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April 2021

Speed is not everything but it helps

By Tony Attwood

Last season Drew and I trotted down to our nearest league ground (Sixfields, home of Northampton Town) to take a peek at Coventry City, who at that time were playing their home games in Northampton, for reasons that won’t become clear at this point.

Among the Coventry team was one Chuba Akpom.  In the mud and in front of a tiny crowd, most of whom were huddled at the away end (Coventry fans avoiding “home” games in protest at the location) the young man on loan from Arsenal put on a decent display.

Chuba is 18 – he’ll be 19 in November – has played once for Arsenal in the league and once in the league cup – scoring a goal in the latter competition.  He played four times for Brentford and six times for Coventry last season.

He has also picked up 20 caps thus far: two for the under 16s, 13 for the under 17s, 14 for the under 19s (for whom he can still play) and one for the under 20s.  He has scored 11 goals for England, all for the under 17s and under 19s.

He made 20 appearances in the under 21 Premier League during 2012/13 and scored 13 goals including 10 goals in 10 games in the Elite Group stage.  And you’ll probably remember him playing in the tour of the Far East last year.

And now he has claimed the Arsenal 10m record with a time of 1.56 seconds which is about a tenth of the time it takes me to pick up a cup of tea and get it into my mouth.

Now this record breaking is getting a bit much, for only last month Hector Bellerin broke the 40m sprint record which had been held by Theo Walcott, who in 2009 had taken the record off Thierry Henry.

We are probably one season away from seeing the real Chuba Akpom play for the first team but the possibilities are looking good.

Meanwhile back in the fantasy world of the national media, the Daily Telegraph of whom I was writing earlier have two headline stories today…

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Why United were right to sell Welbeck

Welbeck may be transfer coup of summer

And a quasi AAA – “I will tell you what to think”, type statement – they included in the latter,  “Arsenal supporters may need to be patient.”

Do you know, I’m really glad to have been told that, because without the Telegraph and their AAA fellow travellers, I don’t think I would actually know what to think at all.

But let’s be fair, for there is a helpful paragraph in the second of those Telegraph pieces…

“For all the concern about the reliability of Welbeck’s finishing, there are statistics from which Arsenal can take solace.

“Welbeck has now scored 10 times in 19 starts for England and, while a return of 29 in 142 Manchester United games will hardly frighten their main rivals, it is worth noting that 20 of those goals came in the 53 Premier League matches he actually started. And that was still also often from a position out wide on the left.”

Now as you may know, I do occasionally like to compare strikers with the figures achieved by Thierry Henry, simply because he is the greatest striker I have ever seen in my lifetime of watching football.

In his first season with us Henry scored 17 goals in 31 Premier League games a rate of 0.54 goals per game.  In the second season he scored 17 in 35 league games – a rate of 0.48.

Welbeck’s rate across his entire Premier League career is 0.38 goals per game.  He’s not that too far away, and has got quite a bit of time to improve.

Just one final bit of news this lunchtime:

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus got injured playing for Germany against Scotland and will be out of action for four weeks.  So he will miss the game against Arsenal on 16 September.


The books
The complete Arsenal Anniversary series is to be found on the Arsenal History Society site.

13 comments to Speed is not everything but it helps

  • AB

    Tony more about the AAA it’s what makes this site so interesting I love all the in house fighting and name calling excellent work more please .

  • Chapman's Ghost

    I find all this AAA stuff rather tiresome. Some people have different views over how our club should be run. That’s their problem, get over it.

  • Florian

    Chapman’s Ghost, you could be right, if it were only about the meaning, not the form. Unfortunately many people don’t seem to make the difference between a hammer and a sledge. Or maybe the sledge is all they’ve got in their hands.

    On topic, I’m still in shock that Welbeck is ours, after what seems many years at Old Toilet. I one never paid attention to him, maybe because he was always in the shadow of more hyped players (no names, please). But the stats are there and they don’t damn lie:D Here’s to hope he turns into another gem, and on top of that he scores against the Emperor’s New Clothes.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Just say NO to negativity!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The two rules for success are:
    1. Never tell them everything you know.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”
    ― Bertrand Russell.

  • ob1977

    I was looking into Welbecks league stats for last season at a distinctly average Utd, 15 starts 8 of them as a forward, 10 sub apps, and 9 goals, so worst case scenario is 9 in 25, and that would be ignoring the fact that nearly 50% of his starts were as a winger, and nearly 50% of his games were as a sub, not bad at all I think.

  • colario

    Brickfields Gunners
    September 9, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    I have no research for this so as much as I would like to claim 99% of the people…..

    I can only say I believe that most people who can hear only hear what they what to hear and are deaf to what is actually said to them.

    Most people with the ability to see only see what they want to see and are blind to what there for them to see.

    Most people who have the ability to think – don’t.

    Thus what they say is what they think is their understanding, their ideas and their thoughts, when all they have said is what convinces them they know.

    I used to think I was clever till I realised that it was my brain that was telling me this.

  • menace

    Speed or just good finishing, Welbeck has both. Our Danny boy has got me purring (some hack said Wenger will be purring with delight at his last minute business).

    I think we have a beautiful mix of players across the pitch. It is going to deliver some wonderful long awaited joy. Beautiful football despite biased officials & media that will please football lovers worldwide. All our players will rise to the occasion led by example of their team mates.

    There are some excellent teams we will face but none enough to scare us anymore.

  • para


    Well said, I could not have said it better.

  • andy bishop

    Stats mean nothing…Welbeck is playing for the Arsenal watch this guy improve

  • nicky

    Couldn’t agree more. Welbeck will now be used in the position he prefers.
    (his second goal against the Swiss was a la Henry at his best).