Wenger expects Welbeck to prove Van Gaal wrong

2014-11-22 09:56

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck has been playing with a point to prove as he prepares for his first reunion with former club Manchester United today.

Welbeck has impressed for the Gunners since his ­£16 million (R275 million) transfer deadline day switch from United.

The England international’s five goals in 12 appearances have gone some way to silencing the critics, including United boss Louis van Gaal, who said Welbeck wasn’t up to the standard required at Old Trafford.

Arsenal manager Wenger knows he has benefitted from Welbeck’s determination to show he can make it at the highest level and he expects the forward to be fully motivated when United come to the Emirates Stadium this weekend.

“You can take every challenge in a positive way and that is what Danny did,” Wenger said.

“You have to understand Louis van Gaal did not have Welbeck under his command for a long time and it is always very difficult to know the players well when you see them for three or four weeks.

“Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie have an exceptional goal?scoring record – he had two quality players in front of him, so what he needed was a chance.

“What is important is that the player makes a good career and has a good opportunity.”

United, like Arsenal languishing well behind leaders Chelsea after a spluttering start, received a fresh blow during the international break when Dutch midfielder Daley Blind sustained a knee ligament injury likely to sideline him for several weeks

But although they face ongoing injury problems in defence, goalkeeper David de Gea and midfielders Michael Carrick and Ángel Di María should all be fit to face Arsenal despite sustaining knocks on international duty.

The season may be only 11 games old, but complacency and rank misfortune already seem the only factors capable of preventing Chelsea from romping to a first league title since 2010.

A 2-1 win at Liverpool enabled José Mourinho’s side to open up an eight-point lead over reigning champions Manchester City prior to the international window, while Arsenal, United and Liverpool are even further back.



Arsenal v Manchester United, Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion, Everton v West Ham United, Leicester City v Sunderland, Manchester City v Swansea City, Newcastle United v Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City v Burnley


Crystal Palace v Liverpool , Hull City v Tottenham Hotspur


Aston Villa v Southampton

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