Tag Archives: Danny Welbeck

Arsenal’s March of the Never Rated

2-2 at full time; 6-3 on aggregate. On paper it looks as if Arsenal have cruised through to the Europa League semi-finals. The reality is somewhat different.

Arsenal survived a scare in Moscow. Trailing 2-0 and under pressure in the second half, a 3rd CSKA goal would see them lead the tie on away goals.

The up stepped Danny Welbeck in the 75th minute to give Arsenal the breathing space with the sides first shot on target.

That single goal by Welbeck turned the tie. Instead of it being 1 more goal for Moscow to go through, they now needed 2 goals just to take it to extra time. It knocked the stuffing out of them.

Welbeck is often derided by Arsenal fans. Deemed not good enough. A frustrating player. One who has all the physical attributes to be world class, but none of the ability. He struggles in front of goal – a massive problem for a striker.

But in the last 4 games for Arsenal, he has 5 goals and an assist – had he joined Liverpool in January, the press will be going on about how great he was, how much he has improved under Jurgen Klopp.

But he, nor Wenger, will get any credit. It will be labelled as “just Moscow”.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cup tied and Henrik Mkhitaryan our injured, the role of supporting Alexandre Lacazette has fallen to Welbeck. And he has not disappointed.

In his last 2 second leg Europa League appearances, he has been the game changer.

Against AC Milan, trailing 1-0 at home, Welbeck won and converted the penalty to make it 1-1. He then scored if the 86th minute to put the tie to bed.

Then yesterday Arsenal were on the verge of going out. Shell shocked. It was Roma v Barcelona all over again. Then Danny Welbeck stepped up to the plate with his excellent goal.

Yesterday was actually his 10th goal of the season. If he can do that consistently, as 3rd choice striker, Arsenal have a decent contributor in the squad. Bit like Sylvain Wiltord.

Then we have the man of the match from yesterday. The stats speak for themselves.

During the game, some people began comparing him to Gilberto Silva in the fact that a lot of what he does you do not see.

I am not 100% sold on the comparison, but Elneny has a very simple and effective game. Win the ball, then pass it to someone who is in a better position to create. He understands his limitations and works hard.

Unlike Francis Coquelin; who always seemed to be frustrated and wanting to be involved in the build up, Elneny sits back, covering the back 4.

But he can also play. 2 assists yesterday show this. He might not be as good defensively as Gilberto, but he is better on the ball.

I would like to see him given the chance to play in the middle of the midfield 3 until the rest of the season. We still need a top defensive midfielder, but continual good performances by Elneny will give the manager another option.

Whilst Elneny goes about his business quietly, without much praise from the supporters, a fans favourite is struggling.

Jack Wilshere has a horrendous game. Not for the first time this season, he looked off the pace, his touch and passing deserting him.

He has been average this season, and last night showed why Arsenal are reluctant to invest in him. Whilst the likes of Elneny and Aaron Ramsey have stepped up, Wilshere has gone backwards.

He seemed to spend the majority of yesterday rolling about on the floor and complaining. It is also interesting to see the tide on Twitter turning against him. Many of those backing him to start earlier in the season now questioning his place in the starting XI.

Arsenal clearly think they can improve on Jack Wilshere. That the money he wants could go towards financing a deal on someone who is superior. Fitter. More consistent. And it is hard to argue against that.

The club might even feel that if they secure the right defensive midfielder, it will allow them to push Granit Xhaka further forward. Allow him to be the deep-lying playmaker with a man behind him clearing up.

It is the role he plays so well for Switzerland. The role he played in Germany before he signed for Arsenal. He has never been the deepest of the midfield. He has always played with someone more defensive minded next to him, or behind him.

Xhaka will probably be back this weekend for the game at Newcastle. If he is 100%, he should go straight back in the first team alongside Ramsey and Elneny.

Wilshere is clearly in need of a rest. It might become a permanent one.

So we are through thanks to those who people sit and moan about.

The draw is today at 12noon. RB Salzburg, Atlético Madrid and Marseille are our potential opponents. None of them fear me.

Up the Arsenal

Keenos

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Arsenal and Adidas, Welbeck and Iwobi, Laughing and Harry Kane

Arsenal and Adidas

As revealed on this site in March, Arsenal are in talks for a double your money deal with Adidas.

I have seen values ranging from £40m up to 60m floating about. My theory is that it will probably be in the middle of these – about £50m.

This might seem “low” in comparison to the £75m Manchester United deal, and the £60m Chelsea deal, but these are both long terms (Man U was 10 years, Chelsea 15 years).

As we saw with a 15 year deal with Emirates, the football world moves quickly

When in 2006, our deal with Emirates started, it was market leading. A 15-year deal estimated at £100 million to sponsor the stadium, combined with a 7-year shirt sponsorship. It was quickly outdated.

My bet is that Arsenal will go for less money per season from Adidas, but a short deal, likely 5-years.

This means we will be in a position to renegotiate the deal in 2024. Who knows what the footballing landscape will look like then. Meanwhile, Chelsea will still have another 9 years to go on their deal.

I also would not be to surprised if Puma come in with a late offer like they did the last time. They do not want to be left with no top English team wearing their shirts.

Welbeck and Iwobi

The pair are often labelled as not good enough ,and get a lot of justified criticism from fans. But against Southampton both performed well.

2 goals and an assist for Welbeck, 2 assists for Iwobi.

Are either of them ever going to be good enough to be regular starters? Probably not.

But football is a squad game, and unlike Manchester City or Manchester United, we do not have the finances to dramatically increase our wage bill.

Arsenal spend about £200m a year on wages, Manchester United nearer £300m.

That means the likes of Iwobi and Welbeck are important squad players. And if they put in performances like they did against Southampton more regularly, they can then be relied upon a bit more.

Laughing and Harry Kane

Spurs. The gift that keeps on giving.

So desperate are they for any sort of success, they have appealed a goal scored at the weekend. This is not an goal that was put down as an Own Goal that they are claiming, but a goal scored by another Tottenham player.

Cristian Erickson scored a free kick, and Harry Kane “swore on his daughter’s life” that it brushed his shoulder.

Firstly, Harry Kane shows he has a mental age of 12. Swearing on someone’s life is something that most of us stopped doing in secondary school.

Kane is 5 goals behind Mo Salah in the race for the golden boot. He knows that in his Tottenham career to date, he has won nothing but individual trophies. He knows the reality is playing for Spurs that he will not win any sort of team honours.

I will always remember Thierry Henry’s comments about the Ballon D’or (or lack of). His opinion stuck with me. That individual honours are not important, that it is what you win with your team that defines you as a player.

This showed through in Henry’s play. He was just as happy getting an assist as he was scoring goals. I have not seen as complete a striker as him. 30 goals a season, 20 assists a season.

Spurs appealing a goal scored by one of their own players just reeks of desperation.

3 golden boots in a row, 100 Premier League goals, and whatever else Kane might win as an individual will ultimately mean nothing if he ends up with less trophies for Spurs than Yaya Sanogo for Arsenal.

Try winning something properly, Harry, rather than whinge and moan until you get given a trophy to shut you up.

Keenos

7 OUT for Arsenal’s trip to Watford

Arsenal could be without seven first team players for their trip to Watford in the Premier League this weekend following the international break

Prior to the final round of World Cup qualifiers, Arsenal were already without Laurent Koscielny, who had been sidelined for the Gunners over the past few weeks. The French centre back has seen a flair up of a long-term existing injury to his achilles. His chances of being fit for Saturday’s game were 50/50.

Koscielny may well be rushed back into the game with centre back partner Shkodran Mustafi having limped off in Germany’s 5-1 win over Azerbaijan on Sunday. The German international could miss the club’s next seven fixtures having suffered a torn ligament just 36 minutes into the game.

Another who did not travel with his country was Mesut Ozil has played just 17 minutes of Arsenal’s last 6 games as he recovers from a knee injury.

Two with a chance of returning are Francis Coquelin and Danny Welbeck.

Welbeck picked up a groin strain against Chelsea and hopes to be fit for the match, whilst Coquelin has been out since the Bournemouth fixture which took place on the 9th of September.

Calum Chambers on the other hand is not in contention for the clash. He is suffering a knee injury that will keep him out until the end of the month.

While Santi Cazorla will be out until the new year after suffering Achilles problems all the way back in October 2016.

Keenos