One of the heroes of Manchester United’s win over Liverpool this weekend was Danny Welbeck.
He led the line well alongside Robin van Persie, playing the full 90 minutes with his performance winning praise from Gary Neville who during commentary yesterday announced him as his man of the match.
Before the game on Twitter I played down fears about Welbeck starting.
After all despite only scoring one goal for United this season, it’s not as if the forward has let down United before with his hard work-rate and hold-up play impressing despite his gangly appearance sometimes making him look like a player on the verge of losing the ball often.
After all there’s a reason why Welbeck hasn’t played as regularly this year. Well two reasons actually, the first being he’s been a victim of RVP’s arrival and that Javier Hernandez has returned to form spectacularly. Together that’s resulted in Welbeck having less starts, less time on the pitch which has meant that his season hasn’t really got going.
Of course that’s not to say Danny hasn’t helped himself. He has missed some chances this season, the most notable coming away to Newcastle when he rounded Steven Harper only to fire wide of goal. However due to the competition he’s had perhaps it’s only natural to see him rush his efforts and after all it is easy to forget that he is still only 22 years old.
He’s still a baby in football-terms and is still learning how to become a better player. He still hasn’t probably finished growing and will only get stronger physically if he continues to work hard in the gym which will make it far easier for him to bully defenders more and get ‘in their heads’ before they’ve even stepped on the pitch.
In order to do that he will need to be score goals and be more convincing. However forwards can work hard without getting the rewards and sometimes all they need is a bit of luck to go their way, a ball to go in off their backside or for them to benefit from a close offside decision. Even a tap-in can be what’s needed.
Going back to yesterday’s game Welbeck worked hard and fully justified his place in the starting line-up. He played a part both goals spreading the ball to Patrice Evra for the first before being fouled for the free-kick that led to Nemanja Vidic’s goal.
In the second-half when United were under the cosh from a rejuvenated Liverpool he tracked back and played his part. Yes perhaps it would have been wise to bring on Hernandez from the bench. After all, his pace and energy would have frightened Liverpool’s defence but the game-situation didn’t require him. Liverpool were threatening to get an equaliser and it was wise to keep on Welbeck for his defensive duties particularly when United were struggling to keep hold of the ball.
By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87