Welbeck's England showing heartens Arsenal supporters
ARSENAL v MAN CITY
(Tomorrow, 7.45pm, SingTel mio TV Ch 102 & StarHub TV Ch 227)
A new era begins at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow and Arsenal's supporters could not be more excited about it.
While there were supporters who doubted the quality of £16 million ($32m) signing Danny Welbeck, their fears were allayed by his Man-of-the-Match performance for England against Switzerland in midweek.
Now there isn't a Gunner who isn't anticipating the impact the former Manchester United striker has on their team.
Welbeck is a player of considerable quality, but he is also one who has struggled to live up to his potential thus far.
He is quick enough to puncture any backline, strong enough to hold his own and clever enough to bring a host of talented attacking midfielders into play.
The only thing he hasn't yet mastered is consistently putting the ball in the back of the net.
However, his progression on that front has been hampered by the way in which he has been utilised in the past.
A hardworking professional who tends not to complain, he often found himself shunted out on the flank or left out of the team for a more glamorous name.
Now he'll be the first choice centre forward for a Champions League side for at least three months before his main rival, Olivier Giroud, returns from injury. He could not ask for a better chance to prove himself.
How Arsenal needed his arrival.
Left with the unappetising choices of Yaya Sanogo or Lukas Podolski, neither of whom has impressed, it looked like it might be a hard season for Arsene Wenger.
Not any more. Even Theo Walcott was moved to say that he felt Welbeck would be better for Arsenal than he had been at United.
"He'll get opportunities and he's got a point to prove," said Walcott.
"I know he's worked hard and he's still very young, and I think the boss will enjoy working with him."
And what a time to make his debut. There has rarely been a better time to play Manchester City.
While the champions started well with victories over Newcastle and Liverpool, they were rocked on their heels by a home defeat by Stoke City.
Could Welbeck make the best of first impressions with a goal? You certainly wouldn't rule it out.