Wenger explains why he chose Welbeck over Giroud….

Arsene Wenger often gets criticized for his team selection, but his surprise move of dropping Olivier Giroud from the Arsenal starting XI last night seems to have been a stroke of tactical brilliance.

Danny Welbeck was given the nod over G-Rude and after the match Wenger explained the reasoning behind his decision. “He has pace and you also have to consider it psychologically.” he said on the official Arsenal website. “I have to rotate a little bit without destroying the balance of the team and I felt that we could have counter-attacking chances tonight and he would be ideal for that. Overall he had a great game.

“We all want to do well when we play against our former club to show that we are a great player, but it’s not easy to deal with the mental situation. He focused just on his game and didn’t do anything special, he just played football like you want him to play. He has shown mental strength because that’s not always easy to deal with.”

Le Boss was then asked if Welbeck was more motivated because he was facing his old club, but Wenger simply feels that Danny is improving all the time: “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him that.” Wenger continued. “I just think he wants to win and he’s a team player. What I like with Danny is that he’s intelligent, he wants to do well for the team, he’s a great talent and recently he has done extremely well for the national team as well. He has shown today when you can produce such a complete performance offensively and defensively, he has a great future.”

DANNY WELBECK SAID – “It’s good for the team that we’re through to the next round, in the semi-finals at Wembley. To get the goal was good for me but it was all about the team performance tonight.

“It was a great reception. It was hard for me but I tried to be respectful.

“It was about being professional, keeping my focus and motivation. I kept plugging away and then got on the end of Antonio Valencia’s backpass, beat David de Gea and got the winning goal. I’m just really pleased we’re through to the next round.

“I stayed professional and I was just doing my job. To be able to get back on the scoresheet and get through to the next round is the most important thing.”

Whatever the reasons for Wenger’s choice it was a very astute one, and I have a feeling that Giroud may find it harder to be the automatic first choice striker from now onwards, but after this performance from Welbeck, Wenger will probably play both his strikers against Monaco as we need goals, goals, goals to produce another historic result in France…..

VIDEO – Danny Welbeck’s winning goal at Old Trafford

Tags Giroud Man United welbeck


    1. Listen, Giroud could not have scored that goal Welbeck scored. Pace and dribbling skills were instrumental to the goal, and Giroud has neither.

      1. @KickAssFan.
        I agree with you to the extent that Giroud would not have scored that goal as it required qualities that Giroud obviously doesn’t have. However he probably would have scored any other chance that Welbz would have probably wasted.

        This is the beauty of having players with different styles competing for same place in the team.

        Is it a coincidence that unlike last season, this season -in which we have had two CFs with different styles- we are winning the big away games, with the two strikers capitalizing on their unique qualities (Giroud powerful header against city, Welbz pacy counter goal against United) to score in both games?


    2. Man u fans hating cos of Wellbeck’s Jubilation. Cry all u want ShittUnited, Cos THE LITTLE BOY INSIDE HIM TOLD HIM TO JUBILATE. Happy To Be A Goonerrrr.

      1. Hhahahahahahaaaaaa,,,, so the little boy INSIDE him said, Celebrate Danny….. And listen to what the li”le BOUY Inside Van pAYSLIP has to say…… UM LUVING THIS…
        Now Monaco better be warned…..

    3. I don’t believe Wenger,the only reason he played danny was cuz he was facing his old club. He really wanted to score.and it paid off,as simple as that

  1. There is another theory though..I read somewhere that United have made the most number of back passes to the keeper in the entire PL..could it be one of the reasons why Wenger chose Welbeck over Giroud?so that he could chase some of those?
    tbh, I wouldnt be surprised..Wenger pays much attention to details..remember how Cazorla said Wenger asked him to take his freekick toward the left of the keeper in the FA cup final last year?
    Le Prof indeed!

    1. Woah are you accusing Wenger of studying the opposition and using tactics? You’re going to give Robson a stroke

  2. But we get opportunities with counter attacks every match. I think Wenger played Danny because it was against his former squad. Well whatever is his true reasoning is, Wenger starting Danny got us a goal. Nicely done manager.

  3. I really would like to see us play a 4-4-2 with Danny and giroud up top with Alexis and ox on the wings. I think giroud and Danny would really compliment each other.

  4. whatever the reason – was a good decision…but was surprised to see Wenger sub him, I would’ve tout he bring on Theo for Ozil (since we already had Ramsey to cover midfield and Car could move up)…Theo would’ve been good pace upfront with MU pushing for equaliser and also would’ve game him game time.

  5. The majority of ManUres possession goes back to de gea, I thinking he thought Welbeck should play as he is simply quicker and goes longer.

    Does anybody have any idea what happened to Theo? he was stripped off ready to come on when The Ox went down, but he went for Rambo instead :S confusing!

  6. The Ox was also sublime in creating the first goal after receiving the ball from Ozil across the opponent backline. It was almost similar to that received by Rosicky in the previous game, only that Rosicky scored from that pass from Ozil because he could shoot. But Welbeck tops it with a ‘fast n furious’ reaction that even took out De Gea. What a splendid performamce by all the players. Now, pls..pls..do the same at Monaco and think that this time we’re the underdog against a superior team!

  7. Welbeck played sorely because we needed pace on counter attacks. Wenger doesnt love benching Giroud and Ozil. He should do it against Monaco and play both Walcott and Welbeck

    1. we are not getting three past monaco at their own backyard..such only happens to arsenal 🙁 🙁

    1. am glad he didnt play, he always scores against us 🙁 🙁 🙁
      he would hav had a brace n we would av lost 2-3 🙁

  8. champions is gone 🙁 epl gone too 🙁 🙁 we must win the fa 🙁 🙁 🙁 Wenger has no choice

  9. I don’t care about the reason why he was fielded. Am just happy that he got the job done for us. Beating Man U and sending them to oblivion for the season (they have no hope of anything this season) is what has pleased me. For a long time we’ve not made them moan and here in Nigeria their fan are moaning and we, for once in recent time are walking very very tall. Thanks to the lads. You can do better, just believe in yourselves. Let me enjoy my day. Same to you folks.

  10. Look, I like Danny. He is a tryer and last night used his pace to pounce on a complete nightmare of a mistake by Valencia. He was alert and ready and switched on enough to put it past de Gea and yo slot it into an open goal.

    But…apart from this he did little else. His touch like always was as heavy as a pissed off donkey and for me he contributed little as a threat to goal or the opposition defense.

    This had the effect of separating our attack and midfield so we didn’t really create anything apart from the goals. With Girouds link up or Walcotts slightly more natural ability to test the keeper/score a goal we may well have been miles ahead a lot sooner.

    obviously welbz played for the motivational factor which can often work but apart from the silver platter delivered gift from Valencia IMO he wasn’t in the game. We need a sharper instrument up top if we are going to challenge..

    That said….it was a GREAT result and will hopefully be a affirm to greater things..


      1. i agree that DW can be frustrating to take from time to time and his first touch has been dreadful the past few games BUT unlike a majority of big money summer signings he hasn’t featured in every match since arriving from MANURE. A few knocks and time spent in the treatment room hasn’t helped his early evolution as a Gunner, and honestly the majority of his recents starts have seen him feature on the wings rather than manning the front line. He has imho the personal platform,(age, size, pace and strength) to be a very good player for Arsenal in the future if he continues to work on the technical side and reading of the game. Will he ever be a WC poacher and EPl Golden boot winner, highly unlikely but I truly believe he has 15-20 goals a season in those boots if given the chance to consistently lead the front line

        1. Hope your right. We good certainly do with 15-20 more hoals a season.

          I am doubtful though and hope a WC striker is brought in to hopefully bring up our goal threat.

        2. Agreed – but we still need to drag ourselves back to the fact that DW needs to be judged as a wide second forward/winger whatever we want to call him – everyone seems keen to judge him as an out-and-out CF. I think for England he has 8 in 18 when played centrally and think nearly all of his 7 or 8 goals for us have come when played through the middle. Still not prolific but half decent for someone who has never had an extended run-out in his preferred position. People are always quick to point out that Lewandoski and Suarez etc cannot be expected to be as prolific in their wide positions but don’t offer the same “excuse” reason for Welbz. Might be more appropriate to compare his contribution to someone like Willian – athletic, pacey, hardworking etc plays in similar position/role but I bet Mourinho is not judging him on his goals. Milner at City also is often deployed wide and nearly always praised.

    1. 100% agree. There was two times that spring to mind that Walcott or Giroud would have made good runs off a defender and opened space on counters where Danny hung on his defender and ruined the chance. Danny tries – he’s a good weapon to have in the Arsenal – but an out and out goal scoring striker he ain’t. His all around play suffered but he did make their back 4 work. That’s something at least – though when Giroud came on at the end his movement fudged them up and almost created 2 goals.

      Did Danny actually get a shot other then his goal? 1 header on target to my memory (and that was a tame effort).

  11. The new intro to barroom jokes

    ‘So there was an Englishman, an Irishman and a Man Utd fan…’

    hahahaha COYG!

  12. am glad he didnt play, he always scores against us 🙁 🙁 🙁
    he would hav had a brace n we would av lost 2-3 🙁

  13. Welbeck is faster than Giroud
    Giroud is better finisher and holder of the ball Than Welbeck

    Its possible that Giroud would not have been fast enough to score from that backpass. On the other hand, there are probably goals Giroud scored that Welbeck may not have scored because Giroud is a better finisher.

    Unfortunately, both have strengths and weaknesses.
    I am hoping that we sign a Top striker who is both fast and top finisher.

    If Welbeck can improve his finishing and hold up play, he has the ability becoming a great striker even better than Giroud. He is still quite young and had 2-4 years to hone his skills.

    Right now Giroud is more experienced and better finisher so he should be number 1

  14. Giroud is far better than welbek, Danny was -1 in d 1st half, if not that winning goal, personally I don’t like d decision but d it pay off. Anyway, am so happy now. Yessssss !

  15. Giroud is notoriously poor in the big matches. It might be a confidence issue but he just never seems to turn up. Check out his scoring record against the established top 6 and you’ll see. Giroud is a much better finisher and overall probably a better player but I would drop him for the big matches. Arsene obviously cannot say that but I think Giroud himself knows it. He has admitted to struggling with his confidence at times.

  16. Of the 16 goals he scored last season none came against top four opposition. His only goal against top seven opposition last season was a goal against Spurs.

  17. I am tired and sick of this argument, Giroud has not scored against Top Team? What of goals Against Everton? Man. Utd? Man City? Liverpool? Are they not top Team.

  18. A big win and this goal could change his career for good. A bit surprised Man Utd fans didnt boo him even more. Lol they were clapping for him even when he was subbed. Maybe he should present something to Valencia, he deserves atleast one gift.

  19. Welbeck’s goal was far from being accidental/flukey – it was on the cards knowing how MU defence knock it back and sideways ad nauseum, their general lack of confidence and because of the pressure DW was putting on them and Blind in midfield. De Gea would have picked up that ball at his leisure and the ball would be aerial bound to Fellaini before Ollie G had arrived on the scene if he had been playing. OG12 does many things better than DW but he probably would not have had a sniff at that goal.

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