A Stoke City fan’s view here yesterday that Danny Welbeck would be a welcome recruit at the Britannia brought wry grins to the faces of one or two Mackems who responded along the lines of “take him, please”. Is that unfair? Has Welbeck actually been used in a way that would allow him to express his best footballing qualities, the sort seen in the clip? Perhaps not …
Danny Welbeck arrived from Manchester United carrying a lot of goodwill from United fans who see him as potential Premier star, whether at Old Trafford or elsewhere.
For us, it was an exciting acquisition and it is fair to say we harboured great expectations about what he might do for us.
The promise remains unfulfilled. His best performance of the season was probably the one for England Under 21s in which he scored twice.
In Sunderland colours, it has all been somewhat low key and, in his share of the collective disgrace at St James’ Park on Sunday, he went hell for leather for goal after a good run, but getting nowhere near target when Darren Bent was screaming for the ball in a great scoring position to his right.
The United blog Stretford End Arising, with which Salut! Sunderland established good relations before the recent SAFC v MUFC game, asked whether we would give our early appraisal of Welbeck’s performances since coming on loan.
The task fell to Peter Sixsmith and this is his report:
Not the greatest month for Danny. He had to miss the 0-0 draw against his parent club, being replaced by Bolo Zenden. Zenden had a very good game and many fans (this one included) were surprised that Danny was recalled for the trip to Blackburn Rovers.
He retained his place for the home game against Villa and was in the starting line up for the derby game at Newcastle. Which is where it all began to go seriously wrong for him …
Clearly, he is a good player. However, in the formation that we have been playing, he has been asked to play wide left in a five man midfield and many fans feel sure that this does not suit him. He is a striker, who needs to play off the shoulder, similar to Fraizer Campbell.
However, he appears to be timid and I have seen him pull out of tackles. He looked frightened by the atmosphere and the intensity of the Wear-Tyne derby and was ineffective after spurning an early opportunity. He needs a goal to boost his confidence.
He has good control, excellent ball skills and he clearly wants to play.
He may have to take a seat on the bench for the next few weeks as our manager responds to the hammering we took off our dear rivals by bringing in more experienced players.
How Sir Alex Ferguson feels about that is interesting; apparently, he wants Welbeck to play regularly. Bruce now has to risk upsetting his former mentor as we attempt to drag ourselves back to respectability.