Champagne Charlie toasts Gunners strength in depth


Ex-Gunner Charlie Nicholas says Danny Welbeck and Lucas Perez give Arsene Wenger real squad depth as Arsenal challenge for the title in the second half of the season.

After nine months on the sidelines recovering from knee surgery, Welbeck has made two appearances off the bench at Preston and Swansea in the space of a week.

Nicholas now believes the England international can challenge the likes of Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez for a regular starting berth, even though scoring goals hasn’t always been his forte.

“Welbeck’s not a big goalscorer but his energy and the ambition he’ll have to prove himself make him a real asset to the squad,” Nicholas told Sky Sports. 

“Just look at the goal he got against Leicester last season. He keeps fighting until the end. He won’t score a big amount of goals but he will make a contribution and gives the strength in depth which is so important when you get to the business end of the season.

“Arsenal and Manchester United have the strongest squads in the top six and that will come into play with the FA Cup and Champions League. I’m very pleased he’s back and I’m sure he will make a contribution.”

The Scot also had warm words for Lucas Perez who has notched five goals and six assists in 14 appearances since signing from Deportivo La Coruna in the summer for £17 million.

“I would say he [Lucas] has been underused,” Nicholas said.

“I do like his movement, which is very important, especially without Theo Walcott in the side. He was the one guy against Bournemouth that should have come out of it with credit, other than the self-indulgent Olivier Giroud.

“He’s under-used, under-appreciated and should have been given more game time. I like him and am happy to have him at the club.”


  1. What a load of rubbish.

    And when we have an injury crisis, he will be blaming Wenger for not having depth in the squad and not enough different players for other tactics.

    Leave my coq alone.

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  2. He also thought we should sell Coquelin. He was talking out his arse. Name a better midfield destroyer that we could feasibly purchase to replace him. Just because a player doesn’t attract lots of press doesn’t make his job any less important (see for example Gilberto Silva and the impact of his leaving)

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  3. I’ve recently realised that I havent been desperately checking for transfer news… This is the first window that I’ve not felt we need any extra depth in a long long time.

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  4. Why we have to give these ex players an ear is beyond me

    The media is littered with them spouting nonsense.

    Legend that he is, most of these geezers have never managed a club or worked in the transfer market.

    Flip flop.

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  5. Brilliant. A man nicknamed champagne charlie in his fifties with an earring accusing someone of self indulgence. Merse is in good company

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  6. Quick point on merse. Absolute arsenal legend. Embrassed by the way we let him go and bring in the likes of Chris wreh (he did a job though). Footballs fun and he played with a smile.

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  7. Coquelin is a soldier ! He has done a fantastic job in my opinion. And yes! Goals would be good from him but I’d sacrifice this for his blood and guts approach! 5 star for me.

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  8. ‘other than the self-indulgent Olivier Giroud.’

    fucking hell, spare me. What a unique and dispiriting predilection of the British pundit class, sucking every last drop of fun and irreverence from the sport.

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  9. Cos getting in a state over something a man said on telly isn’t at all ducking the fun out of sport. Oh, pretty sure too you have no idea what predilection means given the context you’ve used it in

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    • webster: ‘an established preference for something’

      as in the predilection for hysterical hyper-negativity and mega-seriousness from the british football punditry class (as I see it).

      anything else I can help you with?

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  10. There’s only one Champagne Charlie and its not this git. King Charlie George of Highbury and the Emirates tours. Legends tours.

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