualification for a starting place; which says a lot about what he’s thinking).
Ospina saved one but couldn’t save from Dyer; both Spuddies scores against him. #ospinaout, did I hear you say….
Kev I agree , the ref should have sent off about half the Columbia team for that debacle. When we got the penalty their conduct was appalling and although it shouldn’t have, it undoubtably broke our composure and we were there for the taking for a good while in the 2nd half.
Thanks Eris, I have to say that it wasn’t one of the better games from the World Cup, but as you say, Southgate has a plan and he seems to be focusing on what his players can do best.
Some of the dark arts employed by Columbia left a nasty taste in the mouth, but you cannot afford to be holier than thou in World Cups, you just have to learn how to play the WC game, work the referee if he is weak, as this one was and do what you have to do to progress.
Sweden will be a more honest game, but England’s record against our Scandinavian cousins is simply appalling so I’m fearing the worst.
Hi Retsub, how are you mate?
Yep, all the tricks of the trade were on show tonight, but I feel that England are learning how to play that game as well. The South Americans are in a class of their own when it comes to simulation, but that’s how it is and you either wise up or go under and I thought that the England players are improving on that front.
I did think that the Columbians were the better side in extra time and could have won, but England regained their composure and finally won a WC shoot out.
England have played Sweden 8 times in World Cup and Euro Champs ties, winning only once, losing twice and drawing the rest, so another penalty shoot out perhaps? 😬
It was weird Kev.
Sitting in a bar where about 4 or 5 patrons talked– like they knew– “soccer”!
Started telling ’em about Ospina, why Henderson shouldn’t be taking a PEN in that situation– why you couldn’t count on a Spud– and why there was a 4th sub in extra time…
Did get quiet.
Winced– when Dier stepped up for the potential winner.
Then realized– just who– was standing on the line.
A mixed-bag of emotions!
Dier drilled it– knocked back the last-half of my beer– dropped-the-mic– and walked out. 😉
Was a pretty good day.
(Even though Eris got the exact score in our pool! 🙂 )
2 Gunner is coming back in 4 weeks. Sad that Xhaka is out, and Ospina, who is on his way out, got beaten by spud. Sell him Emery.
JW, I was watching the game with my son at his place, both of us find it hard to cheer for Spud players, but this is different I guess. At least Harry Kane is/was an Arsenal fan as a youngster.
Dier was fairly anonymous when he came on, I’m not sure what everyone sees in him.
Trippier and Maguire have been very good.
The further England go, the more knackered those Spud, Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd players will be for next season, so clouds and silver linings I suppose?
REVISED MAIL SITTING IN YOUR BOX.
Never liked him until now, but Tippier went up in my estimation big time. I loved it when he smiled at the Colombian. Pretty impressive save by Pickford as well.
jW1. I like you winced when I saw Dier step up but credit to him for holding his nerve. Henderson just didn’t look confident and anyone who takes s s short run up is either brilliant or just hopefull. I suspect he was the latter.
I suspect the Sweden game might follow a similar pattern , hopefully without all the cheating.
Come on Engerrrland
Am in the sunny Lake District of Ingurland. Good pens yesterday and now for some swede dessert!
PE, I won’t be able to post your blog till Thursday or Friday, regrettably.
Kev & retsub1, Lol @ cheering England Spuddies. Hey! If the players can forget about club rivalries and celebrate as one, fans have to follow, for Country. Who would have thought Ramos and Pique can stand side by side, defending for Spain after the recent politics-induced spat between them? Plus, the last two El clasico were very bad tempered, as the World Cup approached. Yet, they all unite to go for victory.
I am sure if England were to win the cup, no one would be worrying about how many Spurs players were in the squad (bet the Spurs fans remind us, no end, though. Scum!).
TA, that’s fine.
Welbeck is the last man standing. Maybe Torreira too. Our World Cup participants (less above two) might not be starters in our first game but I expect them to be available as 2nd half subs. We are starting the season with nearly our 1st eleven. Emery’s lucky star.
New Post 🙂