Does Danny Welbeck Deserve Arsene Wenger’s Defense?


Danny Welbeck has had a worse start at Arsenal than Mesut Ozil did. And if there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it appears to be a long way off. Since coming to the Emirates, the Manchester United product has tallied just seven goals in 20 appearances, which doesn’t sound all that bad, but three came in one match against Galatasaray.

Aside from that, the one positive you can draw from Welbeck’s performances is his work rate. The guy hustles, he runs like a horse and he controls the ball relatively well. But when it comes to facing the goal, Welbeck is always “so close.”

However, the first person to step up and defend the non-clinical Welbeck was none other than the Prof, Arsene Wenger. He said (per the Mirror):

"“He’s very important and has played many, many games since the start of the season. I think he’s played in nearly every single game. His position is one of the three up front, central, left of right. He can play anywhere. If you check the statistics, you will see he is one of the players who has played the most games for us – just not in the last couple of games.”"

It’s not much of a defense. All Wenger really did was say that Welbeck is valuable because he eats up minutes. As a forward, you want to do more than eat up minutes. However, the boss wasn’t done there, he went on to say (via the Express):

"“First of all I believe that Danny Welbeck puts big team effort in, he plays very well for me and is an exceptional player who will have a great future here. I am convinced the subject is raised because he is a former Man United player. I am very, very happy that I thought him and I think he has a great future.”"

Now he’s actually defending him, saying he has such a bright future at Arsenal. But he never really addressed the issue of whether or not his career is going the same way as it did at Manchester United, where he was forced onto the wings by superior strikers. And that’s what’s happening at Arsenal too.

He was brought on to challenge Giroud and cover for him while he was hurt, but as soon as Giroud came back, he was handed the starting role because of Welbeck’s lack of any sort of striker tendencies. He lived up to what Manchester United fans said about him, “he can’t score.”

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You can see the raw talent that Welbeck has every time he takes the pitch. But you also know in your gut that the likelihood of him scoring are slim to none. Not because he doesn’t have the skill to, but for some reason he just can’t put the finishing touch on. He contributes to play, he does all he can effort-wise, but he just can’t do what he was signed to do.

Much to my chagrin, I believe that Wenger is going to start Danny Welbeck against his former team in the hopes that he breaks the curse. Will it work? You never can tell.

Essentially, Wenger did the right thing. I think a little reassurance could go a long way for Welbeck because surely he knows that there is a lot of pressure on him not to turn into what he turned into at United. But Wenger can defend him all he likes, if the guy doesn’t produce, he can’t keep playing him.

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