Ceballos: I was wrong to think I should have been playing

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Dani Ceballos says a frank conversation with Mikel Arteta led to an upturn in form and he admits, in retrospect, he was wrong to get frustrated thinking he should be playing when he wasn’t fit enough.

After recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for six weeks, the midfielder didn’t play a single minute of Arteta’s first full month in charge. Frustrated by the situation and worried a lack of game time would see him excluded from Spain’s Euro 2020 squad, he explored a premature January return to Spain.

In the end, he stuck things out, got picked for the Premier League game with Newcastle at the start of February and featured in every remaining game. By the end of the season, he’d told the boss he wanted to come back for more and the Gunners have since sealed a deal to keep the 24-year-old for another season.

Reflecting on the way his relationship with the boss developed, Ceballos told Arsenal.com: “To be honest, it wasn’t easy for him because he was coming into a dressing room that had already had two other coaches and where the team hadn’t been able to get the results that everyone wanted.

“It wasn’t easy for me to get into the team either because I was coming off the back of a long injury lay-off. I felt like I should be playing but I was wrong about that because I wasn’t fit. The coach was really straight with me and said that if I got myself fit and kept working hard, I’d have a chance of getting back into the team.

“I ended up performing well and repaying the faith he’d shown in me before the Newcastle game. From that moment onwards, we started to build a good coach/player bond and things went well for me personally. I think he’s made me a much better player in the last six months.”

After a traumatic first half of the season for the players and a ridiculously hectic opening couple of months for the boss, the timing of the lockdown restrictions that came into play in the UK in March worked out pretty well for the Gunners.

For Ceballos, who was just starting to find form, it was also an opportunity to double-down on his fitness efforts.

“Unfortunately the pandemic happened, but on a personal level and from an Arsenal perspective it helped us because we were able to go home and reset,” says Ceballos. 

“The coach spoke to me a lot, as he did with many other players at the club. Then when we came back, the team started to progress. We set ourselves the objective of doing better than we had been doing before the pandemic, and I think from that moment forward we were a different team and were able to do well.

He added: “It wasn’t really a lockdown for me. I created a gym at home and trained like an animal. I knew that when we came back we’d only have 11 games left and I’d need to give everything I had to help the club finish as high as possible.

“I think you saw the best of me because the team was improving and because during the month and a half of lockdown I trained every single day. I think you could see on the pitch that I was in good shape physically and that’s why I was able to perform so well after the restart.”

 

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Naked Cygan

We need all the players to train and play like animals.

A Different George

I wonder if that is a common idiom in Spanish (like “worked his socks off” in English), since both Arteta and Ceballos have used it.

vin_unleaded

Which animal/animals you thinking?

Merlin’s Panini

a three toed sloth or maybe a takin or perhaps a capybara

Biggles

But not small, furry, ones…

Crqckhead

Snorted like a crqckhead with that comment

Tapps

Or feathered ones that lay eggs, and like beach balls.

BillyKrystal

Danimaniacs

Pakgooner

What do you do when you’re in love with a loan player?

Gunner J

Loan him your love I guess

David C

Loanly, I am so loanly.

Pepedinho

Epic ?

Johnny 4 Hats

The headline quote sounds like a downbeat Drake song.

The Kolkata Gooner

You loan him back for another year and agree to pay his wages in full.

Tucker

What an unreal approach, great example for the young lads coming through to follow

Leon

Loaning players?
Isn’t that what Championship teams do?

JB_

Yeah, championship teams like Bayern (Coutinho, James, Perisic, Coman….)

Is this really news to you?

Leon

Fair enough – you have a point…

James Lee

Covid times now lots more loans happening, who cares as long as hes playing for arsenal he can help us get champions league football next season

Runzac

Arteta – the coach that makes players better.

jw1

Emery– the one that screws them up.

No worries Dani. Nice recovery.

Diaby's Left Peg

Let it go…

Yellow Ribbon

Ceballos is a wonderful player. Would have loved it even more if we had included an option to buy at the end of the season. Anyway it is good to have you here again Dani.

Now go get Partey and I am sure we would have a decent midfield to play with.

Fatgooner

He’s a decent player and it’s nice to see him back. The interesting thing about the weekend was the involvement if Ozil. It looks the club have taken a pragmatic decision. Clearly nobody wants to buy Mesut so the club are going to get as much as they can out of him before he walks away. Makes sense.

The Partey signing is essential.

GD10

In most employment contracts they state that you have to perform other duties outside your main ones if required.

I’d have Ozil handing out the drinks and when crowds can fo back he can sell programmes.

Theres been 427 ozil false dawns since he signed that contract so it wont be any different this time so rather than let him sit at home playing fortnite we can make him work in other ways.
Maybe then he’ll finally fuck off.

Biggles

I think we’re stuck with Mr O until his contract expires. A question, answers on one side of A4 only: By the time his contract does expire in June 2021, how much money will he have cost the club (in transfer fees and (reported) wages)? I don’t know for sure but it’s a huge amount, possibly over £200 million. Undoubtedly the biggest waste of money in the club’s history.

Chamakhyungpark

It’s a lot of money but not +200M.

He is on about 18.2M a year

Chamakhyungpark

Either way the last few seasons has been a joke. But, it’s not all on Ozil. We had a joke of a team and a joke of a coach.

atom

Our all in investment in Ozil probably is pretty easily north of 150m even if not 200m. We paid 40m in basic transfer fee – and 8m in basic wages a year his first 4 years. We’re going to end up paying him 18m a year in basic wages for close to 4 years as well. None of that includes bonuses, what was likely a pretty sizable signing on fee, agent fees etc. We very well could end up spending over 200m on him.

EZD

To put that in context – the Emirates cost £390m. On your calculations, Ozil cost around £150m, not too far shy of half the stadium cost!

Still, just because Ozil has declined and isn’t playing now, we shouldn’t forget the good times he gave us in the first half of his time with us. And I suppose on the financial side he probably sold us a lot of shirts!

Atom

I have no problem with the first 1/2 of Ozils tenure. The new contract will go down with the contract Man U gave Sánchez as arguably the worst in the entire history of the PL

EZD

Yeah true. Do you think Auba’s new contract could similarly end up being a bad deal?

For some reason I’m completely confident that Auba will stay top level for us for years. But then again, I was really pleased when Ozil re-signed for us at the time, so what do I know!

Atom

Ozil was really patchy prior to his new contract and was more important for what he symbolized (he represented the idea of us competing at the top again) than he was for his play. Auba is absolutely vital to out on field success and is playing at a consistent top class level. He might fade by the end but I’m confident we’ll get at least 2 good years out of him whereas we’ve gotten basically nothing out of Ozil since the new contract

Qwaliteee

So, his presence and play in the FA Cup Finals of 2014, 2015 and 2017 were secondary to what he ‘symbolised’…..?

?

Biggles

Well, it’s certainly huge. Remember, his transfer fee totaled £42.4 million. He’s been with us since 2013-14. His initial salary at around £175k – £200k a week which was increased to £350k a week in 2017-18 season, and that runs to 2021. Whatever the final total, is it VFM? There’s only one answer to that (and it’s not “Yes”).

Qwaliteee

What price do you put on three FA Cups in four years then.

It’s a well known fact of life that people like you, Biggles my old
son, know the price of everything.

And the value of fuck all.

Fatgooner

When we play those rubbish teams in the EL and the other cups Ozil will be useful to make up the numbers. But he shouldn’t be anywhere near the PL squads. It will be humiliating for him to be used as a fringe player, but that’s what he deserves.

Qwaliteee

I very much doubt he would consider being used as a fringe player in this squad to be humiliating, such is the player’s professionalism and the difference between his mindset – and yours.

And what the player deserves is to be commended for taking a stand with this cowboy cunt of a majority shareholder – and his suspicions were proved not to be unfounded. An intelligent guy – perhaps you’ll catch up one day.

Paul Rowlands

Cutting the half time oranges…

Qwaliteee

There aren’t any half time Oranges.

Kroenke promised Arteta and the players that they would be safe from the Covid 19 cuts he was having to implement to the match day catering budget.

Unfortunately, it was another fucking lie.

Tapps

This article ought to be force read to Guendouzi and Ozil until their ears bleed.

Biggles

Yes, quite – although I fear they are both beyond even that now.

Qwaliteee

And that, Biggles, is why Mikel Arteta is the manager of Arsenal – and you’re not. ?

Qwaliteee

Why Ozil?

For refusing to take Kroenke’s dodgy pay cut?

Grow up, for fuck’s sake.

Santori

1) Good loan again. Builds upon tangible improvements with BOTH Granit and Ceabllos. A good reference point to build from particularly in engine room 2) Signing him back on is back to square one as we left it last season. In order to improve we need to be adding further capabilities (Aouar or someone on left and someone to alternate effectively with Granit) whilst retaining key capabilities (Bellerin) with good future ahead. 3) Good age Ceballos at 23yrs. Aouar would also be around the same age, many other players Saka, Nelson, Nketiah also younger and represent good future. We should… Read more »

Santori

As for the Aouar situation, deal apparently rejected. We keep trying to push low 30m mark and a player they don’t want, not surprising. We need to bite the bullet and pay mid 40m IMO, not dick around. BUT that may entail compromise in at DM. Clearly we cannot afford two unicorn signings. As mentioned we have commitments as is to Saliba and Pepe at 20m. Then maybe some 10m for loans Ceballos, and Willian deal (plus afters on Mari and Soares) We are having issues selling (Not Surprising) Either of Laca, Auba, Bellerin or one of the keepers to… Read more »

Frog

Shut up

Sachin

What’s with the bile. Has he abused your mum?

Kendall Jefferson

Wow man!!!! Maybe Arsenal should give you Edu’s job since you seem to know so much about how their transfers should go. While they do that, you could also donate 3/4 of your annual earnings to them for these transfers since you love living in your dream world. Just look at the players you’re asking us to sign (Edouard, Khedira, Szoboslai/Benrahma/Coutinho), you seem to forget how bloated our squad is and that none of these players would be willing to sit on the bench. If we sign Edouard, what’s gonna happen to Nketiah and Martinelli and if we sign Benrahma/Coutinho,… Read more »

Stan Adams

Dani is a great player,skiful,determined,non stop agression and energy on the pitch and his actions off the pitch are supportive of Arteta and Afc.
Mr Ozil if you read this you get the skiful comment too and the rest is whats missing with you.

Reality check

When you hate on a player that isn’t even mentioned in the article, you know that people have issues. Ozil may not be performing very well but he’s never been a c*unt that deserves to be hated this way..

Atom

The guy is one of the top paid players in the PL and didn’t do whatever he needed to even make the bench let alone starting 11 post lockdown. At this point we all need to accept we haven’t gotten anywhere close to the player we thought we were when we signed him to the 2nd largest contract in the PL at the time. He’ll be gone in a year – maybe he can contribute something meaningful this year to the team. But for most people Ozil really should be “who cares” at this point.

Sachin

There’s a breed of Arsenal fans who need to hate one of us all the time – Wenger, Granit, Mustafi, Eboue, Luiz, etc. Asking them to be decent, level-headed and stick with the team will get you taunts that ‘you aren’t a winner’ ‘money has been wasted’ ‘no ambition’. Usually the sort who jack off to Mourinho serial winner’s press conferences.

atom

Criticism is not the same thing as hate even if most conflate the two these days. Most fans when the team kicks off simply want the team to win as we are fans of Arsenal above all – it doesn’t matter who is in the team or who is managing it. Wenger was a bit of a screwy situation in that Gazidas made it clear that Wenger would have full control of all footballing decisions until he lost the fans which is pretty much what happened. It wasn’t the signs etc. that signaled the end – it was the empty… Read more »

Sachin

Don’t take it personally. You might be offering ‘criticism’ and you are surely entitled to. Wanting Arsenal to win is one thing, entitlement and juvenile behaviour is another. I refuse to accept that picking on individuals is ever the right thing to do, or an acceptable component of modern day football. That’s pure projected resentment, envy of other clubs’ success and all-round contemptible trend thanks to trigger happy ‘fan’ social media channels.

Atom

Personal critiques such as attacking a person on the basis of religion, race etc are unacceptable. But that’s not what’s going on here nor with the majority of fans. The majority of criticisms of Ozil, Wenger etc are pointing out very valid flaws that need to change for the club to reach the standards it once had and aims it still claims to have. Shutting down all valid disagreements on the idea that “it’s attacking someone” etc is a very dangerous line to cross

Assshavin

He didnt need to stall out signing a new contract until we were desperate enough to give him a contract he never deserved, but gave him because of the fear of the fans’ backlash from losing our two best players the same season. And after signing he could more or less have paid the club that believe in him, with good performances. He has every right to do what he has done, just as the fans have every right to dislike him for it.

Santori

Not surprisingly there is news Lacazette is not happy. Hopefully Auba is going to extend bc if he gets his head turned as well, likely he is waiting on Barca or PSG, he will go and we will be left with a disgruntled Laca and more issues on our hand if he wants to leave too. We may not realise price and we will struggle to replace. PLUS Bellerin at the moment, if Non Mendes is bought for say 12-15m, does not make any sense. Bellerin goes for 25m maybe 30m so effectively he is going for only 15m Which… Read more »

Biggles

Lacazette will go, I think. He won’t want to play second fiddle to Auba (assuming he re-signs) and we can raise pretty good money for him which won’t be the case if we keep him too much longer – age/length of contract left etc. The jury is out on Willian of course but we are committed to paying an older player (little/no re-sale value) a lot of money over his contract. Now, if he’s a big hit, who cares? If he’s not, then it’s another financial “anchor” dragging on the wage bill to go with Ozil’s.

T.A.

This episode, as described by Ceballos, has uncovered the wonderful man management that Arteta has brought. He really does have an amazing ability at bringing out the best in players and pushing them even beyond that. Too bad he wasn’t my coach when I was dreaming of professional football as a career.

Amusa

Trained like an animal… he’s Ceballosauraus now.

T.A.

Good one

Igora Stepanova

Buenooo Grande Ceballos