Unai Emery has praised the, dare we say it, mental strength of Dani Ceballos, saying this Arsenal team needs more players like him because of that.

The Spaniard took a heavy knock in the 2-1 defeat to Barcelona last Sunday, but the 22 year old’s determination to train throughout the week has impressed the Arsenal boss.

The on-loan Real Madrid man is in contention to start the Gunners Premier League opener against Newcastle later today, as with Mesut Ozil missing there’s a gap in midfield. Emery will choose between Ceballos and Joe Willock, but it’s clear he thinks highly of his compatriot.

“Ceballos’ mind is very strong,” he said.

“His mentality. Last Sunday, when he received a big kick on his ankle I thought ‘Oh, it’s broken’.

“But after, on Monday, he was training, saying, ‘I’m fine and want to train’. He is showing us every day his ambition, his hunger is big. I think we need players like this.”

Arsenal have had problems on the road in the last couple of seasons, losing 20 games in total across both campaigns, but after a strong summer in the transfer market, Emery says the team is ready to make that improvement.

“Raul Sanllehi and Edu were working together to find the best solutions, being competitive in the moment we can sign another player and also using the club to support us economically to do that,” he said.

“Now we are going to fight strong with a big responsibility with this squad and after that we want to continue doing well.”

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With the usual suspects all winning, let’s hope we kick off the season with a solid away win and a clean sheet to go with it.

Being on the new season, excited for the team after a few years.


Bring *


Yes. A win away at Newcastle, with a clean sheet if at all possible, will be an excellent start for our new look team – both as a result in itself and for team morale as well.

While, over a season, teams recover from bad starts and also throw away the advantage of a good one (and we’ve certainly done both over the years), keeping pace with the “usual suspects” we’re up against now from the outset is a big plus, far better than having to play catch-up for long periods.


If we win this game away convincingly, by a 3 goal margin and a clean sheet, with a team that doesn’t include anything near to our 1st defence, I will be so excited for the season ahead.

Drogheda Gunner

Just give us the 3 points anyway possible I’ll be happy but your way sounds good too. Lol

Thierry Bergkamp

One of, or both Chelsea and Utd to drop points, so 3 points would be great.


We did!


Sounds like Emery is having a tactical dig at Ozil to me…

Ex-Priest Tobin

Probably, but perhaps our manager should go easy a bit.

Take this match for instance – it must be utterly terrifying for his incredibly wealthy self to receive scrawled half-literate death threats from thirteen-year-old impoverished moped-riding punks.

Of course this is a legitimate reason for Ozil to miss this match, along with all the other reasons he has missed matches in the past (e.g. slightly blocked nostril, hair not completely dry before the match, sore index finger after too much Fortnite the night before).


You really are a horrible, nasty, hate-filled person, I can’t remember you ever posting anything nice, or funny or in any way positive. These two players have been attacked, they’ve had their friends and families threatened (remember there are those two lovely little girls in Mesut’s house, how terrifying must this be for them?) and are now having to be guarded night and day. That is not nothing. There are Arsenal fans like you who depress me.


Perhaps we should introduce Tobin to Kolasinac.


Not sure really. Nothing overtly critical of course so it’s down to interpretation of Emery’s comments.

Number one penny

Don’t get the down votes cause who else could he be referring to.


Ozil loves a day off, particularly an away day…..

The problem Emery had towards the end of last season was he was forced to bring Ozil back into the fold, due to a lack of other options.

Ozil played from the right mainly last season, and you’d have to think that spot will be taken by Pepe as the season progresses.

If Ceballos settles quickly? And Willock keeps progressing? Opportunities to play centrally will also be limited.


I think Emery is getting into the things Ceballos knows deep in himself so next summer he’s happy, feels appreciated from the first day and stays at Arsenal . You have to compliment a guy


Because i think that in his career Özil has already showed his mental strength a huge number of times.


Me too


And then ceballos gets injured, its not mental strength, this is just bad management if he has got a knock let it heal. We don’t need him to be injured on the 1st day of the season


Seriously I just don’t get it. How did you manage to bring Özil into this? We don’t even know what kind of situation is happening around those two players – last I heard there were two people arrested outside Mesut’s house and that his wife has travelled back to Deutschland. Yes, Özil has had several issues with away games with alleged back pains and “foot” injuries and what have you, but this is a whole other ball game. Lives are at risk here, have a little compassion ffs

Evang. Simon

You need all the available moral. winning big is making an intent statement that we will not be a push over by any bully Alas Manc.


i thought the same, i know he is a madrid player buf damn barca were being heavy with him


I see Santi replacement in him

Dingle goonie

Any kind of win today will be most welcome and will help banish our away day blues and give us a platform to build on. I’d settle for no mistakes, players up for it all over the pitch and 3pts. Coyg


Dani £15M a year Ceballos, the only player in football History who gets a standing ovation from the fans of his very temporary club without having kicked a ball.


It’s called fans’ investment in convincing a near-prodigy to give up and move from the world’s most successful football club.

How else could we convince him to move to Arsenal? Throw wads of cash like City?
Show a trophy laden cabinet like Juventus?
Or some legendary manager?
Arsenal fans are just being realistic in making the player feel as wanted as they can, so no qualms there.

Drogheda Gunner

I don’t think they paid 15m for one year loan of ceballos that sounds like some jealous spurs fan made it up to make himself feel better because he chose us over them


More intrigued by this guy than any other signing. The assumption seems to be he’s coming in as a number 10 to compete with Ozil but his heatmap on Transfer suggests he plays a lot more at centre mid while his numbers suggest he’s more a passer than he is involved in goals. Wouldn’t that put him in competition with Xhaka for the CM spot? If so he then could be the solid central passer we need, playing around Torreira like Cazorla played around Coquelin in that period where they were somehow one of the best midfield partnerships in the… Read more »


I saw him play for the Spain u21s and he’s certainly more of a cm than an out and out ‘no 10’. I expect to see him, guendouzi, willock and torreira fighting it out for our 3 midfield spots sooner rather than later. I think Xhaka will be out of the starting XI relatively soon.

Drogheda Gunner

Yeah I loved santi he wan genius

Nachos in Montreal

‘ Last Sunday, when he received a big kick on his ankle I thought “Oh, it’s broken”.’

Oh fuck, I’m hoping so hard that Ceballos’s ankle is actually 100% good, and him not playing through it just to impress his boss.


I had similar thoughts. One thing to impress the new boss, but no point in exacerbating an injury. Maybe Emery talking it up a little to build his reputation amongst some of the more traditional fans. Feels like a while since we’ve had some players who enjoy the rougher side of EPL.
I’m really hopeful that he and Torreira can form a strong connection, something akin to Coqzorla. Torballos? I’ve nothing against Xhaka perse but I’d not mid his errors, and maybe Luis can provide a little or what Xhaka does in terms of long passing range.

Naked Cygan

This game will finish 1-1, with Newcastle taking an early lead, and Arsenal getting a goal in the last 10 min.


It’s a possibility of course, but I hope we get the three points there as we did last season.

As we all know, our away form last season was almost worse than terrible and we simply must improve that drastically if we’re going to close the gap on the teams above us last season. We can make a start on that today, give a boost to morale, and speed up the integration of our new players. A triple whammy!


Hmm, ceballos is a loan player and unproven in this league. And he replaced our star wage earner.

A barb at ozil, recognition of talent/commitment or both?