It’s been going on so long I expected to read a rumour that Torreira is leaving Arsenal

By Sir Hardly Anyone

But no, it turns out that all this time he hasn’t been an Arsenal man at all, and we’ve just been keeping on keeping on.  And on. And… well you know what they journalist johnnies are like.

But no, lo! and behold! yes, the Telegraph tells us “Unai Emery is close to finalising his midfield for next season following positive contract talks with Aaron Ramsey and the planned completion of a £26 million deal for Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira.”

Now tucked in there is a double bit of good news.   Xhaka is apparently extending his contract until 2023 by which time my homeland of Rutland will have completed its Rutxit negotiations as we leave the UK.  And we have Terrieir.  Or Torreira of whatever his name is.  And Ramsey is extending too: four or five years we are told.  All jolly good stuff.

Ramsey plus Torreira plus Xhaka.  No wonder the boss told Jack he would have limited playing time.

And as if this were not enough for the “middle of the park” as the commentators like to say, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny are on new contracts too.

So how do they play?

My guess is you play Torreira in front of a flat back four, and then place Xhaka and Ramsey in front of him meaning the team can break up the attacks and counter quickly.

But staying with the Telegraph, they even managed to catch up with Wednesday night’s meeting with the supporters groups.   According to the Telegraph the new boss said “he would endeavour to implement an attacking style of football next season. ‘I prefer to win 5-4 than 1-0 because football is about emotion and what is the best feeling in football? When you score,’ he said.”

Well, yes, that rather does miss the nuance of what was really said, which included the comment that 5-0 was better still and the intimation that the 5-4 comment was not meant to be taken that seriously.  But journalists and jokes – I’d never bank on one of them getting it.

They did however get the Ivan Gazidis quote right when he said, “We really have a collective effort now, in terms of how we identify players and then how we take forward our interest, and of course Unai is a huge part of that.   This is now a different way of doing things, one with a very, very accomplished team of professionals who we have spent time bedding into the club.

“We have the challenge of integrating an awful lot of new ideas and new people and new energy. We have brought in a new head of recruitment in Sven Mislintat and alongside him is Huss Fahmy, who has been involved with negotiating a lot of our player contracts, and also we have Raul Sanllehi who joins us from Barcelona.

“Unai has been in the thick of that process in terms of what we need in the squad. I don’t believe in bringing a player in that the coach does not want individually and also positionally.”

The implication of the Xhaka Ramsey and Torreira combination is that there are only three attacking positions left to fit in Ozil, Aubamayang, Mkhitaryan and Lacazette, and that’s before we think about Welbeck.

Selling one of them might be necessary, but it means that the moment someone gets injured we are really reducing the force of our forward line.  What’s more we have four competitions as usual, and if (by way of example) we can qualify for the second phase of the Europa after four matches we can use the last two to use some very inexperienced players supported by whoever hasn’t been getting regular games, led by just one of our regular men to stop them getting too excited.

And you never know, we might actually go over to having a different formation away from home from the format at home.  If we could start replicating last season’s home form away, then life would be very different indeed.



One Reply to “It’s been going on so long I expected to read a rumour that Torreira is leaving Arsenal”

  1. Danny has to he sacrificed in my opinion, more forward than AM of any kind I think Lacazette runs back up at C.F. and on occasions combines to create a 2 up top.

    Even with Lacazette omitted from the starting XI you are left with an inverted 9 with Mikhitaryan and Aubameyang flanking Mesut. Or a combination that omits one newly signed high earner.

    For me Meyer and Golovin continue to be preferable supplements to a strong forward line. With it appearing increasingly likely that Arsenal could employ 2 separate formations. 4-3-1-2 and 4-3-3 of some variant. One offering greater midfield control at the.expense of a fourth outright attacker or architect. And another which would be more inline with our 4-2-3-1 system which has arguably served the club well over time.

    With indications that in addition to reinforcements/upgrades some players will be departing the club from the first team fold. It seems increasingly likely that Cech and Ospina will be casualties of the new regime, whilst Welbeck seems the next likely candidate with a new recruit at LB sure to be considered before the potential negotiation of Monreal to another club, given that his contract is in its last year and Kolosinac has only just joined and equipped himself well as deputy to the experienced Spaniard.

    It seems entirely likely that both Sokratis and Torreira are imminent arrivals. Which will not only strengthen the starting line up but also add depth to the midfield areas and defensive line with the already confirmed Leno and Lichtsteiner.

    If Meyer were to join he would bolster the options in transition aidingthe cohesion when transitioning from defence to attack, giving greater stability and penetration whilst adding options on the bench.

    Should it prove that Sokratis and Torreira are indeed imminent arrivals, transition will play second fiddle only to the balancing of the books and bankrolling if any further successes in terms of new arrivals.

    Question marks swirl around Welbeck, Perez and Mustarfi, although the latter seems likely to get an opportunity at reprieve. Meanwhile names such as Ospina, Cech and Monreal are a wash with pragmatism, should we not cash in before it’s too late?

    Jenkinson, Cohen, Macey and Martinez should surely look to the departure of Wilshere as indication that anything but total commitment and a clear indication of advancement will not be tolerated lightly.

    At the first ask England are found wanting. Southgate as expected ooys to shoulder the blame citing other agendas as central to the squad. While many will consider his rotation as naive and potentially costly in the grand scheme of things, which he ultimately alluded to often in his defence.

    Kane will need to be at his best if England are to progress. While Belgium will be quietly satisfied to join the elite 9 points from 9 is not to he scoffed at. With Japan being one of the preferable round of 16 draws. One they will be certain to expect to progress beyond.

    Will I rue not placing a wages. Only time will tell.

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