It’s been a fair while now since we’ve seen the best of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. I was a huge fan of the England international when he broke into the first team squad, however since then I feel I’m justified in saying his progression has been minimal.
On his day the Ox’s’ explosive nature and directness is enough to cause any defender problems. Granted, during his Arsenal career he has suffered some injury set backs and has not always been first choice when everyone’s fit. Having said that, with the amount of injuries at the club over the past few season he’s definitely had enough opportunities in the first team.
Having been at the Emirates this weekend I was disappointed by the fact he was selected over Joel Campbell. That’s the point! His presence in the team no longer excites me and that’s due to a number of reasons, I’d rather see the likes of Joel Campbell starting on the right hand side.
For a player playing in the role he does, for an Arsene Wenger side he doesn’t get anywhere near enough goals. I mean I knew his goalscoring record wasn’t great but when I looked into it further I was horrified.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has managed just 7 goals in the past 3 seasons. Like I mentioned before, he’s not always been a starter, has had injury problems but this isn’t good enough when you compare the goals to games ratio with the likes of Sanchez or Walcott who have played in the same role.
Aside from the goal scoring record there are other elements to the Ox’s game that I feel prevent him from being a top premier league player. The most frustrating one for me I think is his tendency to drift in and out of games and the narrow win over Newcastle at the weekend was a good example of this. He can go for 15-20 minute spells in games where he’s not involved at all, whilst this can happen to any player from time to time it’s too much of a regular occurrence when watching the Ox.
Feel free to comment below if you disagree but that’s my opinion.
The final point I want to make on the Ox is his decision making/final ball is more often than not below the standard that is required. Like I mentioned earlier in the article he’s such an explosive player and is able to beat players with ease, this is what makes it so frustrating.
Looking back, some of the criticisms I have of him are very similar to those I used to throw at Theo Walcott. Theo is proof that with some work and more experience this is something you can develop and improve on. Fortunately for the England international there isn’t a better manager in the business to develop under and I’m confident with Wenger as his mentor he will go on to achieve big things.
In conclusion, yes the potential is there (bags of it) but at this moment in time he is not at the ‘Arsenal’ standard. He will have many opportunities under a very good manager and it’s down to him to become the player we all believe he can be.