Steve McManaman become the latest Liverpool legend who has recommended that Oxlade Chamberlain re-joins Arsenal.
That’s a reflection on the family type club the Reds are and how much a popular character the Ox is.
It’s like those connected to Anfield realise he’s not good enough for their first team yet want the very best for him. At this point in his career the 28-year-old wouldn’t get a bigger move then a return to the Emirates.
Yet that’s the pundit looking out for Liverpool’s and the player’s interest …. not ours. Ex-Gunners or anyone looking out for Arsenal might feel differently.
Arsene Wenger has admitted rejecting the chance to resign Fabregas. Our ex-manager said his thought process was to send a message to his dressing room that we are not a club you can leave at the peak of your powers, then come crawling back when the grass proves not greener.
As he proved at Chelsea though, Fabregas was at a level where the Frenchman could afford to jeopardise the club’s image.
Where it was worth the perception of us crawling back to someone who rejected us.
Where you could live with the notion that we were buying someone because he wasn’t wanted elsewhere.
I’m not sure the Ox is, or quite frankly ever has been, good enough to accept any of the above?
Like with us, his time on Merseyside has been plagued by injury, meaning he has never had a run in the team, not becoming the midfielder he envisaged. That meant he missed both the last World Cup and the Euros with England.
He’s scored 14 goals in 111 games, not enough for us to simply give back the 35 million we received.
Maybe a loan but 35 million is a lot for a player who hasn’t got any better than when he was last with us.
While his CV reads Champions League and Premier League winner, he was a fringe player, not the CM he wanted to become.
His last best game remains for us in the 2017 FA Cup Final. That was at right wing back! In his final campaign with us, we finished 1 point behind Liverpool.
We didn’t want to sell to opposition we viewed as a top 4 rival. 5 years later, the fact that Liverpool would give him back to us, knowing it won’t hurt their title aspirations, shows how far we have fallen.
He wasn’t interested in being our future why should we have him back when he needs us?
It would be like an ex who dumped you for someone else crawling back years later only because they are now single. Most with self-respect wouldn’t do that. That’s why we can’t do this.
It’s not about being too proud, it’s setting standards and not allowing anyone to jeopardise our principles.
You only do that for the very best like a Fabregas.
For someone who’s best form came as a wing back, a position he doesn’t favour, and for a man whose history indicates he will spend half a year on the side-lines, the juice really isn’t worth the squeeze.
A talent who nearing 30 remains potential but has never come close to being the next Gerrard, only a reality in his mind.
His biggest contribution in years has been popping up on social media with his Little Mix girlfriend.
Equally for him the dressing room he left behind is different. His buddies Ramsey, Walcott and Gibbs all have left.
His mate Wilshire kind of remains around the place.
His ex-captain is now the boss.
Arteta has his own ethos and won’t stand for his values not being met.
Does he really want one of his senior players telling stories of how he moved elsewhere because he thought we were not ambitious enough?
A young man who thought he was so good without achieving anything, he looked Mr Wenger in the eye and turned down being the face of our club.
Do we want him being a leader to a Saka or a Smith Rowe?
If he questioned our ambition, then why would he now want to work with our worst squad in a quarter of a century?
I would question his motives, taking the comfortable option because it now suits him.
To be a big club you think like a big club.
A big club doesn’t take anyone’s cast-offs, yet alone someone who walked away from us.
If indeed Liverpool are offering the Ox to us, we shouldn’t be considering their asking price, we should be asking why they are asking us?
How has it come to this?
How have we fallen so low that Liverpool would happily give us a player?
In 2017 the Ox and his dad had a meeting with Mr Wenger and others at the club. Despite a generous salary increase they made it clear it wasn’t about the money. They looked at Arsenal up and down and were not impressed.
The irony is that 5 years later I would suggest Arsenal would look at him up and down and think ‘we could do better?’
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