Dan’s the Man and Gunners Called up for International Duty
Life isn’t fun when your BlackBerry Z10 decides to go kaput on Independence Day but what would a brother do? I ping my babe on the night of September 30th and go to bed feeling like a million bucks. “Fuck yea, no work tomorrow”, I exclaimed. In the morning of October 1st, I wake up to see that my phone is as blank as Yaya Sanogo’s goalscoring record. Took it to ER the day after and I watched in anguish as the technician put the white cloth over the phone after his attempts to revive it proved futile. Life. Pot of beans indeed.
I’m gearing up for a big fat Greek wedding I’m about to attend, so here’s a quick Saturday roundup.
Danny Welbeck is the man of the moment following his first professional hat-trick in his fledgling career. As expected, he’s under the spotlight and many will be hoping that he replicates such form going forward. In Arsenal’s clash against Galatasaray, Welbeck turned on the style with a virtuoso performance, getting into dangerous positions and most importantly, putting them at the back of the net on three occasions.
The English forward took some time out to reveal why he’s flourishing as a center forward,
“If you’re getting goals and getting a run of games in your preferred position, your confidence is going to grow and performances are going to grow as well. “That is something I am really looking forward to doing, building on those performances.
“I wouldn’t say I feel different. Maybe beforehand, sometimes I wasn’t getting through on goal if I was coming from a four-man midfield.
“Obviously it’s difficult to leave your position and go and get goalscoring opportunities. But I’m getting into these positions much more regularly now, and I’m looking forward to sticking the ball in the back of the net.”
“Nobody can really criticise my finishing because they don’t really see me playing in a forward position too often. But now I am getting into these positions I want to be sticking the ball in the back of the net. I’m sure it’s the same with every other striker.
Welbeck went on to praise Arsenal’s midfielders, stating that he’s looking to be on the end of their creative passes. His teammates couldn’t hide their excitement and they ran out of superlatives for him. Kieran Gibbs labelled him as an ‘animal’,
“He was an animal tonight. “Credit to him – he works hard, he’s professional and he’s a great player. He’s important for us. “I think he has a bit of everything. He’s quick, he’s strong, he holds up the ball and he works hard. When you work hard like that, the harder you work, the luckier you get. Credit to him – he fully deserves his hat-trick and his performance.”
Welbeck’s work rate is exemplary and I’m really happy for the lad as he’s repaying the faith Arsene Wenger showed in him. We can only hope that his run of form continues and he’d have a stern test of his abilities when he comes up against Chelsea tomorrow.
Elsewhere, the international break will come up after this weekend and Arsenal, like every strong European side out there, has its contingent that have been called up their respective nations.
Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck have been called up by Roy Hodgson for their crucial European Championship fixtures against Estonia and San Marino.
With Danny Sturridge still out injured, I’d expect Welbeck to start as a center forward for the Three Lions and he’d be hoping to replicate the form he showed against Switzerland during the last international break. Wilshere has recently spoken about getting in on the scoring act as well for club and country but he’d have to let his actions on the pitch do the talking for him. It’s also good seeing Kieran Gibbs getting the nod to return to the national team but I don’t see him being selected ahead of Leighton Baines, except Hodgson wants to see what he’s made of.
Joel Campbell has been called up by his country to feature in the friendlies against Oman and South Korea. Campbell hasn’t hit the ground running in his Arsenal career and with the Gunners already out of the Capital One Cup, one would wonder when he’d get his chance. The World champions, Germany, have called up Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski for their Euro qualifiers against Ireland and Poland. With the Germans finally reaping the rewards of their effort, the onus would be on them to replicate the same feat Spain achieved two years ago, as they went to win the Euros after winning the World Cup.
Finally, Laurent Koscielny has been annoyingly called up for the meaningless friendlies against Portugal and Armenia. With Arsenal suffering a crisis at the back, I’d be watching the French friendlies with a measure of anxiety and I’d be hoping that Kos the Boss would go through both games unscathed. I’d be delighted he’s benched for both friendly games though, even if it seems unlikely.
That’s a wrap folks. I’m off to the wedding.
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