After seeing Welbeck play well and finish poorly vs. AC Milan, and seeing “The Talented Mr. Ripley” from my film collection, I’ve been musing on the “Talanted Mr. Welbeck”.
Is he a bad player?
Did Man United sell us a dud?
Is “Dat Guy Welbz” ‘not Arsenal quality’?
Let’s see, shall we?
No, he’s not a bad player
Welbz has played amongst, and held his own in various ways, the following:
- Van Persie
- Alexis Sanchez
Hardly all crappy players, right?
He’s also played numerous times for England, including Euro 2012, and only missed Euro 2016 due to injury.
So he has some pedigree. And don’t forget he was in the squad for the Man United 2008 European Cup win, and has won league titles. Sir Alex Ferguson is arguably the greatest football manager of all-time. Yes, he made key errors in players like Kleberson or Taibi. However, his discernment was often sharp, and he would not rear many bad players from his own academy. So if Sir Alex rates him, then it’s pretty sure Welbz is no dud.
He’s not a dud then?
Well, no. In my view at least.
He may not finish well, but to deny his quality is foolish.
It could be that we’re not utilising him in the proper role. At United, he was seldom a main forward. He often played on the wing, or in a more advanced midfield/inside forward position. Rooney, Berbatov, and Ronaldo, were the chief strikers in his time there.
However, if deployed as a winger, or inside forward, he could do very well. I’m not a coach, but it’s common sense to me that different body types and physical styles suit various positions.
Centre-halves are tall, generally speaking, for a reason. They have the height to head balls, or be imposing. Most of the top central defenders in the world today are tall, or at least above average height. Cheillini, Ramos, Pique, van Dijk, etc. all qualify.
Similar is true of inside forwards. Height is not required. Alexis is an inside forward, but then he is not tall (yes he doesn’t play for us anymore, but he still plays in the same position). However, pace, dribbling ability, power, and stamina are requisite, and Welbz has these points in abundance. Think of Son at the scum. He has a similar body type/playing style, though unlike Welbz can score goals. Martial, Rashford, Willian, Salah, etc. are all of a similar mold (and all can finish in their defence…)
Another option could be playing off a main striker, or even in a 433. His runs could provide space for Aubameyang, Lacazette, or other forwards.
Welbz is pretty much like Xhaka, in the context of not being utilised.
Is he Arsenal quality?
I say yes.
He won’t score many goals. But then we have PEA for this. As well as Lacazette. Scoring goals is not, and likely won’t be for a while, an issue.
But his drive, presence, work-rate, and pace, can provide defences problems.
As aforementioned, it’s more a case of being him being utilised properly.
If this can be done, then it can be beneficial for him, and for us.
Moreover, what is Arsenal quality? I personally define it as any player who can help us get top four, and win the Premier League and Champions League. He can do this, so he is “Arsenal quality” in my eyes.
Welbz has taken a lot of slack lately. I can see where the criticisms emanate from. But not all of it is fair, since he maybe should be redeployed.
I hope Welbz can improve his game sufficiently, so he can get into the World Cup squad at least.
There are still too many Tottenham players in it, and a balance needs to be struck…..(this includeS Super Jack too).