Has Oxlade-Chamberlain now earned his place in Arsenal’s starting XI?

The Ox, like Theo Walcott, failed to impress anyone last season in the Arsenal starting line-up, and they were the two players that most Arsenal fans wanted to be moved on last summer, but what a change this season!

Walcott has been a revelation now he has decided he is a winger and is scoring far more goals than he did as a Number Nine, and now Oxlade-Chamberlain seems to have followed in his footsteps. Despite not starting every game, last night’s brace means he has already scored 5 goals, which has equalled his tally in the whole of last season, so has he done enough to prove to Wenger he should be a regular starter this season?

This is what Le Prof said after last night’s performance from the Ox: “Sometimes you felt like he didn’t deserve to score when he was in front of goal before. Now, I think he has added some belief to his finishing. Now we have hope that whenever he has the ball, something can happen. He’s powerful but he also finishes well and he’s added that to his game. That’s certainly linked with confidence, hard work in training, and he looks to be following Theo Walcott in that way. They are lifting each other but they can also play on both flanks.”

So then Wenger was asked directly if he has now proved he should be a starter in the first XI more often?
Wenger replied: “He’s not a long way away from the starting XI because he played against Ludogorets, he played here which was expected, but Ludogorets was a very important game. He came on against Middlesbrough on Saturday and I feel that he is regularly involved.

“He is not a young player anymore, he is now 23 and at 23 you become a football player who is the finished article. Before 23, you learn your job. At 23, you become more consistent, you know what’s expected of you, you know how to deal with the pressure, with the situation, with the competition inside the squad. But he was so talented, so young. In the national team, so young. People forget that he was still a young player.”

So when does Wenger think he changed? “As a person? I think the quality of his concentration, of his focus, is sharper. He is more determined and he has worked a lot mentally you know, to be really focused and I think it comes out every day in training and now it is starting to come out in the games.”

It is really about time that the Ox showed some of his early potential, but his problem is that it has arrived when there is now enormous competition for places in the Arsenal midfield. The Ox has said that he will try to concentrate on his wing play to have more chance of playing, but with Iwobi and Walcott’s improvement, and the arrival of Lucas Perez, not to mention the imminent return of Aaron Ramsey, means that there is just as much competition for those places!

It’s great for the squad and the fans to see such choice, but it is not so good for Alex’s chances of playing, is it?



  1. mohawk says:

    Not necessarily. Who would step aside for Ox. Walcott? Iwobi?

    Ox probably deserves an occasional start to find out if he can continue contributing this season. For now it is best just to focus on what he can do to help the club THIS season.

  2. arsenal fan are ridiculous because wolcott is scoreing some goals he also is missing alot of easy sitters but you don’t realize because he score but if is was Olivier Giroud you see my point. back to the ox. you can fine hundreds of players in the league who could do better than him the position he fine him self in on the decision he make is childish theses are the same players from last season. when the other top team where struggling. we still could not win the league so what is going to make us win this season apart from all the other team drop dead

    1. Break-on-through says:

      We get it Mr Jamaica, you are a stubborn dude. Theo has been clinical in more games this season than he had wasteful games. All players miss, even the best of them have those days. It was like when I heard one pundit say after the Midd game, see this is why I don’t think Alexis is the answer. I’m thinking show me a striker that does it in every PL game. Alexis was almost motm in every game of our streak up until he had an one off day. Theo like Alexis was almost motm in all of those games too. If a player is scoring you only regret his misses if it comes back to bite him in the ass, this was not the case. Players miss, I think I said that, but it’s true. Focus on the good, it’s totally outweighing the bad right now.

  3. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Not yet, but he is headed in the right direction

    Theo and Iwobi have earned their positions in the Starting line-up
    However, if they slip in performance Ox could be there to steal the position
    It’s all about competition.

    Ox, Lucas need to compete with Theo and Iwobi for starting wingers
    Lucas and Giroud need to compete with alexis for starting Striker

    But this is good because it shows we have depth in attack which we lacked for years
    Competition is good, don’t worry

  4. G-Rude says:

    There is a long way to go. And as our top players get injuries, tiredness and suspensions, we will probably need every last member of the squad.
    The Ox just needs to wait and he will get his chance.

  5. Vlad says:

    No. One game against a pretty poor Championship side doesn’t prove anything. In my book, he’s still a very inconsistent player who goes missing (especially in big games) more times than not. And his defensive contributions are … well … pretty much non-existent. Walcott is playing lights out this season. Iwobi is an exciting young talent with bags of tricks, and is almost a guaranteed starter these days also. Heck, even Lucas brings a little more stability to the side. So yeah, Ox can be a starter in games like this, or a late sub in some others, but definitely not a regular in the starting XI. And to be brutally honest, it should have been him going out on loan, and not Joel Campbell.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Well if Ox had of said boss ..I don’t care that this could be your last ever chance of winning the title, I don’t want to have to scrap for a place because I am good enough for the Arsenal first team. So give me a loan or else start me, if he had of acted in this way well then yeah, it should’ve been Ox.

  6. Break-on-through says:

    I like when Ox brings a certain drive into his game. If Iwobi could push himself like that I think he’d be some specimen. Iwobi has ideal physique to just burn players alive if he really pushed himself. I’m guessing that’s why Arsene sees him as a no10. He has a casual approach like Ozil, not as casual but he does like to float about sometimes. Great potential, allot more to come still.

  7. HA559 says:

    Wenger has to give more chance to Perez, otherwise he will quickly lose his confidence. He is passing more in shooting opportunities, no doubt Wenger probably told him to pass than shoot, like all other players have been told to do so. Having said that we have good stats for all our attacking players this season in all comps. Perez needs to pair up with another striker upfront, that is why I wanted to see Giroud play with him yesterday. If it is left like this he will be cast out like Podolski, despite turning in decent statistics for goals and assists.

  8. Kostafi says:

    He hasn’t earned a permanent spot yet, and I honestly dont think he will be there for another 1 or 2 years- he might prove me wrong this season. The real problem for him is where he would fit or perhaps which position in the team is weakest at the moment that plays to his strengths. At the moment, his best position looks to be on the right where Walcott is on fire. Iwobi is on the left and at 20/21 does not seem to have enough for 90 mins at the highest level, his defensive game needs work as his interchange with Ozil down the middle leaves Monreal exposed (that said Monreal hasn’t fared well in one-on-one sagainst not-of-the-hisghest quality wingers against Boro and Swansea) on the left, and his end product of 3 assists is not enough. Wenger asked for more goals from him last night.
    The Ox has scored in all competitions this season. If he can score and defend fom the left, he should get a run of games.

  9. gotanidea says:

    Ox still needs to learn how to read the games, pass more accurately and work on his first touch, if he wants to be a great winger or attacking midfielder. Not everyone can be like Messi, a playmaker and an attacker who can read the opponent’s gameplay, control the ball very closely and finish his team attacks with accurate thunderous shots. But he can learn from intelligent wingers or attacking midfielders like Riyad Mahrez, Mkhitaryan and Neymar. Ox has a great potential, but he needs to work hard to fulfill it.

  10. Wilshegz says:

    Iwobi has it all, pace, power, trickery, creativity he just needs to go for goal more as Wenger said.. most importantly, he is very consistent

    Ox is still lacking in creativity and trickery, he is all about the pace n he isn’t consistent.
    he is doing well so far but is still not yet good enough to take Iwobi’s spot.. if he is smart he ll keep scoring and aid the LB more as those are d only grounds he could use to steal the spot.
    Walcott’s position is same as Ox but they dnt have same role, Ox is more a midfielder while Walcott is more a forward,moving into the box very often like a Muller-type winger, Ox is like a Willian so I dnt see how Ox ll take that position either.

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