Last night Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored his 1st goal in 12 games for club and country.
Since joining Liverpool, he has played less than 50% of the available minutes. Let’s stop pretending that he is anything but an average, inconsistent footballer.
It almost feels with Oxlade-Chamberlain that there are multiple agendas at work.
Firstly you have the media. Every time he has a good game, they bash on about how much he has improved since leaving Arsenal for Liverpool – even though he hasn’t. This suits their duel agenda of bashing Arsenal and praising Liverpool.
Then we have The Arsenal fans, who blamed Oxlade-Chamberlain’s lack of progression on Arsene Wenger.
Now whenever Oxlade-Chamberlain has a good game, they use it as a way to bash the Frenchman. To highlight how much a player can improve under a “proper coach” like Jürgen Klopp. There are plenty of things to criticise Wenger for, but Oxlade-Chamberlain’s lack of drive to improve himself is not one.
The reality is Oxlade-Chamberlain has not improved. He is still the same inconsistent ball of frustration he was at Arsenal.
Capable of moments of brilliance, such as his goal last night against Manchester City, and then weeks and weeks of dross and poor performances and miss placed passes.
He will stick one in the top corner (every 10-15 games) then spend put 4 crosses in a row over the bar. Or over hit half a dozen cross field balls. Or run with his head down until he is suddenly over the by-line.
The only difference now, for Arsenal fans, is we do not notice the average 10 performances in between two great games because we no longer watch him every week.
We see him when he scores a screamer, like against Manchester City, and think “gosh hasn’t he improved”, forgetting that his last decent game – also against Manchester City – was a dozen games ago.
The fact that in a fully fit midfield, he does not start for Liverpool. That he has started less than 50% of the league games under Jürgen Klopp. Averages 46 minutes a game in the Premier League (which drops below 40 minutes when you add Champions League and the cups) shows that even Klopp does not trust him.
He was fantastic last night. As were Liverpool. No one saw them beating Manchester City, and he was key in that. But that is the point.
Sandwiched between his 2 9 out of 10 performances against Manchester City, he went missing against Swansea, WBA and Southampton. And barely got off the bench against Huddersfield, Tottenham and Watford.
Since joining Liverpool, he has played 90 minutes just 8 times. He is often the first man taken off when he starts.
Liverpool fans would agree that he has been a flop, that he has been average. The only reason they do not is because they do not want to admit Arsenal got one over them, that he was not a waste of £40m. Their fans are deluded that everything Jurgen Klopp is great – even though this will be his 3rd season without a trophy.
Last night was his 5th goal of the season. Not exactly Ballon D’or worthy is it? In fact, he has now drawn level with Arsenal left back Nacho Monreal.
He is not exactly doing what Mo Salah is doing for Liverpool, or what Raheen Sterling is doing for Manchester City. He isn’t even out performing Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal.
Let’s call a spade a spade. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still the frustratingly inconsistent player that many fans called “dead wood” and were happy to get £40m for.
And no amount of Nivea will change that.