Tag Archives: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain v Aaron Ramsey

This morning’s blog ruffled a few feathers. The jist of it was that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is no better now than he was at Arsenal.

One comparison I made was to Aaron Ramsey. That Ramsey’s 7 goals is superior to Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 5. This then led to my mind wandering on Twitter:

“But it is not just goals” was what came back from a lot of people. Indicating that whilst Oxlade-Chamberlain might not score any more goals than a Spanish left-back, he add plenty more on the pitch to make up for it.

“Really” I thought. Let us then compare the pair of them over the attributes that a top central midfielder will have. Goals, assists, passing & tackling.

So there we have it.

Aaron Ramsey is clearly the superior player (this is not exactly breaking news) and were Oxlade-Chamberlain still at Arsenal, he would still be on the bench (like he is for 50% of Liverpool’s games).

Enjoy the game tonight.

Keenos

Advertisements

The Myth of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

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.

Keenos

Wenger the Talent Extractor, AC Milan, Chelsea Fans

Wenger the Talent Extractor

Over the years, I have been more than happy to criticise Arsene Wenger when he gets things wrong. And it happens a lot. I am more than happy to point out his lack of plan B, his predictable substitutions, and his failures in the transfer market.

But one thing I will not call him is a “talent extractor”. It is just BS.

You only have to look at the amount of players that have come to Arsenal, and improved under Wenger. And the amount who have then left Arsenal ,and not gone on to be any better.

Whilst the likes of Gael Clichy, Ashley Cole, Kolo Toure, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri might have won trophies elsewhere, they did not improve as players.

As Arsenal fans, we often expect too much. Not every Yaya Sanogo can be turned into a Thierry Henry.

I always laugh at people moaning about Andrei Arshavin. He is the player that many fans complain about the most. But these people base their view on little knowledge. Arshavin, in Russia, was always inconsistent. Capable of doing brilliant, game winning things, before disappearing for weeks on end. It is his incoistency that saw him struggle to become a regular for Russia in the early days.

Arshavin was excellent for Arsenal in his first 2 and a half years. 25 goals, 30 assists, but some have re-written history.

And we see the same with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

People are pretending that he was absolutely awful every single game for Arsenal. And since moving to Liverpool, he has been brilliant, every single game.

The reality is somewhat different.

At Arsenal, he would have a couple of good games, showing the raw talent he clearly has. Getting people excited that he might have finally broken through the glass wall. But then he would go missing for a month. Not being able to play a pass. Not contributing anything.

Then he would have another couple of good games. It is his consistency which has made him so frustrating.

At Liverpool, he is no different. He has had the odd good game, but has had a lot of rubbish in between.

The big difference is we no longer have to watch the poor performances, or get frustrated by them, so they kind of disappear from memory. Meanwhile his odd good performance is repeated on Match of the Day and Sky Sport and fools you into thinking he has been playing like that every week.

So I had a look at some statistics:

Make your own conclusions.

AC Milan

We are 2-0 up after the away leg. A solid base to start from, but Arsenal must not rest on their laurels tonight and become complacent.

Whilst AC Milan are certainly not the side of yesteryear, we still need to take them seriously.

If we go in to start the game how we did against Östersund, AC Milan could find themselves back in the game quicker than it takes me to find a stream to watch out on.

Do not forget that this Arsenal side has lost to the likes of Östersund, Nottingham Forest, Tottenham, Brighton & Hove Albion, Bournemouth and Swansea this calendar year. Small, weak sides that we should have rolled over with ease.

Tonight we need to take the game seriously, get an early goal, get the job done, and look forward to the Quarter Finals.

Chelsea Fans

Absolute disgraceful scenes in Barcelona last night involving Chelsea fans.

All football disagreements aside, the way English football fans are treated abroad is sickening. We are walking targets for the police. In previous years, I have been at Roma, AC Milan and was in Lille for Wales v England.

At each game English fans were targets to be attacked by the police. An over aggressive police who would be quick to use batons and tear gas.

Whilst when other fans come into the UK, they get the run of the streets, as we saw with Cologne, English fans abroad are attacked.

What is most worrying about the incident in Barcelona is it is stewards using batons and attacking fans, not the police. How is this right? How does UEFA allow this?

A similar thing happened with Arsenal fans in 2016. And that bridge you have to walk over is dangerous. On the other side is just two turnstiles.

So at one end of the bridge you have stewards physically forcing people onto and over it, and on the other side, you have no where to go. It is an accident waiting to happen.

Earlier this season, Liverpool fans were attacked by the police in Sevilla.

English fans were banned in the 80s for their behaviour, and justifiably so. But it is now 33 years since the Heysel disaster. Things have changed.

The fact UEFA remain so silent on the issue indicates that they condone it. That they accept English fans – same young teenagers and children – being attacked by police and stewards up and down the country.

I do not expect UEFA to act, just like they have not acted when English fans have been stabbed (and killed) in the likes of Turkey and Italy.

Attacking English fans seems to be acceptable. It is not.

Keenos