Ceballos is the new Vieira

What on earth is he talking about? What is he smoking, is he mad? Shameless click bait headings, the site has gone to the dogs. But give me a second, there is a slither of method to my madness, do you remember how at the beginning of Wenger’s tenure he was able to scour the lesser-known parts of France and French speaking Africa capable of unearthing hidden gems such as Vieira? Well, and here is the connection, Emery seems to be doing a good job of doing the same in Spain.

Real or Barca will always get first dibs on the top players in Spain and Latin America, this level of player are not on our radar, not the first edition signings anyway but there are so many who it just does not work out for, whether it be for reasons that the competition for the position they play is so intense that the chances of braking into the first team is next to impossible and this, off course, is where we are with Ceballos.

It must be so hard for players like that whose dream it is to play for one of the big two in Spain and then finally get signed, have all there their family and friends tell them how pleased they are for them and then have to face the humbling reality that they are unlikely to make it into the first team.

It is here that Emery comes in; it is his reassuring hand that helps players like Ceballos cross the much-feared precipice that exists in their minds on the way out of Real Madrid.

It is difficult to imagine having a second team, almost impossible, if there is it is probably a token suburban entity but in Spain this is the norm. Ceballos, although born in Andalucía and I am assuming that as he played for Betis that that was his boyhood team there is no doubt in my mind that his second team is Real Madrid; he has nationalist tattoos and as such he will hate Barcelona and the symbol of desired independence from Spain that it represents to so many and that will most certainly include Ceballos.

Yes, we only have him on loan but I like the way we are going about these things; I thought Dennis Suarez was a smart piece of business, ok it didn’t work out and it might seem glaringly obvious now but it is easy to remember that he was and I assume still is a Barcelona player and that is not something that happens easily.

It was a clever piece of business because we got to try it before we bought it and hey, thank goodness we didn’t spend a chunk of our meagre transfer resources on him, again easy after the fact. The same is obviously true of Ceballos; he has had one start perhaps by Christmas other clubs could have worked his game out and found a way to nullify him – but right now, I will have none of that negativity, we have got ourselves a gem, if he blossoms so much that Real Madrid give him a guarantee that he will be a first team regular then he will obviously return but failing that he will be ours for so many obvious reasons.

Where will he play? There is little doubt that this is a long-term play to replace Ozil. That’s to say; it would be hugely risky to break the bank to try and buy a ready made replacement for him, the chances of failure are high just look at Ozil himself, everyone’s favourite for so long and is now viewed by so many as a huge expensive albatross, can you imagine accidently having two of those on the books? Ceballos like Suarez is a suck it and see type of thing, there are risks but they are greatly reduced.

Back to Ozil for a moment, in my opinion the club are doing everything they can to off load him in this European transfer window, I know I have said before things like: I loved you Mesut but you broke my heart and that certainly was the way I felt after his dismal display in the Europa final but like any lost love a twinkling of the minds eye returns after time and in this case I find myself sighing when images of his goal against Ludagrets flash in front of me.

My guess is that the club will fail to sell Ozil in this window and we will get to see the return of the Thin White Duke making for a pairing with Ceballos on certain occasions, all of which, force exotic images of Ozil and Cazorla back into my head.

Ooooooh to be.



56 Responses to Ceballos is the new Vieira

  1. VP says:

    Great post LB
    I’m not interested in selling Ozil because its not my money and he “can” play brilliant footbal.
    Yes play him with Ceballos and lets feast our eyes on that pair

  2. RockyLives says:

    Well LB, I did caution yesterday about getting too carried away with the Ceballos hype after just one game and I see you’ve taken my words to heart 🙂

    And yet… it was such a commanding debut performance. And that, combined with his Real Madrid pedigree, makes it very hard not to get excited.

    The new Vieira? I liked his willingness to work for the team and he’s not afraid to challenge for the ball but I don’t see him as the same type of box-to-box power player that Paddy was.

    Perhaps in playing terms he’ll be more like our version of David Silva.

    But if he can consistently have the sort of impact on our performances that he did on Saturday, comparisons with the great PV4 won’t be so far off.

  3. Sue says:

    Ozil & Ceballos – salivating at the thought of it 😄
    Nice one, LB

  4. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, I get it that your comparison refers more to the two managers’ connections (rather than playing style of PV and DC) allowing them special access to French and Spanish players respectively.

    I agree with Rocky that if Dani can continue with the form he showed on Saturday he can be as influential as Vieira – is an improvement even possible?

    Maybe if he starts finding the back of the net. His curling right footed shot showed he is prepared to have a go .. whilst never being wasteful with the ball and invariably picking the right pass in every situation … watch and learn the other Arsenal youngsters!

    There is a comparison with Ozil in as much as Dani seemed as delighted with his assist as he would have been if he’d scored instead of Auba.

    Clearly, like Ozil, Dani loves the artistry of the game. Can I see the two playing together in games against top 6 opposition … No. When the margins are close we can’t afford Ozil, we need 10 outfield players who can function in all phases of the game.

    Would I love to see Ozil and Dani playing together against easier opposition in the cups or EL .. you betya!

    One last point although not relevant to the post …. If Saturday’s game proved one thing for me, it was that we have better options than Xhaka. You can’t even argue that we need his physical presence against the cloggers … because that is who we played.

    I think David Luiz is one good reason why Xhaka should be reduced to a squad member/bench warmer … I wonder if Unai sees it that way?

  5. kelsey says:

    I have already thought about this alot and hoped there would be an arrangement in place already which is private for Dani.. If he has an outstanding season we benefit short term, RM benefit long term and if there is no deal we need to replace him.Early days but he is class.

  6. RockyLives says:

    I hope so too Kelsey.

    As someone commented yesterday, it will also help if we have a good season, the fans heap love upon him and he starts to love it at The Arsenal.

  7. RockyLives says:

    Rasp is right to draw attention to the reasons for your comparison with Vieira (ie, as a classy player who hasn’t quite made the breakthrough in his own country, Ceballos is to Emery as Vieira was to AW).

    I also realise you weren’t suggesting they are like for like players.

  8. carl says:

    pls sssshhhhhh Vieira was a hard tackler that controlled the middle of the park with his strength…. Ceballos is nothing like him !! more like Carzola !! seriously get a life !!

  9. Rasp says:

    Rocky .. it seems carl didn’t quite read it in the same way 🙂

  10. LBG says:

    Take your comparison with Vieira, LB, in terms of influence, but even in that area think the Santi match is more accurate. What we lost with the demise of the original tiny Spaniard was a player with total confidence in his own ability – to be an outlet for any team mate in trouble, to control and keep hold of the ball, to turn and make space for himself, to find a pass that others wouldnt see, to take an early shot. And to smile and enjoy the simple game that is footie. He was infectious for his team mates AND for us supporters!! Although its early days, Dani seems to have all this, plus perhaps a bit more grit/refusal to let bullies get away with sh**.
    I am still interested in which Spaniard latched on to him first as a possible player for us!!
    Quotes from ex-players/managers/journalists = idiots. CASCARINO Ceballos…” Arsenal will have to hope he doesn’t do too well….”
    Sean DYCHE ASHLEY BARNES is a throw back to forwards who are prepared to use ‘robustness’ (excuse me while I guffaw )to their advantage”…..GARY JACOB Arsenal conceded 18 shots to Burnley…….(5 on target) when? which season? Do you mean those block immediately?
    Anyway thoughtful post LB. Let’s hope for the best, take Rocky’s caution to heart, a cheer on anyone in a red and white shirt. Happy Monday AAers.

  11. LB says:

    Yay, I got one, thank you Carl.

  12. Rasp says:

    As regards selling Ozil: I agree the club are clearly trying to find a buyer. Paradoxically, our ability to sell Ozil could have an impact on any chance of signing Dani permanently.

    It’s way too early to get carried away, but if the performance he put in on Saturday can be replicated throughout the season … we really would be a player worth £100m and £350k a week – although I’m sure the new business team want to try to rationalise the wage structure.

  13. LB says:

    Carrying on from part of the thought above, having eyes in Brazil via Edu should be a great asset.

    Although, the Saliba deal was finished before Edu arrived it is easy to imagine that he would have been consulted.

  14. fred1266 says:

    Wonder what kolasinac and wilf would have to say about that hmm

  15. RA says:

    I watched the game on Saturday with mounting excitement. Not just for the way the team were playing, but with the dawning realisation that Ceb was the real deal.

    He was not – as I might have initially thought – a failed player at Real looking for somewhere else to make a career. Almost immediately the resemblance with Santi was there (as I said at the time – not a knee jerk after the event comparison).

    The man oozes class, he has pride, he has passion — see his creation after Auba scored) and I am now a committed Cab fan — whatever the future holds.

    Never liked the terminology – “another X” – the best players are able to make their own careers without any need to ride on the back of previous stars.

    It is rarely true in any case.

    Next game — against ‘Pool will really give us a guideline on how Ceb and the team are doing, and whether we need to downplay the likely outcome of the season, or turbocharge our expectations!! 😁

  16. GoonerB says:

    Thanks LB, a terrific read. That is an interesting comparison you make between Emery’s insight into the Spanish market compared to Wengers insight into the French market.

    I will not pull you up on direct comparisons between Ceballos and Vieira, basically because my name is not Carl. Also I suspect your life is perfectly decent and that you do not need to “get” (another) “one”.

    Ceballos looks like a player who could be unplayable on his day, but the same can be said of Ozil. The key for Mesut was in the consistency, and taking Ricky’s note of caution’ this is what we will have to find out with Dani.

    I have still have thoughts that we never built the right side around Ozil and that he could be a different and more dangerous animal with the squad changes and formation changes

    However I also feel that the club are seeking his exit but like you feel it will fail. It would be good to see Ozil and Dani together at times but Pool away, and other top 6 games seems too risky as Rasp says.

    On that 1 games evidence it seems Dani needs less accommodation into the team while there is always the feeling that Ozil needs 1-2 other players to cover fir him in order to get his brilliance.

    I saw Rocky asked me the question yesterday regarding my omission of Ozil in my preferred line up for Liverpool. That kind of answers the question Rocky, where my midfield choice is Willock with Dani and Luiz playing behind them.

    It just looks a more balanced and cohesive 11 but also I suspect that both Dani and Willock are more match fit, and Pool away will be fast and energy sapping.

    The one thing we as fans can do with Ceballos, as others have said, is show him what he means to us you just never know, he may love it so much that he even prefers staying with us than returning to Madrid

    Oh, and hello Kelsey back. Good to see you on here.

  17. GoonerB says:

    Ricky is Rocky, although now I cant stop saying Rocky in my mind without a Bianca Eastenders style attached to it

  18. RA says:

    Hi ya, GB,

    You are such an affable, intelligent being, capable of screeding some interesting layers of convincing argument, using your keyboard rather than a trowel to convince us — and then you can commit a crime on the English language, by casting onto our screens incomprehensible gobbledegook with what seem to be random words and names such as in your 2 : 26.

    What are you blithering about? 😳

  19. Mike M says:

    Morning all. Wasn’t able to get on yesterday but thanks for all the positive comments. Ceballos can definitely be compared to PV in the sense you have done LB in terms of influence and scouting. We have to wait as Rocky and others have cautioned but this type of performance has been missing for a while now at Arsenal (definitely since Santi) so why not gush about it a bit !! The proof will come as was said previously on a cold wet night in Wolverhampton or Sheffield !! I for one think this guy has a little something about him physically so I’m excited to see it. Just one quick question about the scouting. Is it just Unai or does Sanllehi also play a role in our Spanish intel ?

  20. Sue says:

    Fred.. 😆

  21. RA says:

    Mike M,

    As I understand it, the triumvirat of Arsenal director of football, Raul Sanllehi, the managing director, Vinai Venkatesham, and the newly appointed Technical Director Edu, are involved in all football matters at Arsenal.

    The arrival of Edu to replace Sven Mislintat who was previously in charge of recruitment, before he fell out over his job prospects, means that Edu is now in charge of recruitment — tho I am sure he will confer with the coach, Emery.

    It’s a long way from the AW era.

  22. GoonerB says:

    I called Rocky Ricky RA…or at least my predictive text did. The way my predictive text goes he is lucky he has not been referred to as Rickety Rocky

  23. LBG says:

    Check out the latest clip on Smith-Rowe on the Arsenal Facebook site!

  24. RA says:


    No, I got the Rackety Rickety Rock bit — he is well known for that, of course.

    It was the other blankety Eastenders in your mind, with style or summat??

    Mind, if you explained it to me, I still would not understand it I ‘spect. 🤪

  25. RockyLives says:

    When I read Ricky it put me in mind of a Steely Dan song… which shows my age (and perhaps why rickety is more appropriate).

  26. RA says:

    Thanks, LBG,

    I watched both the youth team clips and enjoyed them.

    ESR looks as if he has grown a bit and put some meat on his bones.

    There were other really exciting looking youngsters, too, with Azeez standing out for me.

    Reading Bouldy’s critique of the game, he took the right approach. To hell with 5:1 – he was disappointed the lads did not play too well in the first half, and thought Villa were the better team.

    Gives some perspective, and sets the standards for the kids to aspire to.

  27. Sue says:

    Steely Dan??!!

  28. RockyLives says:

    There were a band in the olden days Sue.

    The song it reminded me of was “Ricky Don’t Lose That Number”

  29. GoonerB says:

    Eastenders, the soap RA. Not that I watch it but from some years ago there were a couple called Ricky and Bianca. She was renowned for shouting his name in a rather screech, loud, cockerknee voice which went something like Rickeeeeee

  30. LB says:


    What is Fred on about in his 11.35, it’s gone over my head?

  31. Rasp says:

    They were an excellent band of musicians … named after a dildo!

  32. RockyLives says:

    Ha – I never knew that Rasp. But they always had good vibrations.

  33. Rasp says:

    They did indeed …. one of my favourite bands at the time … I think Donald Fagan passed away sadly …

  34. Sue says:

    Well, LB.. my take on it is… because I mentioned drooling at the thought of Ceballos & Ozil.. and you know how I’m always rambling on about Kolasinac & Zaha….. no doubt Fred will correct me later if I’ve got it wrong!!

  35. Sue says:

    Not heard of them, so thanks for clearing that up, Rocky!

  36. RA says:

    Not sure you were just ‘rambling on’ about Kola and Wilf, Sue! 🤪😳

  37. Sue says:

    Well, this is a first – a dildo mentioned on an Arsenal blog 😂😂

  38. RA says:


    That explanation was well beyond my expectations, because I did understand you after all. 👍

    I have seen a trailer for Eastenders and I hope I do not offend anyone, but I could never bring myself to watch such unmitigated dross. Sorry.

    And I take it Blanca was Rocky’s or Ricky’s girl friend.

    Don’t really know what that had to do with the price of eggs tho — probably best to leave it. 🙃

  39. RA says:

    Never heard of a band called Steely Dildo, or Dildo Dan.

    That Rasper knows everything!! 😜

  40. Sue says:

    RA.. I’m offended! Not only by one, but two of your comments 😞😜

  41. Thank you for the post LB. I love how you often manage to see things differently from others 😉

    If we get to see Ceballos and Ozil together that will be something …………. it’s all very quiet isn’t it, Ozil is just hanging around, being part of training but not in the squad. It must be difficult for everyone really.

    If Emery, Raul and Edu are working on finding gems then I’m all for that.

    Steely Dan 😉

  42. RA says:

    How about this?!

    Transfer Warning:

    Arsenal do not want Dani Ceballos to repeat his impressive display against Burnley on a regular basis.

    Ceballos, who joined on a season-long loan from Real Madrid in July, grabbed two assists and ran the show on his full debut on Saturday as the Gunners secured a 2-1 win against Sean Dyche’s team.“

    It felt like he really wanted to show his hunger to play and Arsenal have missed that enormously in midfield recently.

    Arsenal failed to secure a permanent option under the terms of Ceballos’ deal but fans are eager to see him remain on a long-term basis.

    Arsenal fans were in awe of David Luiz debut.

    But former Republic of Ireland international Tony Cascarino believes a string of good performances will diminish their hopes of keeping Ceballos.

    “Dani Ceballos impressed me for Arsenal against Burnley,” Cascarino wrote in The Times .

    “He has a bit of everything: tenacity, technical ability, and he wore the shirt as if he was an Arsenal player from 15 years ago.

    “He showed what he is about.

    “He is on loan so Arsenal will have to hope he doesn’t do too well, meaning they can’t sign him.

    “He is part of a side that Unai Emery is slowly moulding to his methodology.”

    Ceballos was named man of the match against Burnley and dedicated the award to Gooners.

    “The team worked perfectly in this tough match,” he wrote on Instagram . “I am very proud of my teammates!

    “And most of all, Arsenal fans were spectacular. I have felt their support and love since the first ball contact. I dedicate this first MVP of the match [Man of the Match] to them!

    “3 more points! Now we have to keep up working! Let’s go!”

    He really is the sort of guy we need!!!!

  43. RA says:


    I am offended — that you are only offended by two of my comments — I work very hard at offending folks, and deserve a lot more credit than for just two measly offences.

    We will have to get VAR in to check that out!! 😒

  44. Sue says:

    Well, RA you’d better pull your finger out (from where I have no idea! 😂) and try harder!!

  45. Rasp says:

    We’re rather off topic on what was an interesting and thought provoking post …. which reminds me of something that really wound me up on Saturday …. we were probably only 20 minutes into the game and the ‘stand up if you hate totnum’ chant started up ….

    I find it juvenile at the best of times, but I wanted to watch the game, and usually it happens when there’s not much happening on the pitch. This time it died down quite quickly, but it was started a couple of times more during the game and was met with the same indifference. It should be treated like the Mexican wave IMO and only used when there’s nothing important happening … rant over 🤣

  46. LBG says:

    Last bit of off topic! Excellent tribute band called Simply Dan, if you ever see them around and like the sound.

  47. Sue says:

    Cheers for that, LBG 👍

  48. fred1266 says:

    Sue was salvating over mesut and ceb so didn’t think kolasinac and zaha would be to please LB

  49. Sue says:

    Nice one, Fred 👍
    Mustafi to Roma?
    Come on Wolves

  50. fred1266 says:

    Sue don’t play with my emotions

  51. LB says:

    Ahhh, now I understand, thanks for that Fred

  52. Rasp says:

    Wolves equalise …. we’re currently still 2nd 😂

  53. Sue says:

    What a goal from Ruben Neves!! Don’t know what I loved more, the goal or the Wolves fans singing F**k VAR 😂 brilliant!!

  54. Sue says:

    Thank you Rui Patricio 👏

    Me? Play with your emotions, Fred?! Never.. 😜 haha!!

  55. fred1266 says:

    Yea if VAR took away that goal would have been harshly

    Anyone think the offside rule is crap for instance monreal assist Saturday I think it should go back to the person whole body has to be offside and start back giving the attackers thr advantage

    We would lose a lot of great goals with the current rule

  56. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    He doesn’t know it yet … but GoonerB wrote today’s …

    …. New post

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