I’m noticing a trend. In games where teams decide to put us under pressure, try to disrupt our midfield and our build-up from the back - Southampton, Everton up to a point, and today’s game - Thiago looks worse than in games where teams drop off and let us play (Arsenal, Wolves, Porto). Does it mean Thiago is a fair-weather player? I don't think so – what it shows is that Thiago performs a specific function in our system, he is the player who invites pressure upon himself, trusting his ability to wriggle out or pass his way out of it, which either pulls opposing players out of position or shows them that pressing is futile and forces them to drop off. All of this leads to this feeling of control we all noticed as soon as Thiago and Fabinho were both fit to start games together – no more sew-saw games like Brentford and Brighton, it's generally been one-way traffic. So the games where Thiago looks worse are actually a testament to him continuing to perform his tactical function, even when the other team is specifically set up to disrupt him. A midfielder with less confidence in his ability would "adjust" and change the way he is playing and thus our build-up play would suffer and the front 3 would starve or be forced to chase long balls; when Thiago is put under pressure he still does what he does to progress the ball through the midfield, just with somewhat diminished effectiveness (which we notice as fans), but still clearly effective enough for us to win all these games. I think in time more and more opponents will decide to drop off and not challenge our midfield and then we will have other problems to solve against "parking the bus". But for now, after our start of the season the opponents in the league have largely decided that they can gain something by taking the game to us – and Thiago and Fabinho have come in at a perfect time to "close the door" on that idea.