It’s a simple question, one that for many Manchester United fans won’t even need much thought or debate. It seems Danny Welbeck has taken over the mantle from Michael Carrick as the player who divides opinion amongst fans.
Take Sunday’s harder-than-it-should’ve-been victory over Liverpool as an example. Sitting in my seat at the game, I was somewhat amazed at the amount of people who seemed genuinely convinced Welbeck was ‘having a shocker.’ I personally thought, shooting aside, he did an excellent job as was a huge part of the reason we ran out eventual winners.
Taking to the interweb after the game, it seems it wasn’t just those attending the game who couldn’t agree on the value of young Daniel to the team. Many tweeters, bloggers and commenters had Welbeck as a contender for man of the match- my personal choice would have been Patrice but I see their point.
On the other side of the fence, shouting somewhat angrily while waving goalscoring stats were those who are of the belief Welbeck is ‘not United class’ and needs to move to a ‘Sunderland’ or ‘Reading.’
Let’s address the white elephant in the room before we go any further, Welbeck’s goalscoring record this season is deplorable, one goal by January isn’t what any forward for United should be achieving. There’s extenuating circumstances for the lad though, he’s often played on the wing- the left wing at that, despite being right footed and also never a winger. Welbeck seldom has a run in the side and certainly doesn’t have a run in the side as a striker. In fact the FA Cup game and Sunday’s match were one of the only times I can recall him starting two games in a row as a striker this season- if I’m wrong I’m sure someone will correct me.
There’s also the Chicharito factor, Hernandez regularly scores for United which goes some way to making Welbeck’s profligacy look even more egregious. There’s also the fact that as against West Ham it seems we often need Robin Van Persie to bail us out with a goal, as Welbeck doesn’t have anywhere near the scoring touch the Dutchman does.
Firstly there’s no point in pretending Chicharito isn’t more likely to get you a goal, he is but there’s an argument that he’s more effective as an impact player from the bench than as a starting player. Even if you were of the opinion Chicharito should start ahead of Welbeck, there’s no denying the fact that the Englishmen holds up the ball better and is arguably more capable of linking up with others than his Mexican counterpart.
When it comes to the Van Persie point, yes Welbeck does need to be more lethal in front of goal and it is a tad worrying that we are so reliant on the Dutchman but that doesn’t mean Danny isn’t good enough- just not as good as RVP, then again who is?
Ever since I started attending games in the 90s there have been players that do a job for the side yet don’t always endear themselves to all fans. I remember Brian McClair getting no end of grief of the masses when I used to stand in the Scoreboard Paddock, yet he was an integral part of a golden period for the Reds. Andy Cole had his fair share of critics during the 95-97 era, despite being part of a double winning side that went on to retain the league title. More recently we’ve seen Carrick win three titles in a row yet still be classed as ‘not United quality’ by more than the just a few.
Welbeck isn’t going to impress everyone, his gangly style and lack of goals will infuriate many of the ‘we’re Man United we do what we want’ types who demand a shedload of goals, trophies and samba soccer type football from the side.
For some of us though a player who plays his part in the side, has the work rate others can only dream of, creates space and chances for his strike partners and will only get better, is one I’m more than happy to see at United.
Am I right that Welbeck is good enough or is he simply not United class? Answers on a brick through the usual window or feel free to comment below:
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