It’s nature’s way of saying that you haven’t screwed up the world irretrievably yet. A bit like the first cuckoo of spring, the first injuries of the international break show football are part of the circle of life. And not in a schmalzy Disney kind of way either.
Dani Ceballos felt a twang in his hamstring so sits out Spain’s match against Norway this weekend. That is until healing hands are placed on his thigh followed by cries of “It’s a MIRACLE!” as he leaps from his sick-bed.
It’s been called “hamstring overload”. Funnily enough, I used to suffer from that but unlike Ceballos, it was brought on by an evening’s imbibing.
Arsenal has been good for the Spaniard. Fans love him, right from the 89th-minute sh*thousery at St James’ Park. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
My idea was to go out, play and enjoy football. In the previous two years, I had not done so.
I knew the importance of this year. My goal is to reach EURO 2020 and going to Arsenal has been a very important step in my career.Dani Ceballos causing public scenes
There is no question that Ceballos settled quickly and I wonder if the Madrid situation doesn’t change whether we would sign him. It’s a double-edged sword; if he plays well this season, which we want him to, the price goes up.
Ceballos’ future is just one of those to be decided this summer. Chief among them is Mesut Özil. This morning’s Mirror sees him fearing he has played his last game for Arsenal. Scared the cushy life is over.
Meanwhile, there are video clips aplenty on social media proclaiming he is a big-game player. I beg to differ; he doesn’t get picked anymore…
Tall Fisherman’s Tales
Meanwhile, the ever-so reliable Turkish press has Arsenal in talks with Fenerbahce over a loan spell for the midfielder. Do fans there take any notice of the drivel, place any stock in the obvious falsehoods?
“Can we loan Mesut Özil?”
“Sure. Pay his wages.”
“Oh, we thought you would. And we were rather hoping you wouldn’t ask for a fee…”
It’s a peculiar situation in that nobody believes Özil isn’t a talented player but few believe he is worth the money. Indeed, those who are convinced by his talent steadfastly avoid this argument.
Arsenal, however, can afford the wages but need to spend it more wisely. For whatever reason, Emery doesn’t rate Özil – and none of us knows why – but it’s no long shot to put it down to effort. He hinted at it last week when he commented that other players show they want it more.
That’s an interesting take because it suggests he places more emphasis on effort than talent. Which in Özil’s case will bring a slew of stats that show he’s the fastest, tallest, biggest, smallest and runs the furthest. It suggests, however, he’s not intelligent with his running if a coach who values effort highly isn’t impressed.
But as with everything surrounding Özil, there’s a lot of talk and very little action. And certainly no expectation of him playing for the first XI. I wonder if he views being a member of the ‘Cup XI’ as positively as Shkodran Mustafi? Somehow, I doubt it.
Now, if he wants a role model on how a technically-gifted player fits in at Arsenal…