A Danny Double in a hard-fought victory over the politest football nation in Europe. Nice. Very nice. This will do his confidence a world of good and is just what we needed before he joins his team mates at the home of football tomorrow. Talent and confidence are the two biggest commodities in football – or indeed in any sport – and DW23 will arive at the Grove with a smile from earlobe to earlobe.
I must admit I have been looking thoroughly at Welbeck for the first time ever today, and I did so with the main aim of judging how well he will fit into the OG role. His hold up play is good but could do with further improvement. His aerial dominance, especially from long balls from the back, is also not at Giroud’s level, but can undoubtedly be bettered.
But his movement was great and his energy levels are very impressive too. Did you see the interview with Shrek and Welbeck at the end of the game? Rooney had been substituted five minutes earlier but was still out of breath and looked shattered; Danny, on the other hand, was fresh as a daisy and radiated with confidence and happiness. What an athlete.
What was very clear tonight is how much DW works for the team; not just sitting back centrally for the ball, but being a nuisance all over the pitch when not in possession of the ball. And when the ball is regained by the team he makes smart and energetic runs into the available space. He is also good at carrying the ball forward, taking on a man, and attacking space with real intent.
Although he was a bit lucky with the contact on his shin for the first goal, I was very impressed with his run. He saw what his former team mate was going to do and chose instinctively to run towards the right side of the goal, whilst Sterling made a clever run towards the left side. Rooney did well moving with the ball forward and releasing it just in time for Sterling, who made a great run and put in a peach of a cross towards the fast running new Gunner. How often have we seen two or more players matching each others speed in the last year at Arsenal? With Sanchez, Theo and Welbeck (and Ox and Rambo and the ‘wingbacks’) we now should see a lot more of this. Especially during counter-attacks. Nice.
Welbeck’s second goal was even more enjoyable. Firstly, he was fit and able to make another clever and energetic run after being at it for 90 minutes already. Secondly, his first touch was good, he kept his balance and took time to make a decision; and his subsequent execution was perfect. Finished like a top striker.
So there is plenty of reason to be positive about our new signing and his performance tonight. His pace and ball control skills have been a joy to watch, and although there is plenty to learn for him he showed tonight that he can hit the ground running at Arsenal.
There will not always be so much space available for him to shine of course, and we will have to see how he does against the park the bus teams in the CF/Holding Striker position. But this game, with a brace in Basel, is just what the footie doctor ordered.
Cannot wait to see him at the Grove. Our army of midfielders will be licking their lips!
Written by: TotalArsenal.