Tag Archives: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Arsenal get last laugh as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ruled out for year

Some players are just injury prone.

No matter who they play for, what fitness regime they are under, how little or how much they play, their bodies will break down.

Whether it is Jack Wilshere or Abou Diaby, Jamie Redknapp or Daniel Sturridge. Or the original sicknote Darren Anderton.  Some players will just always be out with injuries.

That is why it was no surprise to me when I heard about the news that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would miss most of the 2018/19 season with injury.

When Arsenal sold him for £40m in the summer of 2017, I was delighted.

It was daylight robbery. We had got a huge transfer fee for a player who was injury prone and inconsistent.

Whilst some would point to “poor coaching”, the reality was this extremely talented individual was not living up to the hype. He was inconsistent who delivered a lot of dross with a little bit of magic occasionally thrown in.

He would beat three men, then run the ball out of play, or over hit his cross. And how often did he play a cross field ball that would whistle over his opposite wingers head and out of play?

He was frustrating.

At Liverpool he did not really improve. Some people decided to get hyped up about him. Those who used him to highlight Arsene Wenger killing players careers. The Liverpool fans who refused to accept their club had wasted £40m. And the Scouse loving media who wanted to paint Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool in a positive light.

Oxlade-Chamberlain did two things for the media. It gave them a reason to criticise Arsenal and Wenger, whilst praising Liverpool and Klopp.

Last season, he started just 14 league games; which highlights his inconsistency that he was not a first team regular for Liverpool. He scored just 3 goals with 7 assists. The year before playing right back for Arsenal he played a similar amount of minutes, scoring 2 goals with 7 assists.

In fact, when you analyse his statistics from the last two years, you can see how little he did actually improve; if at all.

On leaving, he seemed to blame Arsenal for a lot of his failures. A frustration of playing out of position they key one. What he failed to do was take any blame for his lack of improvement.

Players themselves have to be hungry and have the desire to improve. You could have the best teachers in the world, but if the student is lazy and disinterested, there will not be improvements.

Oxlade-Chamberlain thought he was good enough to play regularly in the centre of the park for a top team. He literally thought he was better than what he was. He moved to Liverpool and failed to play regularly in the middle of the park.

Compare him to Aaron Ramsey.

The Welshman is vastly superior, and it was him that was keeping the Englishman out of the Arsenal team.

I always compare Theo Walcott to Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Ox is clearly the more naturally gifted, technical footballer, but he had very little output. He does not get the goals or assists that his natural talent should bring.

Meanwhile, Walcott is less talented, but his output was incredible.

Oxlade-Chamberlain turns 25 in August, he has just 12 career Premier League goals. Walcott turned 25 in 2014. In the season before he scored 14 goals in the single season.

Even if we remove the debate about his talent, there can be no debate over his awful injury record.

He has missed 600 days out injured since the beginning of the 2012/13 season. That is an incredible amount of time.

By the time he is out injured for the entire 2018/19 season, it will be nearly 1,000 days out injured in 6 years.

At the moment, he is injured about 30% of the time. A year out will take him towards 40% out injured.

There is no debate to be had. If you have 40% of your time off work, out sick, you would be sacked. This is football so it is different, but not being available for 40% of the time is incredible.

History continually repeats himself. A player with a horrendous injury record will not suddenly get better. Oxlade-Chamberlain, like Daniel Sturridge, will always limp from injury to injury.

Arsenal got £40million for an injury prone, inconsistent player 12 months ago. What a deal we got. And we laughed all the way to the bank.

Keenos

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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

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