Skip to content

Arsenal tactics: How Lucas Torreira can be driving force in central midfield

Danny Higginbotham analyses Gunners' passing style

Torriera during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on September 15, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
Image: Arsenal's Lucas Torreira had a positive impact against Newcastle

Danny Higginbotham explains how Lucas Torreira's half-time introduction against Newcastle put Arsenal on the front foot - and why he could cause Everton problems.

With the match all square at the break at St James' Park last weekend, Unai Emery swapped Matteo Guendouzi for Torreira in central midfield and the Gunners went on to grab a comfortable 2-1 win.

Live Renault Super Sunday

The Uruguay international had an instant impact - and Sky Sports News tactics expert Higginbotham explained how Torreira's forward passing and support runs added more to Arsenal's attacking play than Guendouzi's more conservative use of the ball.

Guendouzi pass map
Image: Guendouzi's passing map against Newcastle

"When you look at the average positions for Guendouzi and Torreira, they're near enough identical. But it was the movement of the passes that was different. When Torreira came on he made a real difference in terms of how he went about it.

Image: Torreira's passing map against Newcastle

"Guendouzi, a lot of his passes were sidewards, backwards or him dropping deeper. But Torreira was picking the ball up in the same areas but look at how he was getting forward. That's what you need.

Torreira was picking the ball up in the same areas but look at how he was getting forward. That's what you need.
Danny Higginbotham

"When teams play against Arsenal, more often than not, they're going to sit and be deep and be compact. So to unsettle defences that are going to try to play like that is to try to create spaces in between the midfield and defence.

Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi in action during a training session at London Colney on August 22, 2018
Image: Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi are battling for a central midfield spot

"There was no real threat for Newcastle in the first half. Torreira's first pass took the ball beyond Newcastle's midfield. Then when he's driving with the ball gaps start to appear. They started getting the ball into the centre forward's feet.

Also See:

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Watch highlights of Newcastle 1-2 Arsenal

"It caused Newcastle a lot more problems, they weren't able to stay in their shape and that was a big difference for them."

Fantasy Six-A-Side
Fantasy Six-A-Side

Will Torreira make your six-a-side team for Super Sunday?

Play Super 6
Play Super 6

Jeff gave away £1.5m last month. Enter your predictions to be the next winner here.

Around Sky