Monday, 8 September 2014

Welbeck Answers The Critics

Arsene Wenger would have been rubbing his hands with glee tonight, as Danny Welbeck slipped nicely into his new role as an actual goal-scorer. Often pushed onto the flanks, and eventually out the door, at Old Trafford, the 23-year-old has a knack of producing when it really counts (ignoring his encounter with Neuer last season). Sweden and Italy have both felt his wrath at major tournaments, and he has ensured England go forward with one foot already in France and Euro 2016.

Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling dove-tailed beautifully at times with the new Arsenal man, and the duo of finishes he provided were clinical. No longer can it be claimed that he is no finisher. Welbeck perhaps struggled with his fringe role alongside Wayne Rooney for Man United, and the crumbling of United's general dominance alongside the remaining high expectations. England as a national side have probably never been lower in terms of expectation, despite a potentially fearsome attack. The defence creaked, but Welbeck was razor sharp on the counter.

Ten goals in 28 games is no shame at international level, and there is no reason why the Englishman should not perhaps even double that total for Arsenal this season, given the embarrassment of riches in that particular midfield. Man United have chosen to go down the foreign route at a high cost to their own coffers, yet Welbeck will be hungry to prove they had a good thing under their nose the whole time. It is not inconceivable that his goals could secure a Champions League spot for Arsenal at his former club's expense, and Wenger will know he has got a bargain, if you can call a £16m purchase that.

Roy Hodgson will also be thrilled at Welbeck's upturn in fortunes. With Theo Walcott's eventual return to fitness, a big portion of England's attack will be able to strike up a new understanding, and with Welbeck's past alongside Rooney in addition to the Sterling/Sturridge/Lambert trio at Liverpool, the scope for huge fluidity in the England attack is arguably greater than ever.

As far as the English defence goes, Gary Cahill gave the kind of all-action performance that used to be John Terry's staple, particularly for one heroic clearance that stopped a certain goal. However, Phil Jones must do more to nail down what could be his place for the next ten years and beyond. The dearth of options must be used to his own advantage, and his undoubted potential needs to be tapped into over the next year or two. He could even be a captain for both club and country, such are the good traits he possesses. Inspiration can be taken from his ex-club-mate at the other end of the pitch.

No comments:

Post a Comment