Showing posts with label Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Show all posts

30 August 2017

Ox? Gone. Gibbs? Gone. Mustafi, Pérez, Alexis? it a sinking ship...

Oxlade-Chamberlain is off to Liverpool. Gibbs will slink away to West Brom, perhaps suggesting that hsi chances at silverware are better over at the Hawthorns than they are at the Emirates. Mustafi looks to be loaned out to Inter, having been exposed as inadequate in a 3-4-3 if not a 4-2-3-1. Pérez joins the want-aways amidst rumours of a loan to Deportivo, but leading the rat-pack has to be none other than Alexis Sánchez, with persistent rumours of a move to Man City. At some point, it starts to feel as if the ship is sinking, and if these and other rats are abandoning ship, it feels like Arsène is doing little more than dithering over the rearrangement of deck-chairs on the Titanic.

27 August 2017

Can Arsenal rise above the Scouser curse?

A sloppy win over Leicester inspired us. It was, after all, a feisty turnaround as well as a convenient mirror-image to last season's opener, was it not? However, to have followed it with a stinker at Stoke did put a damper on things even if we gloss it over by convincing ourselves that things would have been different had Alexis been available. Would it have been, though? Doesn't matter--unless the FA has established a hypothetical Prem League for us to vie for. At any rate, we're off to a shaky start, and a trip to Anfield will do little to soothe jangled nerves.

15 August 2017

Arsenal to sell Oxlade-Chamberlain to Chelsea...for £35m?

Happy birthday, Alex, first off. The lad turns 24 today, and so it seems fitting that he gets what he
wants, which is, apparently, to join Chelsea. On its face, such a sale might make sense. In 200 appearances over six years, after all, he's scored just 20 goals despite being an attacking player for almost all of those appearances. His brief stint in the middle—where he most wants to play—was uneven and unconvincing. He's inconsistent. Error-prone. Injury-prone. Can't find a regular spot. At best, it seems, he's merely a good player to have in the squad. If Chelsea want him, Chelsea can have him, no?

23 July 2017

An Ox in the transfer-shoppe: why Arsenal should quit Oxin' around...

Editor's Note: This week's guest-post comes from Emory Stern, who first took notice of Arsenal because of the Dutch-duo of Overmars and Bergkamp. He comes to us as an aficionado of beautiful, attacking football—in other words, he is a Gooner. In this post, he weighs in on the speculation regarding Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's future with the club. Have at it, Emory!

No team has the type of players who divide (and frustrate) fan and pundit opinion quite like Arsenal players.  One of the players who fits this bill perfectly is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Ox was signed in 2011 and was full of promise. Initially deployed as a winger who can play either side, Arsène Wenger revealed that he saw Ox's future in the centre of the midfield and viewed him as a “Steven Gerrard” type of centre midfielder.  Fast forward to the conclusion of the 2017 season.  Ox was deployed in the FA Cup final victory versus Chelsea as the left wing back in our new-look, three centre-back system.  As a right footed player, he obviously did not look the natural fit there; however, he did the job and did it quite well, well enough to tantalise us with his future prospects.

06 January 2017

FA Cup Preview: Preston vs. Arsenal in "Invincibles" Clash!

The FA Cup's Third Round Proper throws together two behemoths of British football, the only two clubs to have ever completed a full campaign, the only two—eh, that's enough of that. I'm sure you'll have read quite enough of the "Invincibles" angle already, so that's about as much ink as I'll devote to it here. After all, for both clubs, that's history, ancient or otherwise. Let's turn our attention instead to the present, one in which Arsenal should look quite keen to advance and Preston might have more to worry about than this competition.

07 February 2016

Bournemouth 0-2 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings and MotM!

First-half goals from Mesut Özil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (his first in 16 months) powered
Arsenal to an early lead that they would never relinquish. Even if the 88 seconds between the two might have augured even more scoring, the result is good enough to close the gap on the increasingly impressive Foxes, who thrashed Man City at the Etihad. Bournemouth did have a few too many chances to call this a convincing result, but after four straight setbacks, a positive result is important enough not to look askance at. We've overtaken Man City, gone level with Tottenham, and closed the gap with Leicester to five. At the end of the day, that'll have to be good enough. We have a dramatic chance to close that gap next weekend. For now, though, get down to the poll to rate the lads!

30 January 2016

Of Sinners and Saints: can Theo score? Can Ox convince?

This was his moment, the perfect moment, the one scripted for him above all others. Subbed on late in the match gainst a visiting lower-tier side chasing an equaliser in the world's oldest association football competition, Theo Walcott found himself one on one with the keeper. Heaton was 15 yards off the line when Theo collected the ball, 25 yards from goal. These are the moments Theo lives for and scores from, are they not? However, he bottled it, trying to dribble Heaton only to have the chance snuffed out. With that, he might have killed two birds with one stone; the first being the chance itself and the second being Oxlade-Chamberlain's revival. It's the second I'm more concerned with...

13 January 2016

Campbell's made Ox all but obsolete. Will he lay waste to Walcott next?

So we traded three points in hand thanks to a stoppage-time equaliser, leaving Anfield with just one point. Still, the signs, I'd say, are positive. Ask Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool, and Tottenham how they feel about dropping points at home. I know that we were moments away for seizing all three, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Speaking of which, it seems about time to recognize
one such player whom we very nearly discarded and have to be counting our blessings to have kept: Joel Campbell. In his first full season with Arsenal, he's started to make an impression, enough of one to consign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to a bit part. He's this season's Coquelin. He's a poor-man's Alexis. If Theo Walcott hasn't sat up and taken notice, he'll be sitting a lot more often in the future.

08 January 2016

When a Black Cat crosses your path, take the Ox by the horns...

The FA Cup's third round proper brings us a Goldilocks story, in a way: Sunderland are not too big, not too small. They're juuussst right. Yes, they're in the Prem—but barely. We know them in a way that we wouldn't know, say Exeter or Scunthorpe. We won't underestimate them as we've done other squads from lower divisions. At the other end of things, they're not quite Tottenham or Liverpool, a squad that can (in theory, at least) match us blow for blow. This draw falls somewhere between 2014's against newly promoted Hull City and 2015's against perennial rival Tottenham. In any case, we have a third straight FA Cup to win, and Sunderland is the first club that stands in our way.

06 January 2016

How do you solve a problem like Oxlade-Chamberlain?

 On one hand, he's perfectly capable in one moment of a jaw-dropping goal such as the one against AS Monaco in last February's first-leg debacle, On othe other, he's just as capable of a head-slapping cock-up such as the one against AS Monaco in last February's first-leg debacle. For the first, he revived hope that we could still salvage a point or at least a manageable goal difference going into the second leg. For the second, he dashed those hopes. In so doing, has he dashed his own? Gone, by and large, is the swash-buckling swerver who could outrun or overpower most anyone. In his place is a forlorn, feckless footballer. In this his fifth year at Arsenal, there are already calls growing in volume if not veracity that he's done and we'd best part ways with him. Hold the phone.

28 October 2015

Maybe it's time to ring up Pulis about ending Gnabry's loan...

Once we set aside the result itself and realize that losing to Sheffield Wednesday should do little to impede our momentum, we have to face a cold, hard reality that presented itself in two forms on Tuesday and looks likely to menace us going forward: our first-choice XI is quite good, but it's awfully slim pickin's after that. It looks like we'll be without Theo, Ramsey, and the Ox for a few weeks, one position in particular looks awfully thread-bare—that right wing. The only player currently in the squad who has anything remotely resembling Prem experience there is Joel Campbell. Why do I not feel a surge of confidence?

09 September 2015

With the interlull over, can we please find room for Ox?

What a week, for good and bad. We saw the transfer window slam shut without any dramatic deadline-day signings, obscuring the fact that the arrival Petr Čech signifies intent on its own. While our lads largely escaped any interlullian injuries, we were served with the bad news that Welbeck, the closest we have to a backup to Giroud, may be out until December. While obfuscating the length of his layoff might have been strategic during the transfer-window (full disclosure might have inflated asking-prices), we still are left to wonder how well we'll contend going forward. Then again, we do have a full-strength defense, with Gibbs, Monreal, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Chambers, Debuchy, and Bellerín, offering all sorts of options as we invite the Orcs in on Saturday.

29 August 2015

Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings/MotM

The first half was all Arsenal as Newcastle defended dogged and at times desperately. Referee Andre Marriner missed a soft but clear penalty call as Bellerín went down in the box but saw sit to send off new man Mitrovic in the fifteenth minute for a studs-up challenge on Coquelin. Ten-man Toon seemed to draw inspiration, though, launching ambitious counters even if they did fizzle out. Despite the man-advantage, Arsenal couldn't get past Krul, and it was scoreless at halftime. Oxlade-Chamberlain finally opened the scoring shortly after halftime, his shot sluicing through Coloccini's legs to beat Krul. Between our quest for a perfect goal and Krul's tenacity, that turned out to be all the scoring for the day. Head down to the poll to rate our lads' performance...

15 July 2015

Who needed Schneiderlin when we have Ramsey and Wilshere and Ox and Cazorla and Rosický...

While it's been a bit alarming to see Man U aggressively signing players, even more so one or two whom we've pursued, a bit of perspective is perhaps helpful. Morgan Schneiderlin, for all of his virtues, is not the defensive midfielder we're looking for—not as competition, support, or upgrade on Coquelin, anyway. He might have made for a nice addition to the squad, but he's more of a traditional CM than DM. As such, he'd find himself fighting against Ramsey and Wilshere for time on the pitch at a position at which we're already ridiculously deep. Throw in Cazorla, Rosický and the Ox, and is it any wonder Schneiderlin figured that his best chance at playing lay with Man U, whose midfield was held together by duck tape and baling wire for most of the past season?

01 January 2015

Can Arsenal overtake Southampton?

We at Arsenal may pride ourselves on our financial prudence and our ability to so consistently finish fourth despite losing so many players to our rivals, but we have to admit that, on some levels, we are to Southampton what Chelsea or Man City have been to us. Where might Southampton be if they still had Theo, the Ox, or Chambers? Ironically, they might not be sitting as high as they are at the moment. After all, we've poached these players and are still trailing the Saints (if only by the slimmest of margins). If anything, then, we might have to consider just how Southampton stay up despite, or even because of, losing players to other, bigger, clubs.

09 November 2014

Swans 2-1 Gunners: this is infuriating [w/ video highlights]

A boring, dreary first half picked up steam in the second, but with the way it ended, I think most of us would have preferred the boredom over the bollocks that we had to suffer. After a brilliant counter attack launched by the Ox, Welbeck ran in behind the defense to collect the through-back and cut back to pass to the middle for Alexis—who else?—,to slot it home, and it looked like we could escape with victory despite our sloppy, careless, play to that point. However, the sloppiness was exacerbated by heavier rains and the fact that we had no answer for Montero, who tore Chambers a new one each time he got the ball. Sigurddson's well-struck free-kick eluded Szczesny, but it was Montero who really ruined things for us, crossing in for Gomis to head home. Swansea had not scored from a set-piece or a header to this point; they managed to do both inside of five minutes today. It's a loss that will pose some tough, tough questions, some soul-searching, and perhaps some knife-sharpening. We'll have two weeks to digest this one before hosting Man U. If you have the stomach for it, here are the highlights:

06 November 2014

Swansea-Arsenal preview: release the hounds!

So. Judging by the reactions to our midweek draw with Anderlecht, we're doomed. We've lost the plot. We're rubbish. Worse, there's little we can do about it until January, by which time we may have crashed out of the Champions League, perhaps even the FA Cup, and we might be chasing fifth place in the Prem if we don't mind our p's and q's. If this draw with Anderlecht is anything to go by, we'll be lucky to qualify for the Europa League. It's just our luck, then, that we have to travel to Liberty Stadium to face one of the Prem's stoutest defenses, one led by a former Gunner who might savor a chance to remind us of his quality—Lukas Fabiański.

18 October 2014

Has Arsène scuttled Wilshere's deep-lying development?

After two weeks pondering Jack Wilshere make mincemeat of San Marino and Estonia, it was starting to look, sound, and feel like we might start to see more of Wilshere in a similar role with Arsenal. With the continued absence of Ramsey, the nagging injuries (and inexorable ageing of Arteta), and the relative softness of the next half-dozen fixtures, I was starting to think that Arsène might play Wilshere in a deeper-lying role, maybe even—theatrical gasp—returning to a 4-2-3-1 with Cazorla as the central midfielder. However, speaking at the official Arsenal site, Arsène seems to have scuppered the notion before it can even take hold, at least with the club. However, there's reason to hope that this opens the door for other options to unfold...

14 October 2014

Where's the silver lining in Özil's injury? Take your pick...

At first blush, Özil's injury sounded like it would be just the kind of thing a high-profile player run ragged by club commitments would need—two weeks of solid rest, perhaps extended another week or two in order to rejuvenutate tired legs and weary spirit. When the DFB announced that Özil would be ruled out of action for 10-12 weeks, we at Arsenal naturally cursed our lot in life and vented various levels of fury at Wenger for not bringing Cescy back or otherwise deepening, if not strengthening, the squad. However, whether Wenger had planned to persist in playing Özil wide or returning him to a more-central position (on paper, at least), we do have a plethora of options at our disposal and a softer string of fixtures coming up in which to deploy them.

05 June 2014

Injuries to Wilshere and Ox are a Good Thing™

In an international match fraught with tension, on whose outcome a solution to climate change, racism, and the crisis in Ukraine no doubt depended, England and Arsenal suffered a setback when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was bundled into, causing his right knee to buckle and possibly damaging ligaments. The restults of a scan have yet to be released, but Ox is all but sure to miss the World Cup, a devastating setback to the lad just after earning a chance to shine. We very nearly suffered a double-dose as Jack Wilshere looked like he picked up a little niggle, although his may have been more of the crampy variety. It's a good thing that so much hung in the balance here, or we might be left wondering just why the match was played at all. More to the point, though, for as much of a setback as Ox's injury may be to the Three Lions, it may yet come as good news for Arsenal.