Could this be Oxlade-Chamberlain’s breakthrough year at Arsenal?

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.



  1. I’m sorry, but friendlies don’t count! I knew this would happen…one of our deadwood’s (Ox in this case) does well in pre-season, and suddenly fans start questioning whether we even need someone of Mahraz’s quality. The Ox has had nearly 150 games, over five years, is injury prone, hardly ever scores, and hardly ever assists!

    Knowing Wenger as well “Hmmm…Ox is playing well, I think I’ll pull out of the Mahrez deal. Akpom’s also banging them in, don’t think I even need a WC striker now”

    1. Oh please just stop it for a few days at least!!!!
      – Wenger – ‘in the market to strengthen with experience at the back,’ ‘last season we didn’t score enough goals,’
      – Wenger – literally pulled his most ridiculous of smiles to date when asked about Mahrez a few days ago!!
      – Lacazette rumors flying about left, right and center on more and more credible sources by the day!!
      – Dean on twitter today – ‘stay calm, madness incoming’

      Just please… No more baseless assumptions when all signs are pointing to us having something big in the works

      1. Josh37, the problem is that we have seen this before. As you say, the problem is that last season we did not score enough goals.

        Last summer transfer window we waited for new signings, particularly a striker, and we waited, and we waited some more, and we thought someone WC was coming, and we waited, and we were still waiting when the window closed.

        Once bitten twice shy.

    2. Yeah…..Well, the problem with likes Ox,Wallcott and if you want with Campbell etc. is that we are waiting too long for them to shine.
      And in this “waiting period” there is no room (they are the reason we don’t by) another players…They had a chance to prove themselves 3-4 years (Walcott 10y) – but they didn’t!
      So sorry – goodbye – bring on some fresh blood some new options.
      Just check out other great clubs in europe…there’s not much examples where clubs are stucked with deadwood players…don’t get too emotional with these (shine in pre-season or in one or two games – then disapear for the rest of the season) kind of players like Wenger.
      Wenger’ve said that he just can see how 60 mil or 100 mil “investment” in one particular player can be a good investment-and that its hard to calculate if the player cost so much money can pay off….???
      Maaaan.. you need to act quickly – buy players (if they are dont fit in sell them) buy another do something …show the world ,the club ,the fans that you are a manager who care and produce the team with the winning mentality!!!
      Pay 50 mil for Cazzette Get Mahrez (send him and to LFC offer they cannot refuse) get us a WC CB sell deadwood!!!
      Consider this!! :

      Neymar 250.000 per week…pretty expensive? Yes!
      Suarez 250.000 per week = too much? Maybe..
      Messi 250.000 per week = wow too much?!
      How about the whole Barca team??? Big investment…
      BUT WINNING home league OR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE = P R I C E L E S S !!!!!!!!

  2. It’s injuries and small lapses in concentration that’s holding him back. He makes a mistake and he doesn’t know how to shake it off. And it seemed like every little error was getting punished, even when he lost the ball in opponents box. Hopefully our array of CMs will do better at covering when he goes prodding, he is an attacker after-all, and he’s there to prod. He needs to make sure that when Bellerin is forward, to know if his midfielders have joined the attack, just to be a bit more careful in those situations. And when it is himself and the other three further forwards, he can run all day.

    1. I do get the feeling he was a tad unlucky last season in the errors that led to his confidence absolutely plummeting…
      Not in the errors he made, (which were terrible!!) but the frequency in which the opposition were ruthless in converting his errors.
      I got the feeling he felt he’d let the team down which led to him overthinking his game and causing more errors. It was just the vibe I got…
      I’m not for one moment suggesting that he is approaching a season where those lapses in concentration and dramatic drops in form will not happen. But IMO it’s kinda similar to Giroud. Yes, his bad patches need to be accounted for by having another reliable option in the squad and by no means should his position be taken as an automatic starter. But completely disregarding their abilities and acting as though their out of form and low on confidence selves is the benchmark is just wrong. When there was adequate competition and rotation Giroud was scoring at the rate we expect of our starting striker. When he was the only option and playing multiple games per week with fatigue kicking in and confidence rapidly decreasing we absolutely needed a better option to come in!

  3. Im of a similar vein to the first post, though I wouldn’t say the ox is deadwood, he has certainly come out of these two friendlies as looking the strongest winger on show.

    For me only one player failed to turn up in the two matches and that was Walcott.

    For a strikers role he currently sits well behind giroud and on this evidence behind akpom. Obviously welbecks long term injury gives him some hope, but to be honest I would prefer to see campbell up front then theo.

    As for a wide role, again campbell and the ox did OK, theo is light years behind alexis and I would personally place any of iwobi, Ramsey and welbeck when fit in front of him.

    I would say that theo is in the next bracket with gnabry, adelaide and willock who all have years on him.

    Theo is a one trick pony who can only live off of his pace, he struggles in front of goal, he cannot beat defenders one on one, he basically has nothing to offer unless shooting across the keeper after the ball has been put past the last man.

    Therefore having just named 11 players that have more to offer than in his hisvourite positions,you have to ask yourself, do we really need him and his 5m a year salary when we could probably get 15-20m for him?

    1. While I don’t disagree with what you’re saying… There’s factors to do with his contract that a lot of fans are all to willing to simply ignore and push it off as incompetence by the manager when if I was a betting man, i’d bet they were joining in with the ‘sign da ting’ chorus when his contract renewal was an issue….
      – Longest serving player at AFC currently…
      – Signed the contract while entering what’s presumably his prime (can’t see him being this rapid at 30+)
      – He was on the back-end of an absolutely brilliant season!! (21G, 15A all comps is an absolute blinder by anyone whose name isn’t Messi or Ronaldo…)

      Now… My point is not that his contract is not drastically over the performance and production he has produced these past few seasons. But considering Arteta, Flim-Flam and Rosicky were sucking up over 240k a week on the wage-bill for how many appearances between them….? another 80k on Debuchy? Wilshere’s on how much?? I really don’t look at our wage bill and see Theo as hindering as a lot of fans seem to do…

      Yes, it’s easy to go Theo’s wage – other options – no brainer!! and if I had the choice tomorrow of sending Theo to Leceister or West Ham tomorrow and we got Mahrez, Yes, Yes, Yes!!! But I really don’t think those clubs would be willing to risk 100k of their newly found riches on a player whose injury record has been as questionable as Theo’s after a recent ACL injury. So finding a suitor may be a little more difficult than some fans are willing to accept…

      And one final point as well… It would be horrible for a player to go through long-term injuries. Especially likely recurring injuries that he has suffered (ACL – Derrick Rose anyone?) It is still pre-season and Theo will have to double his input, effort levels and bravery if he’s going to have a stake to any first-team football whatsoever next season with the players we currently have, (and I have a hunch we’re going to sign) next season!

  4. I am happy with Ox staying as he is only 22 and has time to improve
    But wish we could sell £140,000 per week Theo

  5. Hmmmm…. Inter supposedly bidding for Cavani when they’re reportedly in need of selling a player or two to balance the books?? Interesting…..
    Leceister agreeing a fee for Kaputska?? Interesting indeed….

    Wenger – Grins matching pre-Ozil level…
    Dean – ‘stay calm, madness incoming’

    Josh’s excitement level – 9 pushing 10/10

    (can i please go on record and state that I’d prefer Icardi over Lacazette personally. His conversion rate is utterly insane for a struggling, extremely defensive Inter side, and his selfishness, ruthless conversion and willingness to get in behind is everything we lack in Giroud)

  6. BTW :
    Mr Wenger, this is your 3rd article about Ox in two days!!!!
    Ok we got it …your point is that we do not need Mahrez cause we have Ox!!
    But you are wrong Mr Wenger ..AGAIN!!!

  7. “Could this be Oxlade-Chamberlain’s breakthrough year at Arsenal?”

    “Décidément” we keep reading the same “article” or “comments” about Chamberlain, but did any of the posters ask him if he “wanted to improve”…

    I know it seems a strange “request”, but when you look at Chamberlain, Gibbs or even Wilshere, you don’t need to be a genius (or even a football connoisseur) to know that those 3 fellas will NEVER, EVER, ever ever ever ever ever ever, be top class players… That is just a fact. What we see right now from those 3 is as good as it can be…

    There is nothing there, there nothing to be excited about.

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