All Guns Blazing: Danny Welbeck signing could be inspired, but Arsenal shouldn’t have gambled with defence
13:00 03 September 2014
In our weekly Arsenal fan column, journalist and Gooner Uche Amako praises the late signing of Danny, but bemoans the window that should have been.
When Lee Probert blew the final whistle on May 17, the moment should have signified a turning point for Arsenal.
But as we enter an international break, what started as a positive summer quickly turned chaotic and disorganised as the transfer window shut.
Despite the arrival of Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Danny Welbeck, the overwhelming feeling is of disappointment at what might have been and bewilderment that we left it so late to get our business done.
The areas that needed addressing were clear and obvious. Then when you add injuries to Olivier Giroud and Mikel Arteta and the departure of Thomas Vermaelen to the argument, these issues could and should have been solved long ago.
Welbeck is a welcome addition in light of Giroud’s three month layoff. He’ll provide great pace, technique and work rate but there are justified doubts about his ability to be the man to get 20-25 goals a season.
At United, he was not given an extended role leading the line, with his versatility at times being a hindrance rather than a blessing for his goal record. But he is capable of finishing and very highly thought of, so there is no reason why he can’t replicate the exploits of Daniel Sturridge, who has excelled since being given the lead role at Anfield.
Wenger is excellent at coaching young players into world class talents and I have confidence that he can do the same with Welbeck.
Our defence is a huge concern and where Wenger has taken his biggest gamble.
When Vermaelen departed for Barcelona days before the season started, Wenger stated categorically that he would bring in a replacement.
However no defender was brought in and when you consider Per Mertesacker’s lack of pace, Laurent Koscielny’s troublesome Achilles, Chambers’ inexperience and Kieron Gibbs’ tendency to get injured, we are left horribly exposed.
Perhaps Wenger thinks Chambers can step up and be the third centre half or right back when necessary, but it’s a lot to ask of someone with less than 50 senior appearances.
With the financial constraints seemingly gone and fan optimism at its peak, there were genuine thoughts about Arsenal making a sustained assault on the major competitions this season.
But with the risks Wenger has taken, the shaky start to the season and our tendency to make things difficult for ourselves, I fear we may be in for a challenging season which could have been entirely avoidable.
Follow me @UcheAmako