Is Wenger right to pick Welbeck over Walcott for Arsenal?

I have been scratching my head recently about the decision by Arsene Wenger not to start with Theo Walcott in his Arsenal starting line-ups. After all, the England international forward has the speed of an exocet missile and has already showed his improved finishing since his return from injury.

But after Danny Welbeck had another good game today, winning the penalty for Santi Cazorla to give us an early lead away to Crystal Palace and then bursting into the box and forcing Speroni to parry into Giroud’s path for the crucial second, I am starting to understand.

Welbeck needs to improve his finishing, of that there is no doubt, but he does give the team so much more with his all-round game. Harrying, pressing, stretching defences, linking up play really well and also tracking back to help our defenders are great qualities.

And the way that Arsenal are now a lot harder to beat is because we have got players like that. Alexis Sanchez does it, Cazorla does it and even Ozil is doing it. Who would have thought at the start of the season that we would be saying that. It must be frustrating for Theo but he needs to realise that he must do a bit more of what Welbeck is doiung to get his place back and that can only be good for the Gunners.

And by picking Welbeck, Wenger is giving the striker the self confidence and belief that should help him to start banging more goals in himself. It is a win-win situation really, in my opinion. Has Wenger got it spot on or would you rather see him bring Walcott back in?

Tags Alexis Giroud


  1. Well, if he played Walcott and he got injured again every single one of us would be calling for Wenger’s head… He’s been out a year, give him his minutes here and there for now until he’s fully fit because a fully fit Walcott will score just as many as Sanchez. Imagine actually having both fully fit, we will be competing soon mark my words

    1. Champions league clashes coming, we need walcot there, with ozil, sanchez,walcot, and giroud we can win even CL if theres a good day and a bit of miracle 🙂 ,

    2. On the money. If Walcott can string 4/5 games together come the end of the season then it’s a success for him. Until then he should be wrapped in as much cotton wool as needed.

      Disagree about us competing when he’s back to his best, more is needed than a fit Walcott. Namely a top class DM, and our b2b issues sorted.

    3. “Wenger is giving the striker the self confidence and belief that should help him to start banging more goals in himself” i highly doubt that makes one a goal scorer…otherwise why bring about this question after welbeck has been involved in two goals???
      To me walcot is a better option because of his finishing, smart runs, game reading, delivering during big games, good final touch and making it easier for the right back since he keeps defenders in deep in their half therefore, no need for him to be defensive.
      I don’t know about you, but i hate it when our attacking players (carzola, sanchez,ozill & rosicky) are deep in our half defending. Same reason why palace became an issue yet we had 8defensive players on the pitch(wenger’s poor tactics)

      1. Too bad, as I was quite actually serious. Sanchez’s use of the ball (everywhere except the penalty area) frustrates me week in week out. The problem was identified early in his Arsenal career leading to him being benched, but he still persists. Is it so difficult to PASS the ball????

        1. I still would rather start Sanchez, but I do hear ya on that note Twig. We ignored that issue because he was scoring goals, but now it is ever so apparent.

          1. you guys…we are extremely lucky to have Sanchez at Arsenal. This is his first season with us and is only natural that it will take him some time to get use to the ball movement rather than just attempt the individual play. However, everytime he gets on the ball there is disruption on the opposition’s defense and that is good because it opens spaces for our other talented players!! Arsenal is a very difficult team to defend against because of the options that we have, starting or coming of the bench, it keeps other teams guessing…as per the Theo or Welbeck discussion, having them both is a good thing for us. This league is to be contested by teams that have depth, something that we were missing for so long (remember the discussions about rotating the same 14 players all the time??) and now, it’s starting to look like we are getting there, we just need to be patient, the way I see it, we are 2 or 3 players away from winning the league…COYG!!

        2. Nine thumbs up …. Wow… Obviously a whippet fan club on this site ….price to market …. Put em both on market and see the reaction … Alexis would b out with a big price tag to just about any big club … The whippet might end up at stoke or Everton for half the price …. On a footballing level one is world class the other another a massively overrated English mediocrity

        3. Bruv, I get ur point and i’m one of the few people that has seen this as well and I always shout at the TV when sanchez loses the ball because he doesn’t pass quick enough. BUT u are going way ahead of urself mate. There are some player that MUST play if fit or available bc 50% of them on the pitch is better than 110% of others. That is Sanchez. He is is WC. And the opposition shake in their boots wen facing him. Give him space at ur peril. Bringing Fear factor back to the Arsenal….should I go on?? This is his first season at Arsenal and he will adapt in time just like Ozil is adapting. I can categorically tell u that if he was fit and available against tottenham, we would have got at least a draw in that game. He is our talisman and u need to wake up and smell the coffee.

  2. Lets welcome walcott back with precaution. He has an important future at Arsenal so please do not rush him back.

  3. Oddly enough, I feel for Chelsea today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they dropped points, but to drop points in the way they did is ridiculous. Martin Atkinson has to be suspended if not fired, appalling refereeing.

      1. Absolutely disgusting, and more that just that tackle, the entire game. Chelsea should’ve had two clear penalties. If that had happened to Arsenal I can’t imagine how angry I’d be.

    1. true. But then again Chelsea is LDWWDD in their last few matches and the 2 wins they only won by a goal. I think Jose gots bigger problems to worry about then him constantly complaining about the refs who have never been that good with decisions makings in the first place.

  4. Im still not sure walcott is completely right and needs some level of protection. Comparing walcott and welbeck as of today I feel walcott and welbeck both offer pace and the ability to track back, obviously theos quicker. On finishing theo seems to be ahead of welbeck but given game time I think they’d be on a par. The main difference for me is that welbeck seems more combative and ready for a fight than theo. Very useful in hard fought premier league matches. I suspect we will see theo picked and in his element on wed night in the champions league. Going to be interesting when, (and if) we have ox, welbeck, walcott and a fully fit and on top form gnabry all vying for the same postion. At this stage we may want to also rotate sanchez as the guy needs less minutes.

  5. I think walcott is not playing because of precaution, beacause he was out for a year and he is injury prone. Also, i think the wenger’s desicion to put welbeck is right because he choosed to play ozil with cazorla in the midle of the park. To play them both, is needed players who can track back and get use that extra energy. Welbeck is exactly that.
    Not the better game, but a victory. GOOD

  6. For Crystal Palace Yes

    However, for Monaco Walcott should start

    Ospina, Bellerin, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertsacker, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ozil, Walcott, Sanchez, Giroud
    Should all start against Monaco

    Champions League must play our strongest side.

  7. For the Monaco match it should be Walcott. His speed would be excellent against a very, very organized Monaco defense. Welbeck is more of the hard worker who can get stuck in games, which is exactly what we needed today, but not every match. AW had the right starting XI today.

  8. Did you see how messed up that pitch was,add the intensity the match was being played, and I guarantee you that was a disaster waiting to happen for Walcott. Plus Danny is a work horse who unfortunately is terribly underrated.

  9. i don’t know what people see in walcott
    he is lazy
    he thinks he’s a CF and drifts inside too often
    he is scared to get scratched in a tackle
    Welbeck is better than him

    1. After 14 months out and coming back from knee surgery Walcott starting scoring goals immediately. Seriously, what do you want from him? He has been great upon return.

      Walcott is weak in defense – not the same as lazy. But there are many devastating strikers around the world who are also weak on defense and they are NEVER faulted for it so long as they score.]

      Additionally, Ozil has been weak on defense but looked strong at times defensively vs. Palace. Cazorla used to be poor on defense also – now he is much better. It can happen.

  10. seeing as Wellbeck created (sort of) both goals I would say he did a great job, and Walcott remains fresh for Monacco.

  11. I am hoping to see the same team for monaco, reason being, monaco will be playing counterattack football, they have goods size forwards and wingbacks, who has good pace. Walcott in my view has not played in enough games to improve his defensive work rate, he also tends to drift in and out of matches and position. This causes a lot of pressure on the right or left back

  12. I’m not sure about Walcott playing v Monaco if Chambers is the RB. If it’s Hector ok. Monaco will attack hard and fast down the flanks and we will definitely need wide players who will track back – Welbz and Alexis.
    Thought Coquelin had a very good game again in light of the early yellow card. He just keeps growing as a player in that role.
    It was a tough away fixture and a lot of teams will struggle v Palace at home at the moment….a very good win indeed! and as AW said, we were fortunate not to concede in the very last minute as the guys switched off…good wake up call with no consequential damage thank goodness!
    Won’t happen against Monaco or Manure I am sure.

    Loving their work at Swansea!!! COYG!!!!!!

  13. Wenger was right to choose Welbeck for the Palace match. For other opponents, Walcott will be the better choice.

  14. considering a midfield of santi and ozil, with just the coq @ holding, welbeck was a beta choice for his defensive duties

  15. Walcott? If walcott is select for this match over welbeck we will be the one calling for wenger head. We could see working his socks off most of the times defending. Can walcott do the same?

  16. I would love to see both play, send giroud on bench and start with welbeck upfront with ozil and walcot on both wings and sanchez with carzola behind them.

  17. I see Walcott tracking back ALL THE TIME. I have the benefit of cable TV, because I can repeat any match I want. So I watch most games twice. You would amazed how much you pick up watching the game again.

  18. This is fantastic – real fan stuff. We’re “arguing” about which players are best for which games.
    Why? Because we now have almost all the squad back fit for the run-in!!
    AW has lots of tactical options for starters and subs to suit different opponents.
    Let’s have a great finish to the seasonn

  19. arsene got it right welbeck work rate was great,the way he tracks back and help his defenders,hopefully it will rub on walcott that the only way he,ll get his starting place back except may be in europe and against easier english teams !!credit due to wenger because it can,t be easy to choose the right first XI week in week out which he has been doing for quite a while now !!

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