Revolution is NOT Possible: Emery Has to Meet the Team Half Way!

Arsene and Emery

Emery has left no one in doubt that he wants his team to be the protagonist, to play with energy and intensity. He is a disciple of gegen-pressing, of winning back the ball early and of playing out of the back. It is a worthwhile vision for the Arsenal football team. However, we cannot escape from the fact that such a transformation would require a near complete overhaul of the squad that Wenger left behind. Realistically that would require a minimum of three years of rebuilding work that would demand plenty of money.

We have played two tough matches this season. The big issue is not that we lost the two matches. The probability of any other team losing to City and Chelsea are quite sizable. The big issue is that players like Ozil, Aubamayang, Mhitaryan and Xhaka where shadows of themselves. Yes, Mkhitaryan in the Chelsea match too because apart from his excellent goal and his well executed cut back-assist, he was not in the game.

It is a big issue as these four players represent the heart of the offensive side of our play which was an area where we have never been poor statistically. Their very poor outing in these two matches ought to set the alarm bells ringing. Accepting that there might be a football philosophy that is theoretically the best, in practical terms the best philosophy is the one that gets the best out of a group of players.

As a matter of fact Emery faced such a challenge when at PSG where he had to abandon his high intensity demand for a quieter tempo that was constructed on possession so as to suit the players he had. There was need for him to adjust to the personnel at his disposal as much as they had to adjust to him.

Here he has found himself in exactly the same situation and he might have to also adjust for the sake of keeping pace with our rivals in all competitions. As opportunity presents itself (transfer windows), he can begin to reconstitute his squad in the direction of his ideal philosophy.

Ozil for example is the creative genius that he is because by his psychological make up, relatively speaking, he detaches from the events around him and in that state is able to see what others can’t see. That detachment is what makes him. Wenger tried to get him to add goals to his game and his creative output dropped drastically. Emery now wants him to join the team in winning back the ball quickly and he’s become a complete shadow of himself. Another example is Xhaka, who processes things tidily but very slowly. That’s his DNA. Asking him to increase his intensity is asking him for the impossible.

This does not mean that Emery cannot bring changes to this group of players. He is a coach who is good at details so he can help players grow in their respective little domains. He can make the team better in what they used to do for example in playing out from the back. He can create structural changes that can for example make us concede less. He might also be able to change the team’s mentality and their vision of the game. These might actually be his immediate goals, and his overload method is merely his means of achieving them.

There are no two ways about it, Emery has to work with the materials at his disposal and those include the above cited players. Our last summer recruitments look more like stop gap signings made to await the arrival of the new man. I believe that real rebuilding would start this January window with Emery at the heart of it.

Meanwhile Emery has displayed guts and doggedness even in his use of English. He is getting everybody to sit up. Add the tweaks to the team and I am convinced we will stay competitive.


49 thoughts on “Revolution is NOT Possible: Emery Has to Meet the Team Half Way!

  • Top stuff, PE. All agreed. The team is all over the place at the moment and it is time to make us play solid and get the best out of our players again. More tomorrow. 🙂

  • Big debate about this between Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher on Monday Night Football.

  • The two games vs Man City and Chelsea were the most shocking tactics I have ever seen at the Emirates. Cech was throwing the ball out to Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, and Monreal, whilst they were being pressed or marked. None of those players had any idea what to do. If Cech would have kicked a bit longer at the beginning of the games then both City and Chelsea would have had to have played deeper and we would have had a chance to get in the game. Suicide tactics. Xhaka seems to have some football paralysis and should be dropped until he gets his mojo back. Guendouzi is a real find and already looks ahead of the other players. Emery should have been more cautious for the first 30 minutes in both games. We gave the game away trying to play like a pseudo Barcelona and looked stupid in the process. Really poor tactics. Not even a Plan A.

  • Very well written P E. Agreed that many players are. not performing. But Emery seems to have laid down the law and shown that he is not afraid to hook players who are not meeting his requirements. Somewhere the other day someone used the word Marmite to classify players the fans either love or hate. Ok hate is a little strong but I think most people get the drift. If you look at the Invincibles off the top of my head I can’t think of a single player who would be called a Marmite. When I look at today’s squad I see a number of ‘Marmites’ . These would include Xhaka, Ozil, Mhitaryan and Bellerin. Others would want Ramsey on the list, although the fans player of the year on the list would be beyond me. I wouldn’t include Aubameyang, as he has proved already what he is capable of. I am not going to comment on Any of these players performances, because it is a little early on the season. What I would say though, is we do seem to have too many players who may or may not perform. I watched the Brighton v United game yesterday. I suspect United May have similar issues.

  • Sean have you forgotten Arsenal 1-5 Bayern, that wasn’t a night to remember was it..?

    PE, fantastic, well balanced post, and you are correct Emery will need to modify his tactics, but let’s see where we are after the next 3 games.

    I can’t think of a more difficult start for Emery than the two games we’ve just endured, there must be a Spurs fan in charge of the fixtures computer I reckon.
    But it’s only two games, it was always going to be a difficult season that’s why I thought we’d finish outside of the top four.

  • Adapting to your players is a recipe for getting fired. This season is going to be a write off honestly and the only way I see us getting back in the Champions League is by winning Europa. Emery is probably going to stick with what he is doing and he’ll weed out those players who don’t fit his style and rightly so.

    Only Ancelotti can do that without getting walked over because he is both tough and an excellent people person. But it all goes tits up after three years at all his teams because he has no definitive style.

    Personally, I think Mhki and Auba are going to thrive in his system. It’s Xhaka and Ozil that I worry about, Xhaka especially. It’s not that he is slow because Emery used Nzonzi at Sevilla but it’s just that he is a possibility poor player whose only redeeming quality is switching play to the flanks and only when he has acres of space.

    Funny how small margins change perceptions, if Auba and Mhki convert their chances then the conversation would be how the players are adapting to Emeryville’s style. I’d say give it to January before jumping to conclusions.

  • Sean … I can understand how you feel but note I was not bemoaning the results. Am just worried that the tactics we are using, though not bad in itself, takes our star players out of the game. Auba, Ozil, Mkhi, Xhaka would never become relentless energy players.

    Either they are swept out or the tactics is tweaked so as to bring them more into the game until we are abĺe to do something fundamental about it.

  • Retsub … thanks for the fine comment. I agree that it’s early in the day for certain types of conclusion but again there is no time because a race is on. Actually I see the two bad results as a blessing otherwise we might have landed in a fool’s paradise and never be able to get out until after serious harm has been caused.

    As another example high pressing goes with a high defensive line, and we have defenders that are not known for speed. That’s suicidal.

  • P E there was a really interesting discussion along these lines on Sky Ports last night, whee Gary Neville was saying that Emery should stand by the tactics he has set out and make the players adapt to it. His argument was that when he was a Valencia, he set tactics which he kept in place for 3 or 4 games. Seniotr players were against his approach and he gave in to them. After that he lost the dressing room and rest was history. Jamie Carragherwas arguing along the lines that he should adapt accordingly. Well worth a look if you can find it somewhere.

  • Kev …. again glad it’s agreed there is need for a modification of tactics until Emery is able to get the players who can give him what he wants. Unless he believes he has such players already maybe the likes of Laca, Ramsey, Welbeck, Iwobi and one or two youngstars. But that would represent a bigger trade off for me.

    A race is on and if there are too many poor results the project would be derailed.

  • Resub … thanks for the reference. I saw the discussion last night after this article had been posted. Gary experience opened that line of thinking for me. At the end I still felt that a system that is so poorly suited to the personnel would be more damaging. I ended up on the side of the ex Liv captain.

    For the sake of the dressing room Emery need not abandon his philosophy completely but he needs to modify it to accomodate important elements in his team.
    He’s done it already in our 2nd match (Chelsea) by giving Cech more freedom to go long with the ball.

  • A fine piece, PE and very relevant too, given our current state of Flux at the club. It did occur to me that the boys seem to be struggling to meet the manager’s new style and have been over -thinking it as to affect their trust in their own abilities, shown over the years with Wenger: say what you like, except on one occasion, they always showed some zeal to give the likes of City and Chelsea a game even if we end up on the losing end. It is pertinent to remember that Chelsea hasn’t beaten Arsenal in our last six fixtures (FA Cup, Shield and league). Last Saturday, we seemed too intent on being structured (playing with the handbrakes on, as Wenger would say) and didn’t even do that excellently.

    This isn’t a vote of no confidence on the coach, by any stretch. Rather, I feel we need to support the manager with the understanding it will take time to impose his methods; the players too need to believe in what he is doing in order to succeed at it. Emery must also find a congruence between what he wants and how the players know to play; otherwise, he may have to drop the players who don’t meet his requirements and play those who do, which is pretty much half the team, having been built in the way the previous manager desired his teams to play in the modern day. Like I stated in a previous thread, the team appear self conscious and seem to be looking to the bench for approval (or disapproval) every time they do something from the training manual (or not); where they were used to going on the pitch to express themselves as intelligent beings.

    It will take time for change to occur but early signs aren’t so bad. Against the next few opponents, I will like to see Emery strike a balance or we will sacrifice an aspect of our fluid play for solidity, which isn’t the way we know it, as fans.

  • That’s probably sounded disjointed as done in a big hurry. Off to join some friends play middle aged footie. It’s a public holiday in Nigeria, you see….

  • Eris … very well said.

    Football is always changing and the crest of the new wave is intensity. N’colo Kante is on everybody’s lips now largely for his intensity, his energy.

    Pirlo wasn’t known for his intensity but he was otherwise so good to warrant teams being built around him. I doubt if Pep would have wanted him in his today’s City.

    We have to be patient with Emery, but the hard facts are that the performance of the team has a say in the life span of that patience. I reiterate that am not complaining about the two defeats, but I think we have to meet some of these players half way and then bid our time.

  • A very nice piece of writing Pony. I’m in the camp of…. the players must adapt to the coaches wishes or sit. I would say the same for any coach. We must remember that if we took our chances a little better, we would have at least drawn with Chelsea. We never really had a chance trying a new system in week 1 vs Peps team. So I believe in the manager somewhat……
    ..but I am concerned about the disorganization of Emery’s defense. A high line is one thing, but suicidally high is another. An analyst pointed out that all of our defenders were in the Chelsea half, so that there could be no offside. That is rare. Also there was not discipline from the dm as his system supposedly calls for. Plus, he didn’t start the guy whose specialty is that, Torreira.
    For me, Ozil must adjust, Mkhitaryan pressed under Klopp ( or Tuchel ). Xhaka doesn’t seem agile enough for this league, let alone this system. He is behind Ramsey, Torreira, and magic Matteo – for me.
    It really worries me that we will play a desperate team this week. The loser will be under incredible pressure, even though the schedule has been harsh, the media will be happily whipping up the fan base.

  • Fortunately we are playing a team that really is in disarray this weekend in West Ham, therefore I think that this time (please Unai) that Emery will go with two strikers in Aubameyang and Lacszette, both seem to play better when they have their strike partner alongside them.
    We definitely have issues in our defence and our midfield so maybe we should just go for it and defend in West Ham’s half by putting them on the rack?

    Midfield is going to be very interesting because in a game we should win and where we should dominate will Emery go for Torrieira and Guendouzi, or will he use Xhaka plus one?
    I hope he uses Xhaka, not least because I’m worried that Total is losing the will to live. 😄

    Who will miss out from Ozil, Ramsey and Mkhitaryan or will all three start, the uncertainty is killing me, but it’s great, because none of us can read Emery like we could almost without fail read Wenger?
    It’s scary and exciting in equal measures, but there’s no gain without some pain, or something like that…

    Keep positive 😉

  • Jnyc ….. fair enough if you have the contrary view. But I hope you realize that for the goalkeeper role there is already a compromise. In the Chelsea match it was clear that Cech was exercising greater freedom in his decisions to go long or to play out from the back. It would have been a tragedy waiting to happen if the coach had insisted on Cech playing out of the back. Don’t expect that Cech would adapt. There are players who cannot fit into certain systems. That is for sure. A coach has to be pragmatic for his own survival.

    High defensive line goes with high pressing, otherwise there would be unprotected spaces between the forward players pressing and the defenders which is equally suicidal.

    What does Emery do if he’s stuck with lumbering defenders (Musti is even faster than Sokr) and stuck with forward player like Ozil who are simply UNABLE TO PRESS effectively (in other words unable to adjust). Of course I agree that the best thing is bench them unless it would turn out to be too costly. In which case its best to wait until the right substitutes are recruited. Until then the coach tweaks to get more from such players.

  • Kev ….. after Torreira’s 2nd half stint I wondered if he was psychologically ready for a full role. In that 45minutes I saw everything but that terrier role. Stories had it that Emery’s assistant was mad with him at the final whistle for the third goal.

    West Ham may not press us so hard, so we might see Guendouzi and Xhaka again.

    The front four is difficult to call: out of Iwobi, Ozil, Ramsey, Laca, Auba, Mkhi and I believe Welbeck is exciting Emery because of his energy and natural ability at pressing. Emery is searching furiously so any four numbers can win.

  • On Torreira I must add that I felt he was busy covering spaces and passing lanes which is the Italian style, but when done in isolation here fails woefully. Otherwise I was impressed with his passing ability. We might have to give him time.

  • Pony, solid response, hard to disagree with. Very reasonable view, good facts. You’ve already convinced me, but I am bothered that Emery didn’t see the defensive issues earlier.

  • Absolutely PE, patience is what we’ll need this season and I’m sure as you and Eris discussed that Emery is smart enough to tailor his tactics as he sees what his present squad can do and what they can’t, but he has to try with them first to see if they can adapt or not.
    Torrieira will be fine, we might have to wait until the turn of the year until he has settled fully into his new life in England before we see him at his best, as he’s still getting over the World Cup.
    A lot of players may find themselves hitting the wall in a couple of months time, it might be interesting to see who can take advantage if the top four clubs start to falter.

  • OT. It was nice to see Santi Carzola strutting his stuff for Villarreal, against Sociedad, last weekend. Guy’s still got it, to be honest. Back heels, deft passes, long and short, tenacity, quick feet….. he didn’t look like a player feeling his way back but rather like one enjoying himself, the 73 minutes he was on for. After his diagnosis, he should enjoy any sort of playing time he can get.
    Nice one, Santi.

  • Hi Total and everyone.
    We all knew it would be difficult, and it’s fair to say that no other top six club was given the same level of opening fixtures as Arsenal.
    I’m happy to see Unai Emery implement his tactical philosophy because he will soon discover who does and doesn’t make the cut.
    What I’m more concerned about is how long the club took to make this necessary change.
    I would say in recent seasons, the media were either extremely sycophantic, or excessively polite when they included Arsenal in their conversations regarding the race for the PL title.
    We’re miles away, so much so that it is going to take major financial input to hope to get anywhere near the likes of City and Liverpool. Even United, who will not tolerate Mourinho for much longer. As a club, we have sat back, as we’ve done in the past, and watched clubs run away from us until they’re out of reach.
    Arsenal have the politest, most generous and patient fan-base in world football.
    Some Arsenal fans expect Emery to come in and immediately walk on water, but there has been such neglect over recent years, and a lack of genuine quality compared to clubs above us, Emery is practically having to re-invent the club and start again.
    I hope the Board have observed and learned what being a big, successful club is all about, because since moving stadium, Arsenal have not been that club.

  • Hi Herb, I would say that the last season Arsenal were realistic title contenders was that season Leicester won it, that was an enormous opportunity missed with so many top six clubs in the midst of new managers and the upheaval that entails.

    Now that Usmanov is out of the picture I’ll be keen to if KSE up their investment in the team as there is now no excuse for not doing so and if Fenway can do it at Liverpool then why can’t Enos do the same?

  • Hi Kev.
    Yeah, I agree, the next couple of years is make or break time for Arsenal.
    We can only hope Kroenke’s vision and ambition for Arsenal matches that of the Fenways at Liverpool.
    We’ve waited decades to become the club we should be, a couple of years will pass quickly.

  • Kev–
    Coincidental that you’ve mentioned Leicester– as I was just looking back at that squad in comparison to this year’s model at Arsenal. Not to say the results could be the same– but the composition of both squads is similar.

    Skeptical whenever I hear about how Arsenal’s new players ‘need XX months to bed-in’. That Foxes midfield of Kante-Albrighton-Drinkwater were fairly raw– but faced a baptism-by-experience week-in/week-out.

    This season? Absolutely NO harm doing so with Guendouzi-Torreira-Ramsey (or Mkhi). A trio with as much, or possibly more ability than that Leicester threesome.

    Simpson-Morgan-Huth-Fuchs played over-their-heads– but not necessarily man-for-man better than our current defenders.

    Vardy and Mahrez were on fire on-the-counter all season. Ulloa was hot early. Okazaki later.
    Where the four attackers here at Arsenal are quality– and should be loosed as much as possible– as the strength of the squad.

    Personally like Kasper Schmeichel– but feel our pair of keepers match-up favorably.
    That was a team that gelled by playing a consistent group (best XI) every week.
    Ranieri hit the circumstantial lottery.

    The harm this early-season? Is in moving the chess pieces as if playing checkers. The midfield can’t expect to function as a unit– without playing together continuously, week-in/week-out.

    Also coincidently? Had Arsenal not beaten Leicester twice– with a 2-1 Spurs win in December 2015? Leicester would have won the league undefeated– on 84pts with a record of 26-12-0. That’s a bit eerie in itself.


  • Hi all and PE! Very interesting post PE. To be honest, I am a bit surprised at some of the negativity so soon. Yeah, we conceded some real sloppy goals but felt that we finished the half totally on top. Too bad we did not convert our chances to really the game away. Did we just run out of gas in the second? I thought that there were definite signs that the team was beginning to respond to a new philosophy. What a find Guendozi is! Can’t believe he is only 19. Iwobi seemed to resemble the Iwobi of two years ago. Just regret that Bellerin gave up on his runs down the flank in the 2nd half. He seemed to be doing whatever he pleased in the last 20mins of the first half. Not sure that Ozil has found his groove yet. But he did track back on several occasions (likely not as much as the critics want).

    Or was I watching a different game? 😬🤔

  • Freaky stats jw! 👍😀 Was not aware of the parallels with Leicester – super stuff. Thanks.

  • PE.. it’s time to make a change in our midfielders.. We need to explore all the possibility.. If not now.. then I scared we won’t do it ever.. unless someone get injured..
    Xhaka – Guendouzi had fail twice.. why must we do it the third.. I prefer Torreira – Ramsey.. if not than Torreira – Guendouzi..

    Iwobi did okay against Chelsea.. He used to replace Ozil too.. but he also good for LW..
    So I think Ozil must rest a while.. and let Iwobi start.. Lacazzete also for CF.. with Auba and Mhiki at both winger..
    Lichts may also start.. to see how he can work with Mhiki..

  • Personnel can always become an issue. Look at us under Wenger, playing some great football, derailed by injury to one Santi Cazorla. This is actually normal. Except clubs like City have made it seem abhorrent. But we struggled to deal with any kind of press in midfield in the last few years of Wenger’s reign.

    We’ve already looked better in that regard. Some of it is to do with players changing some of their patterns of passing. (And so is new to opponents too) Some of it is down to a new player (Guendouzi) who has started very well in that regard. But before we make judgments on the personnel or how the system uses them, we need to remember that there’s been some disruptions for key players. Ozil has been injured since last season, and though he came back early for pre-season, still needs to be managed for a long season ahead, and rediscover his form. ramsey was injured too. Torreira joined us late. Xhaka joined us late. Monreal joined us late. Sokratis is new (and in my view has looked good)

    The part about giving managers time isn’t just a cliche. It applies exactly to situations like this. We’ve seen flashes of what this team can do. Even against City, if Lacazette buries that chance at 1-1, any result was possible. They were panicking anyway and trying to waste time, before we gave up another goal. Likewise, missed chances against Chelsea cost us potentially a win. The defense hasn’t been great, but they really need time together as a unit before we can judge them. Happily, we should have enough talent and attacking prowess to overcome the lesser teams while this happens. I’m not worried, and I absolutely reject that the manager should change his system right now. Way too early for that.

  • Chan …. two times only looks a small sample for conclusive actions except you’re factoring in data from your previous knowledge of the the players (which is in orde). I also think our last two matches should not be too relevant in our calculations because they were against the stiffest oppositions.

  • Shard …… completely agree that giving some under performing players more time to adjust to the new system is the ideal thing to do except that some of those player from their past records are already big suspects in their inability to adapt. Secondly there is a race on, and we cannot afford to carry two or more underperforming players. Something has to give one way or the other.

    Am also with you in rejecting that the manager should change his system.l believe though that he can adapt temporarily to the kind of players he has, until he is able to get the ones he needs. Cech is a case in hand who made more passes (42) in the City match than in the Chelsea’s (36) despite the fact that Chelsea made more attempts at goal (24) against City’s (17). Emery had adjusted by giving him more leeway to go long with the ball.

    I apologize for the title of this post that obscured its message. The title could well have been ” EMERY TO AXE THOSE NOT ADJUSTING TO HIS PHILOSOPHY — A THREE YEAR PLAN”.

  • Have to agree with Shard, I don’t go along with all this negativity re: Sokratis, I actually think that he’s done ok considering the changes that are going on around him.

    JW, that’s an interesting comparison you make between the Leicester season and now.
    Of course now we have the monster that is Man City to contend with.

    I wonder if Nelson will be in the squad this weekend, even coming off of the bench he could prove an intriguing option for Emery?

  • Agree PE.. two games can’t count the whole season.. It’s still 36 games ahead.
    But to underestimated Westham is a mistake.. They have Pellegrini as the coach and 3 ex Gunners (Fabianski, Wilshere and Perez) and Arnautovic.. a Damon striker which I hated a lot cause he always make trouble to our team.. Hehehe..
    And don’t forget they also have Chicarito and Yarmelenko..

    We need change.. that’s the fact..
    And we have more enough good players to be mixed with in more variatif composition.. All we need is the courage of our new Manager Emery to bench whoever outperform players.. so the competition can run effectively..

    Great news about Koscielny.. We need his solid rock to secure our back.. Hope to see him soon on the field in couple weeks..

  • Nothing that showed over what distance. 40m, 60, or what? If their max is calculated Auba 1st, Welbz 2nd, Iwobi 3rd, Sokr 4th, Bel 5th.

    No information on their acceleration from zero which determines that initial 4m bust of speed which is very important in football. We’d be shocked that bottom man Torreia might top the chart there.

  • I will admit I am not sure what to make of that expose by Auba, as the basis of measurement isn’t clear. But just taking it on face value, I was surprised to see Sokratis up there as well, with Torreira so far below. One thing I’d say though; this kind of information will certainly increase the competitiveness of the squad, to the benefit of all.

  • Kev, some observations from the interesting analyses in the article by SwissRamble:

    1. Gazidis has not been a bad CEO for Arsenal as he has kept things on an even keel for the club, considering that 2 of the top 6 EPL clubs we are pitched against are known to manipulate FairPlay rules to bump up financials (recall how Abu Dhabi group bought rights to improving the area around the City grounds for an inordinate £400m). While Gazidis could have done a bit more in improving our commercial revenue sources, it’s hard to know to what extent the long term stadium naming rights, shirt sponsorships and (late) sleeves deals affected his ability to do more on the commercial side. He is also a member of UEFA’s executive committee, in some capacity (will check that after this); will we be willing to risk losing such an influence at continental level?

    2. The article made something of the fact that our famed huge cash reserve currently at £180m, has been bettered by both MUFC (£290m) and Spurs (£200m). The other side of this development is that as the debt profile of Spurs rose to accommodate the stadium project, lenders will insist on the maintenance of a healthy ‘cash reserve to debt’ profile, just to assure them they have made a good lending decision. Same way it was for us all those years we kept good cash balances to the chagrin of uninformed fans who wanted the club to “spend some money”. For a long time, MUFC’s cash balances were way below the acceptable ratio, but that club’s huge global commercial appeal and the brand profile offset any concerns their lenders may have had before; at present, unless mufc is thinking about some major outlay, the fact they have now begun to correct that anomaly may speak of a new demand by their lenders for some discipline, as potential for further growth in commercial revenues reduce; or it may just be that they’ve become flush with funds from increased TV/broadcast revenues which, of course, affects all the clubs the same. Maybe, we should await the release of our next financials (which is projected to show reduced revenues, by the £40-£50m lost from non participation in the UCL).

  • Kev, Eris …..interesting. A glimpse of the battle raging on the other side of the ocean.

  • Actually? Do not find Torreira’s place surprising in the ‘max speed’ table.
    If you watch his movement– it is far more attuned to reading the field spatially– than sprinting to a spot or with an opposing player. His quickness, measured physically, probably tops the chart. Conjoined with the rarer trait– recognition of ‘what comes next’– usually before anyone else on the pitch? Means Torreira is rarely in need of ‘bursting’.

    Good example of a less-than-meaningful stat.


  • jw1, spot on, RE: Torreira’s qualities. The man just knows how to sniff out impending danger, at least, as his performance at the World Cup showed. The reason I was disappointed he failed to see the threat in not matching Alonso’s burst into the area and staying goal side of him, to prevent that Chelsea winning goal. He will improve when he gets to start games.

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