Last night Arsenal put in a strong performance to overcome their third pre-season match, second in the US, against Mexican side Chivas. The Gunners won 3-1 and there were a number of good performances from players across the pitch.
If you missed the match, make sure you check out the highlights and one goal you’ll certainly be impressed with is the Ox’s stunning effort. Although some may argue that we weren’t playing against the top level opposition that we see in the Premier League and Champions League, it’s also easy to forget that a lot of our players still aren’t fully fit. Ox however has, as always, made a strong impression in pre-season and his effort last night for the goal showed real skill, ability and quality. It is yet again another big year for the Englishman, a year that is filled with hope and anticipation to see what he can do for the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger previously mentioned a few weeks back about how although he has been impressed with Chamberlain’s contribution in pre-season, but he needs to show the same quality during the duration of the domestic season. It’s a very fair point and Chamberlain really does need to improve his consistency on the pitch to boost up those stats on goals and assists. Wenger however also aired how he is quite cautious of Chamberlain’s regularity on the pitch, given that the youngster has suffered from a fair few injuries during his time at the club. After yesterday’s match, Wenger was once again keen to stress the idea: “It’s a very important season for him. He’s been out for a long, long time. [He gives us] power and penetration – he has it all. That’s why I would like him to get to the level he can go to. Maybe he doesn’t completely believe himself how good he can be and that’s the final step for him.”
Chamberlain has undoubtedly struggled in form to some extent, because of the injury problems he has sustained over the years at Arsenal. However he cannot completely blame it all on the injuries and he must put some of the blame on himself. His quality on the pitch only shows in flourishes and he cannot expect to be a regular top level player if he doesn’t show he is consistent. Wenger makes a good point about believing in himself and I think that although Chamberlain seemed to show a lot of passion and confidence on the pitch last night, there is also a lot of frustration surrounding his game. When he doesn’t get a run in the team, it’s no surprise that his frustrations can lead to the wrong decisions on the pitch.
In my opinion I still believe that the Ox can make it at Arsenal. Despite having been at the club for a number of years now, he is still only young and has plenty more years to develop into a bigger and better player. The Ox has the potential that was expected of him to become a fantastic winger for years to come at Arsenal and he shows it every year during pre-season. Chamberlain just needs to get his head in the game when the competitive season kicks off and he needs to remain focused on delivering the quality we are currently seeing on the pitch.