What happened to Chamberlain? by KJ
The summer of 2011 was pretty hectic as an Arsenal fan and ultimately was an extremely negative experience. We lost not one starter, not two starters but three starters in Clichy, Fabregas and Nasri. It wasn’t helped by the fact that one of our biggest signings that window (before the mayhem on deadline day) was an 18 year old Englishman from league one that cost us more than £10 million.
Fortunately, as the season went on, Wenger was vindicated in his decision to pay such a high price for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He went on to perform MOTM performances against the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and even AC Milan.
However, we haven’t seen the same player this season. This season’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been sloppy, lethargic and ultimately disappointing. There could be many reasons as to why the promising youngster’s performance has dropped.
Prospects are usually hindered by inconsistencies in their games. Being consistent is something you learn from experience which you replicate at your peak (aside from a few examples including Wilshere who rarely has an off game).
The rise of Theo Walcott has restricted the game time Wenger can offer young Chamberlain. Going on a run of games usually sparks a level of consistency to your game and allows you to play your best football. Chamberlain does look a lot stockier than he did last season. I don’t know if this is fat, muscle or even both. However, it could affect his stamina. This could be very detrimental to his Arsenal career considering that because of our philosophy, our style of play – a strong second half is almost routine now.
The biggest problem could be Chamberlain’s need to play in the middle. He has struggled out wide this season and rarely takes his man on. He’d rather be drawn into a midfield position which not only restricts space for our midfield players but also narrows our football.
There is no doubt Chamberlain has had a disappointing season regardless of game time but we’ve still seen glimpses of what he’s all about. I’m not too judgmental of Alex. He’s got a lot going for him and is only 19. He has plenty of time to break into the Arsenal first team and fortunately, we seem to have decent players on the wings (Walcott and Podolski) to allow the Ox to bide his time