Every season’s beginning, we come out with a list of players that the season is vital for and failure for them to deliver could signal a football apocalypse for them. While some do well, others don’t.
This season is no different and as we count down to the beginning of the season we look at players in our squad that fit that bill, players that their performances would finally match their potential, players who would at long last justify the hype around them. One of such players is ALEX OXLADE CHAMBERLAIN.
Towards the tail end of last season, Wenger played Ramsey in the right side of attack with Carzola and Coquelin occupying the middle. This arrangement brought a lot of balance to the side and gave freedom to players like Ozil and Sanchez to operate and our results dramatically picked up. I really don’t see Wenger playing the same way, that therefore creates a space in the Arsenal line up for a right sided midfielder.
Many gooners would easily call Walcott, Welbeck, Rosicky but these all were fit and Wenger continued playing Ramsey, not just for continuity but because Ramsey’s presence there helped the team. Ramsey would surely not play that role again this season and we need a player that can do the same role.
Step up Chamberlain! The young English is a player of high potential, if he wasn’t, he would have come with a high price in 2011. His early performances showed we were up to something, especially his performance against AC Milan in the futile 3-0 win. But season after season, he has grown at a slow rate. What has happened?
HIS BEST POSITION?
It is no secret that Wenger sees him as a central midfielder, while that is pleasing, that is a position for later in his career. He needs to know where best suits him or ends up in a limbo as Phil Jones. The OX has so much pace to burn in games and one amazing thing is that he has absolute control of the ball in such rollercoster runs. He has amazing dribbling ability and he is the best dribbler in the squad with a rate of 3.61 dribbles per game, comfortably beating Alexis(3.26) from last season. He also had a the one of the highest crosses in the team, averaging 3.48 crosses per game, better than full backs like Gibbs, Debuchy, Monreal and was only bettered by Ozil, Carzola, Sanchez and Bellerin. These stats show that he is better suited for a wing role.
OVERCOMING HIS INJURIES
Nobody how good any player is, he must overcome his injury problems for him to fulfill his potential, if you doubt that fact, ask Marco Van Basten or Dean Ashton. The OX missed a whopping 148 days last season because of Injuries. That is only bettered ( or worsened) by Diaby (157 days), Arteta (159 days) and Debuchy (186 days). When you observe that Diaby is perennially injured, Debuchy was hacked to the advert board and Arteta is getting old, that is quite worrying for the young 21 year old Englishman. In the 2013/2014 season, he was out for a whopping 180 days. The earlier, he gets his niggling muscle issues right, the better for him.
LEARNING FROM ALEXIS
I believe that Alex has the potential to have the same devastating effect on the right side of attack as Alexis is having on the left. Even the dude acknowledges that fact:
Alexis does it better than (closing down) than anyone I have seen…….there are definitely a lot of boys learning.
He is surely right. Alexis should be a model for him and if we can have storming down the right and Alexis bulldozing down the left, then we would be blessed.
He needs to improve his goal scoring form, 3 goals and 3 assist from 30 appearances in the 2014/2015 season is poor.
He needs to be more involved in more goal scoring incidences, while Alexis had 3.49 shots per game in the league last season, the OX had a meagre 1.39. Another poor one if he is to be like Alexis.
Alexis is known for his combativeness and even when he loses the ball, he goes all out to win it. That showed in his stats, with a successful tackle rate if 1.97 tackles per game. When you compare that to Alex’s 1.13 per game, it leaves you disappointed.
If the OX wants to be like the player he describes as a “Duracell battery” he surely has to improve these sides of his game.
Walcott, Welbeck and Giroud are sure to compete for the central striking role next season, even though we still want one more proven name. Their promotion to the striking department ( if that is what you would call it) leaves space for a right winger. The only competition here are Gnabry, Wellington Silva ( if he is not loaned or sold) and Ramsey. The Ox has the opportunity to make that position his own this season and for many seasons to come. He would be 22 when the season starts and must make his mark now.; BUT IS HE READY FOR THE CHALLENGE?
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