Tag Archives: jurgen klopp

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

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Are things at Arsenal as disastrous as some are making out?

I always think sometimes it is worthwhile taking a step away from something and looking at it from afar. That way you can often get a better perspective of what you are looking at.

Now Arsenal’s Premier League form – especially away- has been poor in 2017. We are already 16 points behind Manchester City, which is a gap that is too far to bridge. Man City are as short as 1/25 to win the title, Arsenal a massive 150/1.

But then on Sunday, during the Liverpool v Everton game, I got a bit of perspective of the situation we are in.

Arsenal are awful, apparently. The majority of the time during the game against Southampton and after, everyone was slagging us off. Highlighting how bad we are. The poor run we are on. Much of it was justified.

During the Scouse Derby, the commentator said Liverpool have been an irresistible force this season. I dropped this into a WhatsApp group and most people seemed to agree with the commentator. The

Liverpool had been brilliant this season. Their free flowing attacking football was superior to our turgid play that was not bringing us any results.

But then I posted up the league table. The brilliant Liverpool were just a single point ahead of Arsenal, and had only scored 4 more league goals. It bought some perspective to our thinking.

Yes, we are out of the title race, but everyone bar Manchester City is out of the title race.

We sit in 5th place, ahead of another irresistible force in Tottenham. We are just 3 points behind Chelsea. In fact, just 4 points separates Chelsea in 3rd and Spurs in 6th.

I am very much of the opinion that Manchester City are awesome this season. Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs are all fairly average.  And Manchester United sit somewhere in between the two groups.

This was highlighted this weekend by Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool all failing to win.

The result against Southampton was a disappointing one, but some perspective needs to be used. We are not as poor as people are making out, likewise Liverpool, Spurs et al are not as good as people are making out.

Whilst we are talking about Liverpool, I have seen the Jurgen Klopp interview from Sunday. He looks a man under pressure.

People go on about him like he is a great manager. That he has transformed Liverpool. But again, if you take a step away and look from afar, what has he actually achieved?

In the two seasons Klopp has been at the club, Liverpool have finished 8th and 4th – the last two seasons of Brendan Rodger, Liverpool finished 2nd and 6th.

On top of this, Klopp is without a trophy in his first 2 seasons. A failure to win a cup this year will make it 3 seasons without a trophy.

How long will the media and Liverpool fans continue to gloss over his failures?

It is a bit like Tottenham. Everyone talking about how great they are, how great Pochettino is. But they have also won nothing.

Meanwhile, look at Arsenal. 3 FA Cups in 4 years and people say Arsene Wenger is not doing a good job.

Now I am not saying he is doing a good job, but he certainly is not doing a poor job. We have perhaps become trophy snobs. The FA Cup no longer deemed good enough. Deemed enough.

But then looking through history, this is the 4th most successful period in Arsenal’s history (1930-37, 1987-1993, 1998-2005). 3 trophies in 4 years.

Things may not feel great at Arsenal at the moment, but we are still in with a chance of winning 3 competitions.

Have a little positivity in your life. It is Christmas after all.

Keenos

 

Arsenal – Be careful what you wish for

Everton

Be more like Everton, they said
Moshri has made them a force, they said
Koeman should replace Wenger, they said
Spent big, they said
Sold their best player, they did not say
Signed a load of mid/lower league players, they did not say
Bottom of their Europa League group, they did not say
In the relegation zone, they did not say
Lost 5-2 to The Arsenal, they did not say

Be careful what you wish for

Jurgen Klopp

A long term favourite of many Arsenal fans. Jurgen Klopp and his rock and roll football is often put up there as what teams should desire.

The truth is, he has a win percentage under 50% since coming to England, that is lower than the likes of Brendan Rodgers & Rafael Benítez at Liverpool, David Moyes & Louis van Gaal at Manchester United, André Villas-Boas & Harry Redknapp at Spurs. Worse than Luiz Felipe Scolari & Roberto Di Matteo at Chelsea. And a lot worse than Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

It is not much better than André Villas-Boas at Chelsea, or Mark Hughes at Manchester City, or Bruce Rioch at Arsenal.

Has he been found out?

Be careful what you wish for

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Left Arsenal to play in the middle of the park
Has found himself in the middle of the bench
Playing for a side in the middle of the Premier League table

Be careful what you wish for