With the latest international break now upon us, it means that we can wave goodbye to seeing Arsenal play for the next two weeks, until we return for a tough match against United in late November.
Depending on fitness, for players who miss out on making the national team selection, it can be a time to focus on club football, but also to step back away from the intensity of training and a busy club football schedule. Whilst for the players who return to their home nations to play for their respective intentional sides, the journey can sometimes be very long, leaving them physically and mentally drained by the time they return for club football.
The issue is with those players who do not make the international squads, it’s often because they haven’t been performing to a good enough standard that the international manager expects from them at club level. One player who falls into the category at Arsenal is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who, despite looking likely to be listed in the team after a run of form in recent weeks, he has fallen just short of the target.
Chamberlain will undoubtedly be disappointed to not make the team, especially after having more of a run in the Arsenal side than he has in recent years. The Ox has also managed to prove more vital this season on the wing, by adding goals to his game, and so I’m sure he’ll find it very frustrating to miss out on representing his country this time around. Although the players will still have club training at London Colney, it will no doubt be a less intense schedule for the players and I think this could spell trouble for the Ox.
Chamberlain has really risen his game to a new level in recent weeks, showing a bit more confidence when on the ball. Although there is of course still a long way to go before he fits the standard of a regular first team player, Chamberlain is finally making the strides forward that are expected from him at Arsenal. This break from club football however may spell trouble for the Englishman as it could see a drop in his consistency and good form. The snub from Gareth Southgate will also surely give his growing confidence a bit of a setback.
Ideally I’d like to see that Chamberlain has used his snub from England to work harder in training so he continues to improve, in hope of proving his doubters wrong. However, sadly because of the route Chamberlain has taken in the past by losing his consistency of form quite quickly after an absence from the team sheet for a few weeks, I think we risk seeing a completely different Chamberlain on return to club football.
We will have to wait and see what approach the winger takes his national team snub in and hopefully he works hard in training to impress the boss and show exactly why he should keep his place in the team ahead of Iwobi, when the team heads up to Manchester on the 19th November.