Player of the Week: Danny Welbeck


There’s your fairytale! screams the commentator, the crowd go wild, I’m out of my seat screaming. Wow. What a moment. Season defining. There’s nobody to confirm this but I said he’d score a last minute header… because he’s Super Danny Welbeck, and he’s not called super for nothing.

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He’s a hero. Has been ever since he arrived. He broke Manchester United hearts and that’s when you knew that this guy was going to do something special for us, one way or another. He hasn’t played enough games for Arsenal and already Welbeck has earned himself a statue in the works. I’ve been so critical of him over the years, hammering him during his donkey United days. But all I can do now is worship him with the rest, for the Superman that he is. He’s Player of the Week. Really, it can’t be any other way.

Here’s a player that hasn’t played for ten months, has done nothing but three touches, and he’s steered Arsenal closer to glory. In terms of footballing, Danny Welbeck, pre-Leicester, hasn’t done anything to talk about, but because of the magnitude of his impact, there can only be one player in the spotlight and it’s him. I guess aside from the goal we can only look back to the Welbeck before his strange injury, and honestly I don’t really know how he got injured. It might have been the United game, that’s my last memory of Welbeck, hunting down a loose ball and destroying United in their own Theatre of Dreams. He gives Arsenal so much, from pace to energy, and he’s possibly a better central option than Theo, although I’m still waiting to see the Walcott we saw before his own injury. I suppose he’s in the same bracket as Theo, in terms of not being an efficient enough goal scorer, and that would be a fair assessment given his record, but then you look at his England record and that casts the prior statement into doubt. I really like him as an option, though, I think he suits Arsenal better than he did United. Wenger likes him on the wing, and that’s fine, but he’s a nuisance in the box, an unorthodox poacher of sorts, and that’s where you want him. He’s already bagged his first hat-trick in Arsenal colours, his first for any club, and the signs were all looking good. We may have snatched a bargain, we may have a player on our hands. This still could be the case, but at 25, he can’t afford another long-term injury.

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I just hope this fairytale wasn’t his final telling contribution. He can do so much more for the team. Wouldn’t it be great if he wins Arsenal the title? Discarded by Manchester, reborn in London. What a story. That really is the stuff of dreams.

On to the goal…

And who else but Mesut Ozil would deliver a 95th minute free-kick to perfection? We needed the German to come up with the goods under immense pressure and he delivered, like always. Welbeck, the final role of the dice, having fluffed a shot only moments before, jostles for space, climbs, and deftly directs the ball into the net. It was electrifying. I haven’t reacted to a goal like that since the Arshavin incident against Barcelona, which seems an age ago. Then the reaction from the rest of the team: charging across to Welbeck and jumping in with the fans. It was great to see such an overwhelming reaction. That’s what I want from Arsenal all the time, that level of passion. And passion was everywhere on Sunday, for the most part, I thought the team did themselves proud, of course, I would have been disappointed had it stayed a draw because the chances missed were laughable. However much improved in the second half, Arsenal were still incredibly flustered in their reaction, rushing shots, flying into tackles, screaming at the ref – and whatever Coquelin was doing, my heart dropped when I saw him start pushing players around, I thought Arsenal had pushed the self-destruct button again. But then somehow the players managed to keep a somewhat levelled head and they pressed and pressed. Wenger made two crucial subs in Walcott, and then Welbeck (good signs for England), and Arsenal were growing teasingly close to clawing their way back into the game. Another big goal from Walcott, who despite a handful of poor performances usually finds something in the big games. A calm, absolutely vital finish from him. Let’s not understate his impact either. He made a massive difference. Then Welbeck came on, and well, you know the rest.

Had Danny Welbeck not gone full Superman mode, my pick from the game would have been Giroud. He was fantastic all game. He should have scored, denied by some form of sorcery from Kasper Schmeichel. Chamberlain also continues to show encouraging signs, he was effective for the majority of his time on the pitch, often unplayable down the right side when he get’s into the groove. The other player who impressed was Ramsey who, yet again, put in a crazy shift. As soon as he gets his shooting boots on, we’re really back in business. But for the now, we can revel in the return of the forgotten hero, ‘Dat Guy’.

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