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Friday, 3 October 2014

Oh Danny Boy

It wasn't until I saw a mate's photo on Facebook of the Hat-Trick Heroes board on the lower tier concourse that it suddenly dawned on me quite how long it's been since we were privileged to be savouring the pleasure of a prolific striker, banging in goals on such a regular basis.

In fact the board is on the wall near to the entrance of our own Block 18, but it's been so long since I had any cause to look at it and I only hope I remember to take a gander at the next home game, to check if it's been updated.

It wasn't until I saw the replay on the big screens at the ground that I realised Welbeck had found the net for the first goal, via the gaping hole between the Galatasary keeper's legs. I initially thought it was a great finish, but on the basis that I find it unlikely that Danny did this intentionally, then I guess there was more than a little good fortune involved in the first of his glorious three goals on Weds night.

However there was no luck involved in goals number two and three and having seen how calmly and composed Danny was, in curling the second around the keeper into the far corner of the net (positively Titi like!) and then waiting for the keeper to go to ground and chipping it over him to complete his hat-trick (now if only he'd done likewise against Joe Hart!), I can't help but feel that this is prima fascia evidence of the significant impact upon Welbeck's confidence,

It seems to me that the coolness he displayed in his finishing for the 2nd and 3rd goals were a direct result of the fact that in finding the net for the first, this totally alleviated the amount of pressure he felt, enabling him to subsequently relax in front of goal instead of him trying to take the skin off the ball by merely attempting to welly it in.

Welbeck's hat-trick ensured that he was all anyone wanted to talk to me about on Thursday, as I did  my morning rounds of the grocers & Cinnamon Village in Blackstock Road, for my nicotine & caffeine hits. Albeit hardly the breakfast of champions before heading to my pulmonary rehab class in Hornsey Street (in a building that I assume was part of the development paid for by the club when they were obliged to install the adjacent waste disposal facility)!!

Thus I fast developed the stock one-line response of "I'll be far more impressed should he manage to repeat such feats at Stamford Bridge on Sunday!"

Welbeck's goal fest on Wednesday raises the question that if Giroud was fit right now, which of the two would one want starting up front?

Personally speaking, in a home game against the likes of Hull, or Anderlecht, I would love to see Arsène go for it, by playing two strikers (but then who would he leave out?). However with Wenger having seemingly binned 4-4-2, previously his preferred method of playing, as being completely outdated nowadays, this just ain't gonna happen.

But when it comes to a choice between the two, the most crucial asset Welbeck has compared to Giroud is his pace. This sort of blistering speed positively terrifies lumbering centre-backs, whereas I have the distinct sense that our opponents are likely to feel far more comfortable defending against the far less mobile Frenchman.

Also while Giroud has never shirked hard graft, when operating on his own up front and can usually be relied on to work his socks off, operating across the width of the park, I was particularly impressed on Wednesday night to see Welbeck track back on more than one occasion, to retrieve possession with a tackle in the middle of the park.

In fact I seem to recall that it was one such instance, where Danny stuck out a timely leg in our half of the pitch, which resulted in a turnover and the subsequent counter-attack that eventually led to our second (??) goal.

So when you combine Welbeck's zest with his tireless running, it seems to me this is likely to prove considerably more effective, compared with Monsieur Merveilleux's inability to match the speed of pacier opposition.

The only real question is whether Welbeck can contribute as many goals as Olivier has up until now and if he can gain sufficient confidence from his Champions League performance, to go on and prove that his hat-trick wasn't a flash in the pan. Then there can be little doubt that Danny's bristling speed and intent are far better suited to making the most of his team mate's skills and likely to bring the best out of Özil's technique and quick-wittedness.

Still sadly we won't need to confront this particular dilemma for a couple more months and prior to that, with Walcott's imminent return (I thought I heard them suggest on the radio that Theo's target is the Hull game?), Arsėne has a more immediate quandary.

Before all that, we badly need to eradicate last season's positively embarrassing humiliation when we travel to the Bridge on Sunday. As hard as I've tried to forget, if I recall correctly we were already 0-2 down by the time I took my tardy seat, as Chelsea well and truly pooped on the celebrations for AW's landmark match last time around!

In order to prove that Wednesday's scintillating first-half display was the real deal, rather than merely being down to some woeful defending by our guests, it will be necessary for a somewhat diminutive looking Arsenal side to overcome the perennial "men v boys" protestations of seasons past, by casting off this unwanted baggage and approaching this encounter with some genuine belief.

Considering we've already looked small in both physical and mental stature against the likes of Southampton, this is likely to prove the most significant feat to pull off on Sunday. Time for Wenger to rediscover the art of instilling a large dose of the sort of "unbelievable belief" that we often used to hear Merse recalling, in his own inimically eloquent fashion!

And in the event that we should be fortunate enough to witness an encore of the sort of scintillating form that we glimpsed from the Gunners during the first forty-five in midweek, when Theo does eventually return, would he demand automatic consideration for the starting XI and if so, in whose stead?

Come on you rip roaring Reds
Big Love


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Twitter: @thedogsbollock


Anonymous said...

According to a respected British soccer writer,Arsenal or rather Wenger always plays in the same style. Players are allowed to express themselves and to hell with defence.It's this arrogance or stubbornness of the fm that is costing the gunners in the big games.
I know Danny boy scored ahattrick. You can bet the Blues defence is indinitely better.I tell you what.
Mourino will flood the md and give the gunners 90% possession to hang themselves.Then the gunners will be as usual indulge in their passing to eternity. When a ball breaks loose/mistimed,intercepted,etc,thats when Costa will score like Drogba and Ronaldo.
However hopefully Wenger has wised up and will play Mourino at his own game.If not ,his dismal record against the so will continue until he realises there must be aplan b.
Btw,the fm is overdue for win over the so. If not Arsenal can say adios the epl.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Wenger is he is too predictable.That's why his record against redface and the Blues is so very poor .If he aint careful and goes kamijaze on the attack with ten players,Arsenal could be beaten by a big score.The trouble is,man,he is too stubborn and believes in his own hype.
There is no reason why Arsenal can't beat Chelsea.You don't have to be a genius to do that. Stop the supply line,Febregas and Costa.Then at least 50% is won .
If Wenger carries on as usual,like the cl game Arsenal will be cut down and lose, If he cannot show improvement against Chelsea and the big teams it shows he has lost the plot and Arsenal will be better off with another guy who will be down to earth and have other options other than Wenger who refuses to change.