Poor old Danny Welbeck. From regularly available, fully fit Man United player, to crocked and barely on the pitch Arsenal player. It seems the injury curse of wearing the cannon on your shirt has struck again.
Nine months. Jeez. I’m sure you’re feeling as deflated as I am, but that will be nowhere near as down as he’s feeling at the moment, because this injury will have effectively meant that in two and a half years at Arsenal he’ll probably have only started about 30 games in all competitions.
The comparisons with Diaby will be the other inevitability, but whilst we can console ourselves with the fact that it was his other knee that jarred the cartilage and smashed it to smithereens, the real worry will be how he recovers. Ankles and knees are an area that suffers as a footballer. It’s where most of he pressure on the body is applied and the only hope is that Welbeck can come back and face no ill effects. Get well soon Welbz.
What this does now is almost certainly force Arsène Wenger in to a decision on his striking options. Given our woeful form in front of goal in 2016 I suspect he was thinking that anyway, but with one of our positive players from recent months now crocked, he simply cannot rely on Olivier Giroud as his only centre forward. He’s tried Theo there and clearly doesn’t fancy him any more. He’s tried Alexis but sacked off that experiment early. He doesn’t bother with Campbell in any position. So in reality he needs something more in the sharp end of the team. It would be cruel to have Mesut Özil creating so many chances for teammates and not having somebody who can finish better than he can. Really cruel. Like, keeping a puppy in a shed with no light, food or water all the time, cruel.
Will that be a stop-gap signing though? It’s not beyond Arsène’s capability to bring in a player on loan with a view to giving Welbeck a chance when he returns, but with so much time to find somebody in the summer (har-har) as well as the fact we surely needed a replacement centre forward anyway, surely he’ll look to go big? Right?
Am I trying to convince myself here?
Probably. It isn’t beyond Arsène’s thinking to go for a stop-gap, but as sad as it is to say, he can’t be relying on a player who has now had two serious knee injuries in two years. Much like Wilshere, we have to treat Welbeck as a ‘nice to have’ player more than anything else. We’re effectively going to lose him for half a season, so to think any other way would be naive and costly.
Go big on a centre forward and a wide forward, bin off Theo, then get the fans as excited as possible for the new season. Simples. You’d think.
We have to start looking at next season now too, because the last smidgen of possibly interesting news to play for was going to be the possibility of Newcastle beating the spuds and allowing us to finish above them again, only for hilarity. But with Sunderland relegating the Geordies by beating an absolutely terrible Everton team, there will be nothing to play for at the weekend and I suspect those Spuddies will smash the Geordies on their home turf. Which will make the Villa game even more pointless than it already is. Shame that. I’d have liked to have a chuckle at the fact that in a season in which we’ve been terrible at times and unable to find the net on a number of occasions, we could still outdo the Tiny Totts, but if Newcastle could muster a draw and we beat Villa at least we’ll finish level on points. That’ll mean that lot have had their best ever season and we still would have finished on the same points tally, despite everyone agreeing we’ve underachieved.
Right, that’s that for me for today, as I need to prepare myself for another sh*t day at work with meetings with people who I’d rather push out of a building than sit in one with. Happy days. Catch you tomorrow.