Dani Ceballos says that his enthusiasm and desire to play led to the hamstring injury that has seen him more or less sidelined since November of last year.
The midfielder has just one brief substitute appearance under Mikel Arteta having featured regularly under Unai Emery, and he says he’s learned a lesson from how often he played.
In a wide-ranging interview with Marca, he says, “It was … due to an excess of matches.
“I had 17 games in two months, I was the only player who had played all those games. At that time I spoke with Unai [Emery] and told him that in all competitions, as long as I could and my body allowed it, I wanted to play it all.
“Sometimes you have to learn from mistakes. It cost me an injury, but you learn a lot.”
The departure of Emery was a blow for Ceballos who spoke highly of the former coach, saying he chose Arsenal over Liverpool during the summer because his countryman had convinced him he could play a big role for the Gunners.
He now has to convince Mikel Arteta he’s worthy of a place in the team, and after the new manager’s comments about his fitness, he sounds determined to do that and enthused by working with him.
“Mikel is going to be a great coach,” he said. “He has learned from Pep, he has a game philosophy that I think fits perfectly in what he asks for his team.
“Yes, it is true that he has arrived in a difficult situation for the club but mentally he is the coach that I think is what Arsenal need right now.
“Since I came back I have been working with him just two weeks and now is when I have to show him that I am fit to play in Arsenal. After the break I will be important.”
Let’s hope so, and he also touched on stories about his potential departure in January, suggesting he wanted to show character by forging his way back into the Arsenal side.
“You have to return that trust through work and to reverse the situation,” he said.
“If I achieve it, it will have more value, the fact of returning from an injury and helping the team to achieve its objectives will leave a better feeling than if I had made the cowardly decision to leave.
“Arsenal bet on me and I can’t let them down. The fans have a song dedicated to me, there are only three or four players on the team who have their song and have been there for many years.
“I feel very happy, every time I play in the Emirates, or go out to warm up … the fans are always supporting me.”
Let’s hope he can play a part between now and May as we look to start winning games again.