Last Chance For Oxlade-Chamberlain by JH
Arsenal are currently flying high, having beaten arguably the best team on the planet right now, but victory in that game did come at a price, Arsene Wenger’s first choice right winger, Aaron Ramsey, suffered a hamstring injury, and is set to miss roughly a month of football.
Now we can all agree that any injury to one of our players is bad, but, if we where to pick just one starter to pick up an injury it would probably be Ramsey.
Of course this is no fault of Ramsey’s, but I think one of the very few things that the Arsenal fan-base is united on, is that Aaron Ramsey is not a winger.
The issue is that because of his energy coupled with his fantastic vision and usual calmness in front of goal, AW sees the need to fit him into the squad, with Ozil and Cazorla being irreplaceable right now, right wing is the only position where no-one has nailed down their place, where brings me to my point of writing.
These next four weeks could well be the most important of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s young career.
Whilst many fans say that the Ox should already be nailing down a starting position in our side, I can see the other side of this argument.
AOC is not consistent enough, playing on the right he will be expecting to both score and create goals, something he has quite frankly failed to do thus far in his Arsenal career.
A record of 9 goals in 110 appearances in EPL and CL is poor to say the least, roughly averaging out to a goal every 12 games, across those same 110 games Oxlade-Chamberlain has managed only 10 assists, an assist every 11 games. He has played 53 EPL and CL games away from home, and is yet to find the net.
Now do not get me wrong, I rate The Ox very highly, but if you want to be a starting winger for a side supposedy challenging for EPL glory, you have to be finding the net much more frequently.
Of course I realise The Ox’s injury issues do not help, but even with such issues I do not think his record should be so poor.
Now to say this could be the last chance of his career to prove himself is of course ridiculous. He is just 22 and will get plenty of chances, but for Arsenal? He is 22, but it is easy to forget Aaron Ramsey is just 24, Jack Wilshere is just 23, they are going nowhere anytime soon, these are currently the other 2 players battling the Ox for RW when fit. One of them will probably replace Cazorla when the time comes, but the other one is still going to want that RW position, not to mention Alex Iwobi making waves at younger levels, Joel Campbell will also fancy himself for this position, right now though, Ramsey and Wilshere are injured and The Ox has superiority over Campbell and Iwobi, so I have little doubt that he will play for these 4 weeks.
And he simply has to take this chance, He has to make it impossible for AW to drop him, because if he doesn’t it will be hard to see where his next chance is coming from in this squad, and perhaps even worse, what if Arsene decides he needs more goals on the right so splashes the cash on a RW who scores?
I see this as Oxlade Chamberlains big opportunity to prove himself, probably his only chance to get a sustained period in the first team, and he must take it, he has the pace and skills to be a truly world class winger, right now he needs final product, us fans all want a proper right winger on the right, the Ox is the only guy who can fit the bill, here’s hoping he can take this opportunity starting against Everton this weekend.
What do you guys think? Is this the best chance Chamberlain is going to get to break into the first team? Or will Ramsey replace him no matter what? Would some of you even prefer Ramsey on the right??
Ps. A very happy birthday to Arsene Wenger, arguably the most important man in Arsenal history.