Arsene Wenger has put Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud’s recent struggles for Arsenal down to injury and a lack of confidence respectively.
Welbeck stepped off the bench to end a four-game goalscoring drought with Arsenal’s winner against Norwich City on Saturday, but Giroud remains without a Premier League goal since January 13 despite starting for the third game in succession.
Welbeck had previously scored four goals in five starts and four substitute appearances after his initial return from injury, and Wenger puts his recent dip in form down to a hangover from his long lay-off.
“Welbeck came in and played very well [on his comeback from injury], like the players who have been out for nine months always do,” Wenger told Arsenal’s official website.
“You have to trust me on that, I know that well. After they come in they are super sharp and then after, against Crystal Palace, he had a very average game and looked a bit for one or two games like he had paid for the physical energy he had given.
“So you let them rest one or two games and you bring them back in. [Against Norwich], when he came on, you could see he is a different animal again.”
Wenger hopes Giroud’s assist for Welbeck’s goal will now give him the confidence to get back on track in front of goal.
“A striker wants to score goals and when he doesn’t, is it pure confidence or is it just to think, ‘How can I score again?'” Wenger said. “They need goals. But he responds, he’s a guy who is mentally strong. He gave an assist, I put that in the same category as a goal.”