Why Danny Welbeck is Manchester United’s Weak Link

Challenging on three fronts coming into February, Manchester United are beginning to draw comparisons with their 1999 treble winning team particularly in terms of their forward department. However, something is amiss. The continued presence of Danny Welbeck is baffling and something that has not been questioned enough as the season has evolved. Clearly talented, Welbeck is a player that can occasionally be sensational, but generally is disappointing and his form in front of goal this season justifies this assertion.

His goals tally this season sums it up — only one goal scored in all competitions. Yet he has played in over 20 games! Clearly these statistics are alarming and every United fan must wonder if Sir Alex’s faith in Welbeck this season will ultimately see United usurped when the honours are given out in May. For a player of lightning speed and great height, Welbeck never utilizes these strengths to impinge upon the opposition defences. Too often over the season has he remained lethargic in his movement and consequently his goal tally has reflected his struggles. Playing against Spurs last weekend, Welbeck produced the odd moment of excellence to carry the ball past defenders yet his final ball was horrific and he passed up some opportunities to shoot at goal himself. It is obvious that he is a game player who always works hard for the team, however mentioning him in the same sentence as United’s strike force of 1999 is simply misguided. Can you imagine Welbeck coming off the bench and transforming a Champions League semi-final? Clearly you cannot. Therefore I find it worrying that he is playing in some of the big games instead of Hernandez and Rooney.

The primary objective of any striker is to score goals, yet Welbeck’s record this season implies that this is not a prerequisite. How can United navigate their way past Real Madrid in the Champions League if Welbeck makes an appearance? Simply put they can’t. If he plays any part of the two legged tie then United when be making an early exit from a competition that Sir Alex cherishes the most. While I do acknowledge that Welbeck is a young striker with obvious talent as mentioned previously, I am firmly against him receiving game time in crucial matches ahead of forwards who can actually put the ball in the net.

Last season was obviously a painful one for United relinquishing the title to City and making an early exit for Europe. With Welbeck being preferred to Berbatov on pivotal occasions, United failed to score enough goals and quite rightfully lost the title to City on goal difference. At a club like United, for the team to succeed everyone must be making an impact. Unfortunately as the statistics underline, Welbeck quite simply hasn’t being delivering so far this season. While I would be delighted to be proved wrong come the end of the season, I fear from a United perspective that the more we see of Welbeck on the pitch, the greater the likelihood of United ending trophyless come May. Perhaps Welbeck may prove me wrong, but I am a firm believer in statistics and so far this season he has scored only once (October) and had only three assists. In a team where Van Persie or Rooney could achieve these stats in a solitary game, is there really a reason to persist with Welbeck?

34 thoughts on “Why Danny Welbeck is Manchester United’s Weak Link”

      1. “How can United navigate their way past Real Madrid in the Champions League if Welbeck makes an appearance? Simply put they can’t. ”

        For a start I’d say this part is rubbish.

  1. Yes Welbeck needs to improve on his finishing and final ball but his movement is superb. It was always going to be tough for him to get into goal-scoring rhythm with RVP being the main target man whenever he plays. He will be a star in 3 years.

      1. Welbeck is crap, Welbeck is crap, repeat! He cannot coninue to keep better strikers like Chicharito, Adnan and Januzei from the team while contributing only headless runs! Away with him.

    1. I don’t think that’s the case at all. It’s clear for everyone to see welbeck needs to work on his final ball and his finishing. Personally I think his first touch is poor as well but that’s just my opinion.

      I’d take the opposite view of the original post and say welbeck will be a important part of the first leg against Madrid. Utd will play a more disciplined compact game and try to sneak a away goal. I’d much rather see welbeck in the game ahead of Hernandez purely for his ability to hold the ball up with his back to goal allowing the midfield time to get up in support. Hernandez will be more suited to the game at old trafford when we play our more traditional 4-4-2.

  2. One statistic for the authour to investigate is goals scored by Danny himself.

    Perhaps a more interesting one is United’s record in the games he’s played. He may not be scoring, but his overall play and general effectiveness is clearly something highly valued by a pretty canny coach.

    He’s 22 years old, in his second true season as a United first team player and is a local youth product. Fortunately for Danny and United, the coaching staff and fans are going to keep more faith with him than the scribe of the above piece.

    1. I’m not 100% convinced by Welbeck but this is the exactly correct point. I’ve watched him play, been frustrated and disappointed and then had Gary Neville announce him as Man of the Match and show why. How is run to the right left RVP open for the goal, his movements led to defensive confusion, etc. etc.

  3. Watch Welbeck go and score the winner against real madrid now lol.

    Hes fustrating at times but great at others, the boys united through and through, time will tell.

  4. The issue for Wellbeck and goal scoring this year is that he is almost always playing out of position. When he has played central striker (for England basically) he has scored goals. Welbeck is class and allows others around him to thrive. One day he will be centre forward and be the star RVP is now.

  5. As many of stated already, he does need to polish up his finishing game. I get frustrated on some of the opportunities he has missed.

    That being said, Wellbeck’s overall contribution this season has been great in my opinion. Sure, he final ball sometimes is lacking, but he get’s involved often and to great effective in link up play in and around the box. And like, someone said in another post above, Wellbeck has not necessarily been plaing a CF role this season. He usually is deployed on the left or right wing.

  6. This article is rubbish. Welbeck might not score as often as we want him to but he stil puts in man of the match performances. His been used mostly on the wings this season. Give the kid time and he will be one of the premiere leagues top strikers. If u compare him to Torres who’s ment to be an experienced player worth 50 million, I’d have Danny in my team anyday. Danny can hold the ball up better than Torres and even bring other players into play can Torres? No!

  7. The title of this post should be “Welbeck could use a few more goals” and you would get less abuse. He’s obviously #4 on the list but far from a weak link. Good player.

  8. I’m still optimistic about Welbeck. I mean…..I see the problems in his game just like everyone else does.

    But, the reason I’m optimistic is that he so often puts himself in those places where we think, “Gah!!!! If his first touch was just a little better, he’d have scored.” He’s young-ish still…..give him time. It isn’t like United NEED him to be out there score like a maniac.

    Plus, he does a lot of things well. He’s strong on the ball, runs his ass off, has great pace, tracks back, etc.

    I’m happy for him to be another cog in the machine.

  9. thank god a sane mind on the subject of the carthorse….people who big up wellbeck are the same people responsible for englands demise as a football nation in recent decades…when anyone mentions wellbeck its the same terms they use when on about englands players…effort..tenacity..engine..tracking back….never touch…control…vision etc….yes wellbeck works hard…but thats all he does….his goal scoring record is abysmal…sir alex lost us the league last season picking wellbeck..he seems obsessed with him…and i am frankly at a loss…to put this in context evra has scored more goals than him this season…and i fear wellbeck is our emile heskey…a player picked for everything other than goals…he seems a nice lad…and has a great attitude….but please!! he isnt united class…let him join somebody like villa or liverpool or any mid table small club…but he doesnt belong on the same pitch as RVP and rooney…nice article..finally somebody not afraid to be a bit controversial and say what they see instead of the usual sycophantic nonsense aimed wellbecks way….it alarms me how everyone at the club bigs him up…this has never been done by the club about any player before…its like they are trying to convince themselves…if it transpired wellbeck had compromising pictures of the whole squad it wouldnt shock me.

  10. The author is right welbeck has offer little to utd success u england men re in suppost of him becos he is British if he is african or other country u would ve criticism him.a strike wit one goal 3 assist play ahead of herndancr n rooney

  11. Not sure I could add a whole lot more to this, but will try.
    As noted Welbeck has great speed and decent movement off the ball, but the problem is how often he frustrates. He has 3 major weaknesses.
    1) his first touch is often very poor, but he is typically able to make up for it with his speed and long legs.
    2) he has been very poor at being a clinical finisher. Having had 28 shots and only 1 goal is not good, esp for a forward.
    3)He still hasn’t seemed to learn how to use his strengths to benefit himself or the team.
    The good news is that he is still young, has been a United academy player and could still develop further.

    I do still agree with the author for the most part, Welbeck causes me to cringe more often than not.

  12. The author is a muppet. Welbeck actually has fanastic industry. His movement, while not as clever as RVP or Chicarito, is good. His work rate is brilliant. His ability to run at someone is among the best in the side. His finishing and final ball will certainly improve with a bit more experience and understanding. Experience being the key; thus his consistent inclusion into the side. He’s much more of an asset than this tosser has acknowledged.

  13. He has good speed and all that but when it comes down to it, he has no end product. He gets the ball and shoots it anywhere but at the goal. He is a highly over rated player with little knack for scoring. He does a lot of running around with no end product.

    This season, him and Hernandez have both taken about 30 shots this season. However, Hernandez has scored way more than him and played LESS games. Imagine that.

    The best place for him is back at Sunderland. Perhaps as a ball boy. If he can get hold of the ball.

  14. As for “weak link”, I don’t think it’s him. Definitely Johnny Evans. Anytime he’s named in starting lineup, something always goes wrong.

        1. I wonder. If the numpties who make these comments ever k played football

          All uniteds epl rivals would love to have Evans and wellbeck. Ask tony Adams. But of course he played the game. And a great player he was

  15. Useless ! One word sums up welbeck. Credit to the authoe for calling it correctly. I cringe when I see his name on the starting lineup and the bench. He is careless, clumsy and erratic. Sure he can usain bolt all over but breaks down many moves, is selfish, miss places passes, trips over his own legs, can’t cross and gets into a great position ony to mess it up. Not a utd player and far from a great striker. How low have english football stooped if you think of him as the english savior. He is not young anymore. At 22 he should be hitting the target and making it count rooney, ronaldo, chicha were/are all banging them in at that age. UTD future please don’t make me laugh. Ship him off somewhere else – stoke, west ham, everton. We not a kindergarten , get him off and give otherss a chance.

  16. I don’t think we ned to be too sentimental on the issue of welb i didn’t se the reason why he should be started ahead the like of chic or rooney along v.p after we al know the primary object of stricker is to score goal and its so obvious that it wil be so dificul for he(welb)to do

  17. What a load of rubbish.

    Admittedly his finishing needs work, but comparing his goal return to Rooney, RVP and Hernandez is ridiculous. Why? Because he’s been playing on the wing for most of the season!

    And for me, he has to be a shoo-in at the Bernabeu (on the wing in a 5 man midfield). His work rate will be crucial in nullifying Ronaldo/Di maria.

    The other thing people overlook is his link up play. He makes us a whole lot more dynamic with his quick passing and great movement. He played a big part in both goals vs Liverpool, and the goal vs Spurs.

    And I hardly think his inclusion ahead of Berbatov was the reason Utd lost the title last season. Take a look at Welbeck’s performances in the big games last year, he was outstanding (scored in a fair few of them as well!). Berba, for all his brilliance rarely shone in the big games.

  18. Against Real Madrid, I would be surprised if Welbeck plays a major role. I think Rooney and RVP will lead the line with Ronney playing just behind RVP and helping out in midfield. The wingers will be important to provide the service to the 2 forwards and also help out in midfield and defense. I don’t think Welbeck will get in ahead of Valencia on the right or Giggs on the left. The midfield is where these games are going to be won or lost.

  19. While everyone is complaining…I agree, I would rather see Chicharito play since he can score off the bench before I see Welbeck. Let’s remember, the goal is to WIN and if you have a player who can put then in the back of the net, then he should be getting more playing time.

  20. A truly prophetic article! 11 months after this is written we can see how true it is. It’s November and after terrible start to a season by United’s standards, we were fortunate to have Danny Boy out injured and so began a good run. Danny not-so-well beck returned yesterday and so the rot continues. Ship him off to operating room for knee surgery and then off to Sunderland where he will fit in perfectly.

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