Danny Welbeck's goals for England should have put a wry smile on the face of Arsène Wenger. There is no confidence boost quite like a goal for a centre forward and Danny Welbeck helped himself to two second half strikes on Monday night. His first could have well been Gervinhoed as the ball skipped off the turf via his shin and into the net rather than wide of the post, small margins and all that. But it was the second that I'd imagine widened many Gooners eyes around the world.
Being a goal down, the Swiss had to gamble late on and left spaces in behind. This space was exploited by Sterling, Lambert and Welbeck. I'm glad it was Lambert on the pitch rather than Sturridge as you know the ball would never have been played to Danny who was better placed. Welbeck's left foot touch into his path looked easy but running at that speed it really wasn't. Then came the opening of the body and side foot past the keeper, a lovely finish.
We haven't had a striker that can run in behind at pace and produce a clinical side footed finish since Thierry Henry if you don't count the handful of chances that Theo Walcott has had in that position.
The idea of using Alexis Sanchez in that position was an exciting prospect this summer, a good chance to inject some much needed pace into the team but also having the feet to create his own chances. The team had missed those qualities with Giroud leading the line but when you flipped it around it wasn't difficult to see what the team would miss with that switch. The first half at Goodison park was pretty much all the proof needed. It is the reason why the likes of Walcott and Podolski have not proved to be consistent performers in that centre forward position so far in their Arsenal careers. Playing at centre forward for this Arsenal team is much more than just scoring goals as Oliver Giroud has proved. He was the focal point of our attacks, the water carrier of our attacking game if you like.
But his lack of pace and ability to get behind the opposition on top of his average finishing ability meant that he needed others around him to complete our attacking game.
Danny Welbeck seems to be a nice combination of both our central attacking options.
Physically strong, has the technique to keep the ball under pressure and bring others in but as we saw against Switzerland has the speed to leave defenders behind and run onto passes.
It really does feel like Danny Welbeck is the ideal centre forward for the team that Arsène Wenger is building. By all accounts he seems like a very likeable and hard working young player who puts his team first and he is also willing to learn and improve. If that is not the description of a Wenger signing then I don't know what is.
If that is the case then I wonder what Arsène would have done if Oliver Giroud was fully fit and the Danny Welbeck opportunity presented itself. Would Arsène have passed? or would he have squeezed him in? I suspect it would have been the former baut we'll never know now.
The one part of his game that excites me is his defensive qualities from the front. Like Alexis Sanchez, he shuts down defenders and deep midfielders, winning a high number of tackles for a centre forward. Given that we have two players in this mould you'd think that Arsène will be looking to use this in our approach to games. But how is the question.
We may not have that world class finished article super striker that many were begging for but we've improved that area of the pitch by some way I'd say. Last season we had Oliver Giroud and Yaya Sanogo and at a push Lukas Podolski who didn't feature very much at all in that area. This season; even with Giroud injured until the new year we have Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez, Yaya, Sanogo, Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell all capable of playing up top with a grinning German on standby. That my friends is what you call depth.
Great video on Welbeck by the compilation king @
In other news, Aaron Ramsey got crocked and is now available for the weekend in the space of 24 hours if reports are to be believed. Theo Walcott does not have a date set for his comeback just yet but he'll be involved in some under 21 games first. Looking forward to having Theo back even if he was to lose a bit of pace which is still debatable. It's his intentions rather than his pace that I believe to be his strongest asset. Most of our players such as Santi will drop back and look for the ball to feet, Theo is great at picking the right moment to run in behind. van Persie has been using movement to score goals for the last few years and he certainly does not rely on pace. Plus a slower Theo is still probably the fastest player in the league.
Oh and some more good news Mikel Arteta and Mesut Özil are back in training and available for our victory against Manchester City on Saturday. Hopefully A-A ron will shake off his ankle knock because regardless of his form at present, his scoring instincts are very important in what could be a tight game.
Before I go, I would like to point you in the direction of the new comments section. I had issues with the last one and had to remove it due to spam attacks. The new comments section is pretty cool, it lets you know how many people are currently using the comments as live. You can also comment using your Twitter, Facebook, Livefyre accounts as well as a few more options. So leave me a comment and maybe some feedback on the new comments system.
Oh and while I'm going on about the site, don't forget that you can send in your own articles (original content, not stuff swiped from your or any other website) and I shall put it on the site. Just click the Your Vision section and away you go. A piece about Lukas Podolski will be on the site tomorrow afternoon.