I didn’t catch England vs Brazil last night but i’m certainly glad that the ox came in and made a difference.
He scored a good goal well worth its weight in gold, and there is no doubt that he has what it takes to be a great player.
The problem is, where.
Where does he fit in to the arsenal set up.
The fact that he played so few games last season makes you wonder how he will ever be able to hold down a first team place.
The good thing is that he is only 19, but at that age, Walcott was not as good as the ox is on the ball, yet Theo had chance after chance to prove himself.
Its not even that the ox fails to impress when given a chance.
He did contribute a vital goal or two when on as a sub, made vital runs into the box that won us a penalty or two, and generally gave a good account of himself.
It wasn’t enough however but he is not to blame for that.
Chances came to far apart for him to show any sort of consistency.
The problem for Chamberlain has to do with timing.
At any other point in Arsenal’s last ten years, the Ox would probably have featured more often.
You only have to look at the sort of players that have recieved numerous chances under Wenger to realize how unlucky the Ox is.
Denilson, Song(who eventually came good), Ramsey(when he returned from injury and was awful), Bendtner(didn’t have to many other options so had to play him, i guess), Diaby(the good, the bad and the injured-which will play today) but to mention a few.
The thing is, this season was incredibly delicate for arsenal, and for me it marked the end of our trophyless era.
Chamberlain, and to some extent, Coquelin were casualties of war.
We had to get that top four, and as such, there was little room for trying new things, or giving youth a chance.
I think in fact, that this was the season that youth got the least chances at arsenal in the last 8.
We did not play the arsenal way for most of the season, but thats a discussion for another day.
Another indictment on the end of the trophyless era, is the sheer quantity of youth that arsenal have released or sold throughout the season.
Obviously, this means that we are no longer planning on depending on the untested and untrusted to get the job done.
This also means that for you to make it now at arsenal, you have to be really good- maybe not Jack Wilshere good, but you get the point.
You only have to look at our starting 11 for most of the season to realize that only Gibbs made it though the youth system.
And Wilshere, but he was injured for a good while.
And it will only get harder for youth seeing as Arsenal are going to surely, definitely and most assuredly(i hope) make quality signings this summer.
Where does this leave talents like Frimpong, Miyaichi, Afobe Coquelin etc, probably on their way out.
But for the ox, it means hard work, and his versatility will surely help him, though this also makes it tough for the manager to know where to play him.
So far, two matches stand out for me in Chambelain’s Arsenal story.
The game against man utd in 2011/12 season in which he played on the left wing and tore their defence apart.
The game against Ac milan, same season in which he played central midfield, and tore their defence apart.
He also plays on the right wing some times and tears defences apart.
The common denominator here i guess, is that he tears defences apart for a living.
Thats what he does, and what he loves.
Wherever Wenger chooses to play him in the future, let him be given that freedom, to dribble and drive, because thats his style and if so, we will certainly see Alex Oxlade Chamberlain thrive in the great red and white for many years to come.
Up the gunners.