Arteta: Dani deserves good things to happen

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Dani Ceballos’ Arsenal legacy flirted with disaster last night when two mistakes by the Spaniard gave Benfica the advantage in the second leg of our Europa League last-32 tie in Athens.

First the Spain international conceded a cheap free-kick on the edge of his box that Diogo Goncalves converted and in the second half a misjudged header back towards Bernd Leno teed up Rafa Silva to put the away side ahead.

Thankfully for the midfielder, a piledriver by Kieran Tierney and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s late winner saved the Spaniard’s blushes and meant he was able to laugh off the collective heart attack he’d caused Gooners across the world.

After the match, Mikel Arteta was quick to point out that Ceballos’ efforts since he joined Arsenal on loan didn’t deserve to be undermined by an off night.

“I’m especially happy for him [Dani] because he really loves this game and he does everything in the right way to be as prepared as possible,” he said.

“You can see how he celebrates every single goal. He doesn’t have a 10 year contract at the club, he’s on loan and still feels and defends this club in the best possible way.

“I think someone like him deserves good things to happen to him in football.”

He also noted: “He[Dani] is a player that lives this profession like the most important thing in his life, and when he made that mistake, if that would have cost the team to be out of the competition, it would have been mentally really tough.

“That’s when you need players in the team like the ones we have with Auba and Bukayo creating and KT scoring the goal to save him. Out of a difficult situation created a really nice moment.”

Ceballos has now played 65 games for the Gunners since joining on loan from Real Madrid in the summer. All three parties have a big decision to make about his future in the summer.

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Pastor Simon

Thank God he was bailed out of the messy situation.

I doubt if he will ever recover from the trauma if we were eliminated yesterday.

Looking forward to a favourable draw

Goonerink

Favourable draw 😂

Daveo

Yeah that would have broken him. Benfica worked him and Xhaka over so well by their tactical press. Just shows how key Partey is to this team moving forward. He opens up so much space for whoever he plays with by the defensive attention the opposition must throw at him to stop him driving with the ball through the middle of the park.

As for Dani, he is a solid squad player, but I wouldn’t be shelling out anything more than 15-20M quid max. Maybe just loan him again.

ilikecheese

why loan him again we need to move on from these players who cant achieve anywhere near top 4.

Qwaliteee

Well said.

Too many people comfortable with mid table and the players who have put us there.

AJH

I agree. Like a dream move to Real Madrid.

Qwaliteee

Yep. Get rid of him.

Granit(e) hard!

All is forgiven chap, on to the next round!

JeremyDG

Yeh just an off night for him. I can’t remember too many mistakes he’s made defensively. The first one was a bit clumsy but any player could have done that. You don’t expect them to score from there. The second one was a bad mistake but I know from experience it’s easy to get caught under a high swirling ball if your starting position isn’t exactly right.

matthinc

Mind you the quality of players like Ward Prowse over a dead ball these days does make it a fairly risky place to concede a foul

Qwaliteee

Speak for yourself; I haven’t forgiven him.

How many more cup ties does he have to potentially jeopardise before the penny drops? Our season could have been well and truly over this morning, thanks to his stupidity.

He offers nothing going forward, misplaces passes and gives away possession. That’s before you take in to account last night’s comedy capers.

He’s not good enough, get rid of him.

ASH

Support the team. Never speak negatively about our players or manager

If you want to, then criticise Wenger, who killed this club by consistently getting to fourth, and competing in the useless Champions League

Now we have our Arsenal back. We are tenth in the league and in contention for winning the mighty Europa league. Happy days are here

Qwaliteee

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Qwaliteee

Yep.

Just about sums up the mentality of a good many individuals on this page. Why have Wenger and top four and Champions League football when you can have Arteta, 16th in the table and LEGO ball?

Vin_unleaded

Hope this is Arteta merely refusing to chuck a palyer under the bus but I have my doubts.

The definition of insanity is repeating the same action and expecting a different result – i.e If Arteta keeps playing the same underperforming players, we will continue to ship goals.

I’ve been saying it all season (and prior) – Ceballos is a liability and not at the level we need to take the club forward.

Martin

In fact Ceballos has been excellent for us and totally consistent. Both gaffes last night were totally out of character. I really hope we can sign him on a permanent basis.

Gareth

I think it’s hard to say the first one was a gaffe, the free kick was excellent and there’s not a lot that can be done, the 2nd one was a mistake anyone can make, I actually thought he was the player looking to get the team up the pitch. I’m not sure if we sure buy him permanently though I have to admit I’m just not certain about him but as Mikel says, got to trust the process

AJH

Sorry but if Xhaka had given away that free kick we’d all be going mental over it.

Daveo

TBF is was a dive. He purposely stepped on Ceballos’ leg and went down in agony. An excellent simulation, but a dive nonetheless. The free-kick…ooof!

Martin

As far as I can see there are plenty of people going mental about it.

AJH

Haha. Rightly so!

Qwaliteee

He nearly put our season to bed – what’s left of it, due to our pre Christmas total lack of creativity, which was in no small part down to him.

Qwaliteee

I’ve never rated Ceballos.

Bang average at best and last night he was pathetic.

The sooner he buggers off back to Real, the better.

Martin

I’m sure Arteta will make a note of your opinion of Ceballos and will give it due consideration. 😂

Qwaliteee

I don’t post here to advise Arteta. I don’t have to; we were a matter of seconds away last night from most of the football world giving Arteta their opinion of Ceballos – never mind me.

If the guy can screw up like that in a big game once (twice?) – he can do it on a regular basis.

We’ve just got rid of Mustafi; we don’t need any more Frank Spencers in the side.

ilikecheese

luiz does a good frank spencer impression

loose_cannon

He’s a good player and done well for us. Would be keen to make it permanent, for the right price of course.

Qwaliteee

🤣

vin_unleaded

I respectfully but totally disagree.

For me he’s always walking a tightrope.

ItaliArteta

Most players but for a few are always walking a tightrope, THAT is the game. Just as important as world class is passionate, dedicated players of character fighting for their club, their manager, their teammates and themselves. That fight, that grit is infectious and Xhaka and Ceballos have it coursing through their veins. I love his spirit and fight ever since Arteta told him to improve if he wants to play. He plays and fights like Tierney with just a bit less ability or final product…just a bit less. Arteta gets every bit out of players like this in most… Read more »

AJH

Can’t agree at all. 2 goals and 4 assists in 65 appearances is absolutely dire. This is a player who can’t defend, who isn’t particularly stable in possession and doesn’t speed our play up. He was often in the team as a creative player during our goal drought. He gives away cheap free kicks fairly regularly. There are lots of better ways we could spend £20m this summer.

loose_cannon

So, genuine question; who else would you realistically sign at CM for max £20m that was such an upgrade on Ceballos?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I would actually entertain the prospect of signing Ceballos on another loan for another 12 months – but I doubt he would go for that.
I would make Odegaard permanent this summer though as the priority.

loose_cannon

Does seem that Ceballos has his head set on challenging for a place at Madrid. And given the kind of football they’ve been playing this season, it’s not as unrealistic as many think.

Keeping Odegaard might be really difficult as well, doesn’t sound like Madrid have any intention of letting him go permanently as things stand.

AJH

I’d have Torreira back for one. It’s not really my thing to watch other teams play and identify every player who’s better than our equivalent, but I’ll tell you for nothing that no team in the top 6 would go near Ceballos.

As an example, and I know the ship has sailed on both of these, but Leicester have got Maddison and Tielemans for the kind of money we’re talking about dropping on Ceballos. If our scouting team can’t identify someone better than this bloke for the kind of fee he’d command, they’re a bit pointless.

loose_cannon

Well Torreira could hardly be clearer about his dislike for our particular isle so I can’t see that as a goer. At any rate, if Arteta rated him that highly and he still wanted to be here, he’d still be here. On the top 6 comment, I don’t know if there are many midfielders that would start for a top 6 side while costing £20m or less, notwithstanding academy players come good or Bosmans. If Ceballos was more consistent, Madrid would ask for more, as it stands he is where he is, and we are where we are i.e facing… Read more »

CarlosLA

All due respect, I don’t think “who else would you sign” is a remotely fair q here. We’re not scouts. I would look around the Prem and ask what level team has a player like Ceballos getting regular minutes? Certainly not a top half of the table team. He’s not getting tons of minutes for us, and we are what we are: a mid-table club. We need younger players who can kick us on and propel us higher up the table. European leagues and the Championship are full of such players. That’s how a Leicester City or a Villa can… Read more »

loose_cannon

Honestly, I don’t see the problem of asking what players people think we should buy with that money, if we are so confident that “European leagues and the Championship are full of such players”….. I think in reality Dani Ceballos is, or perhaps was, such a player, one that has been hampered in a somewhat reactive side and playing a much more defensive role than he’s really best suited to. Bringing him in is actually us trying to do what Leicester and Villa are doing. These clubs are maybe happier to take risks on and have patience with low cost… Read more »

Qwaliteee

For a start, we could bring Torreira back into the squad – who would do a much better job.

Secondly, this is Arsenal Football Club, not Barnet.

You spend more than £20m if you want midfielders that will get us back into the top four.

loose_cannon

See my earlier comment above on Torreira. And on spending more than £20m, I certainly wouldn’t be against bringing in another Partey-level midfielder or higher. But will we spend that money? I can’t say.

ItaliArteta

Torreria is a stud. Unfortunately in the EPL his height is a liability of substantial consequence.

Qwaliteee

Top post, well said.

Qwaliteee

*we’ll

Squeezy Mane

The definition of insanity is constantly reading people quote the definition of insanity.

Qwaliteee

Well said. The guy is a liability and a big reason why we’re scratching around mid table.

C.B.

I would argue against ‘he defends this club in the best possible way’ based on the evidence from the match yesterday.

viegunner

all the downvotes would be upvotes if saka and auba hadn’t bailed us out

C.B.

I thought it was a statement that is hard to disagree with given his involvement in their two goals. But obviously not. I’ll try to think why not….

Qwaliteee

Those two, along with ESR, have kept him in his job.

loose_cannon

Agree with this, his contributions shouldn’t be overshadowed by one match, even such a disastrous one.

I can forgive him the mistake for the first goal, 9/10 that doesn’t go in and we never speak about it again. The second though was classic Arsenal self-destruction.

Public Elneny

It was a bad mistake, but he had 3 players around him with a clearer view than he had – Bellerin, Tierney and Leno. At least 1, probably Leno, should’ve instructed him to clear it forward 1st time. Ceballos gets the majority of the blame cos you should never play a backpass blind, but it wasn’t ALL on him. Their striker’s movement was good, got in his line of sight to prevent him taking a touch or playing to Bellerin/Tierney, then darted to cut off the backpass Anyway I really like him as a player and hope this doesn’t cause… Read more »

Nostalgic Gooner

First post. Am I the only one concerned that a club of Arsenal’s stature has two loanees as starters. There’s a element of short termism I don’t like about the club right now. We seem to have created an imbalance in our attacks by moving EMR to the wing to accommodate Odegaard. This means we have no place for Martinelli or Pepe in the side, who can be very effective with a run of games. Why do we need Dani in midfield. He doesn’t really bring anything exceptional – and we should really have a long term solution in our… Read more »

ilikecheese

The answer to most of these points is that Arteta is a shit manager who is making a pigs ear of a decent squad with some of the best young talent in the league.

Qwaliteee

Spot on. At last people are beginning to wake up to him. He’s inexperienced, stubborn, pig headed, is devoid of humility and got lucky at Christmas when he was three games from the axe. Saka and ESR’s inclusion were not part of any grandiose strategic plan – they were a last desperate throw of the dice, a fortunate accident. He has (had) some great players at his disposal. The fact that this club sank to 16th and made its worst start for 40 years is a testament to his complete lack of managerial nous. He’s made a pig’s breakfast of… Read more »

Goonerink

The first one ceballos didn’t touch the guy, so was unlucky to concede the fk in the first place. And the second he is chasing benficas fastest player messes up the header but shouldn’t have been the player there anyway.

Cranky Colin

Any chance Saka could be rested on Sunday?
Don’t answer that……

Chatex

The problem with players like Dani it is Arteta who will pay with his job. This could potentially have had serious consequences. Dani is not good for Real or Arsenal.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I’m not convinced we can beat Leicester without Saka. I’d rest him for the Burnley game the following week instead.

Sachin

Honestly, even Burnley will be tough without Saka. He’s undroppable right now. That said, we don’t want our future world beater to get knackered. Rest Saka and ask the others to step up to the plate. I’d be upset if Mikel starts Saka again.

Murphy was an Arsenal Fan

It was a rain fart, no two ways about it.
But then he also had moments like the one when he opened everything up for Saka to shoot around the end of the first half. That pass was glorious.

Murphy was an Arsenal Fan

brain*

2highbury

At what point do these individual errors compound to undermine the structural work of the coach?

Better players in that position make better choices

And this applies to recent gaffes and bad performances in the defence and attack

I don’t see dani being a long term feature of this team if we want to be more successful than we are now.

Spanish Gooner

Easily forgotten, but Ceballos was key in the first leg in getting us back to 1-1. We’d been playing shit all game, went 1-0 down, then Dani decided to play a beautifully direct long switch out to Saka that we scored from from, and without which we would have gone out tonight

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

That first one was never a foul .. the Benfica bloke stepped on his ankle and did a Bruno

Qwaliteee

Get rid of him. Send him back to Real ASAP.

And for all those wanting to know who I’d replace him with, I’d have Torreira back. A far better player who should still be in the squad, given the utter dross that Ceballos, Elneny and Xhaka have served up between them.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Yep, bringing back somebody who doesn’t seem to like playing in England seems like a great idea to me.

Qwaliteee

Playing in England has nothing to do with it; he didn’t like being played permanently out of position, which is what Emery made him do.

He is essentially a DM, who can get forward when play dictates – as his goal against Tottenham proves.

In terms of having quality players in the squad, he would be far more useful than Ceballos, Xhaka and Elneny.

Martin

Torreira is a DM and is a totally different type of player so there is no comparison to Ceballos or Xhaka who have both performed admirably in recent weeks.

Qwaliteee

I’m fully aware of Torreira’s role. His principal position is a DM but he can get forward too. His goal against Tottenham a few years back is a prime example.

Xhaka and Co have shown rare flashes of good play but have had no consistency. As for Ceballos, how anyone can wish to see him in an Arsenal shirt again after last night’s comedy gold is asking for trouble.

karl

Dani has generally been very good recently and we are short of quality in midfield.

Madrid asking £22m is way too much in these times though. Imagine what we would get if we were trying to sell him and it would be a lot less.

Roy Taylor

He did make 2 costly mistakes, but He is not the first to do so. Generally I feel His contributions have been good. Thanks to social media players are instantly destroyed by mindless “fans” who have nothing better to do. Well done The Gunners for pulling it back.

Cultured Determination

Dani dani. A crisp-ish passer.,runs around. Not creative.,doesn’t Play key passes. Not decisive defensively. I don’t think he has the quality to succeed as CM. Should definitely look at other options. We should be hoping for a party type quality player to partner partey, and rotate xhaka with 1 other as 4th choice.

ilikecheese

fuck xhaka he needs to be out the door along with dani dolittle and elneny. absolute shite all 3 of them

Qwaliteee

Yep.

Glad to see I’m not the only one who wants those three midfield stooges gone.

Bergkamp2Wright

Hopefully he’s back to RM at the end of the season. More athletic and mobile CM’s are needed.