Arsene Wenger says training ground practice persuaded him that Danny Welbeck was the right man to top Arsenal’s penalty taker list ahead of last night’s game with AC Milan.
Having taken a tumble in the box in controversial circumstances, the England international, much to the surprise of the majority inside the Emirates, stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick, his first for the Gunners, and netted to level the scores on 39 minutes.
The striker rounded off a good day at the office – he’d earlier earned a recall to Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad – by converting a second with his head to seal a 3-1 win.
After the game, Wenger was quizzed on how Welbeck had earned the right to take the penalty.
“Yes it was his first penalty but we worked on it in training a lot,” he told Arsenal Player.
“He took many penalties and he convinced me that he can be a good penalty-taker.
“Every game he plays makes him stronger and that is very good for Danny, for his confidence, for the fact that he did fight very hard.
“He scored a penalty that was a vital one, an important one, and he had the mental strength to have a clean finish.”
Welbeck’s successful spot-kick was his first goal in Europe for Arsenal since September 2014. Here’s hoping the brace restores further confidence and that he can avoid injury during the Interlull, he could well have an important role to play in the rest of our Europa League run.