England’s 1-0 friendly win over Switzerland ensured that Gareth Southgate didn’t take the unfortunate record of becoming the first ever England manager to lose four matches in a row, but it also served to highlight just why Danny Welbeck struggled to start matches under Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and will continue to do so with Unai Emery at the helm.
The former Manchester United man has had an incredibly successful career so far in terms of trophies, but has never really hit the heights that were touted for him when he was a young striker breaking into the United and England teams.
So far this season, Welbeck has had to settle for just two substitute appearances which have totalled just 21 minutes, although he did net in the home win over West Ham when playing on the left of a front three.
Despite the lack of game time for his club though, Southgate gave the Manchester-born attacker the nod from the start against Switzerland after he almost bagged an injury time equaliser having come off the bench in the UEFA Nations League opener against Spain.
The first half of the game against the Swiss at Leicester’s King Power Stadium passed without many incidents and with England playing poorly. Welbeck’s performance himself was representative of many other’s we’ve seen from him over the years, hard working but with little to show for it.
In fact, while picking up his 42nd international cap in a much changed side, Welbeck had just 21 touches of the ball and made only nine passes before being taken off in the 61st minute for Harry Kane. Despite the lack of time on the ball, he did manage to get two shots away and win two aerial duels, but he had no clear cut chances and never looked like scoring.
His strike partner for the night Marcus Rashford was the one who eventually broke the deadlock, scoring his second goal of the international break by volleying home a Kyle Walker cross.
Welbeck’s three clearances did represent the hard work that he got through on the night and always does whenever he plays, but his lack of impact on the game shows why he hasn’t had too much of a chance recently under Emery, and with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finally starting in the same side against Cardiff it looks as though the frustration will continue for the 27-year-old.
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