An under fire Unai Emery has Dani Ceballos fighting his corner after the Spanish ace issued a commendable account of his fellow countryman’s ‘tremendous’ influence at Arsenal.
Scrutinised by former Gunners greats Ian Wright and Robin van Persie for his rotational squad selection against Manchester United, Emery’s managerial competency has been placed under the microscope, but Ceballos isn’t concerned.
The Real Madrid CF loanee, alongside teenage hotshot Gabrielle Martinelli, hasn’t been gifted the game time his exceptional performances have warranted, leaving Arsenal fans bemused and bewildered by the 47-year-old’s bold strategic decisions.
Arsenal, however, occupy third spot in the Premier League table and the 23-year-old playmaker – speaking to Radio Marca (via Mirror) – insists the Spanish tactician has turned the club’s fortunes around.
“I arrived on the first day and the respect they have for him is tremendous, he has turned around the club’s situation in just one year,” he said.
“He has managed to compete and only just missed out on the Champions League, he almost won the Europa League.
“We’ve started well, just one defeat, third in the league and we are going up.”
If the north-Londoners wish to prosper both domestically and in Europe, the Spain international simply has to feature week in, week out.
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The Gunners already passed their stiffest group-stage test with flying colours, winning 3-0 away at Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 1. As long as they hold serve in their three home games, they should finish first in Group F and, in the process, clear an easier path in the knockout stage.
Intricate, intelligent, Ceballos has endeared himself to Arsenal’s faithful with a string of accomplished outings.
A compliment for any established professional, a personalised chant, chimed to the tune of the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, was masterfully coined by the club’s avid ‘Gooners’, a toast to the maestro’s reputable regard at the Emirates.
“It’s strange, I arrived and in my first game they were already singing my name,” Ceballos added.
“I asked Hector Bellerin and he told me that they also sang it to [Santi] Cazorla. I’ve felt proud from that first moment.”
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