In his first first team start since last April, Danny Welbeck completed 67 minutes against Hull City on Saturday.
And that is almost the best thing you can say about a game in which the FA Cup holders were left frustrated by
the usual heroics of the visiting goalkeeper. And the usual brand of poor finishing.
That I’m looking at the gig I went to last night, featuring a singer who couldn’t really sing (LNZNDRF, if you like that kind of stuff and, actually, I did) as more fun than this game kind of says it all.
He probably should have scored early on after Theo Walcott wriggled free in the penalty area before standing a cross up from the right. Unfortunately, last week’s hero headed this week’s cross straight down Eldin Jakupovic’s throat. With Danny, Theo and Alex Iwobi all buzzing around like busy little bees, we had started so well, I chuckled indulgently. We all did, I think.
It was a different time then, there was still time, lots of it. There would be more chances. Which, of course, there were; we just missed them all. In providing Jakupovic with catching practice, Welbeck had set the tone.
Just before half time, Welbeck induced the wrath of the Hull fans when he tricked his way into the penalty area. Blocked off, he went down. A penalty? Not for Mike Dean. Of course not. Having already refused us a penalty for a clear handball from an Elneny shot, he wasn’t going to give us this one. With no trace of irony, the Hull fans who had, only minutes earlier, seen one of their own booked for diving, responded with the that chant, which is not just boring, but also more often than not, incorrect. The northern idiots.
Around the hour mark, Danny was fouled outside the penalty area. Most Arsenal fans would have suspected it wasn’t to be our day when Jakupovic tipped Joel Campbell’s low free kick onto the post.
Welbeck’s final involvement saw him close to putting us ahead when he attempted to curl one past Jakupovic. Despite a couple of deflections, Superman, managed to get a hand on the ball and deflect it away.
Welbeck was substituted just afterwards. Whilst the result was hugely disappointing, Danny can only have benefitted from getting that first start under his belt. I feel sure (hope) there is more to come from the Manchester born striker.