Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may be trying to shift attention away from his own performances this season.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has come out with some big bold statements about Arsenal and their capabilities over the rest of the season. However, there is a definite argument to suggest he could be trying to cover up his own poor form.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has had nothing like the impact he would have expected this season, as he’s been in and out of the team with Arsene Wenger unable to rely on the talented wide man to produce his very best when it counts.
He’s made just 20 appearances in the Premier League this season with nine of those coming as a substitute with Wenger preferring to go with the likes of Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott in wider positions.
He’s still a very young man at only 19-years-old so he has plenty of time to make himself indispensible as a winger and a creative player to the current team and his experience will improve with the more appearances he accumulates.
The two main statements he’s made following the victory over Norwich City relate to the club’s fight for fourth place and one of the basic qualities of the current side, the determination to fight to the end.
Both statements apply to the club in general and he’s perfectly right to suggest that Arsenal have an edge over Tottenham in the race for Champions League football because the club has been there and done it so many times in the past.
However, there is a definite feeling with his comments following the Norwich game that he’s happier to bathe in the relative glory of the first team in general, rather than face up to the personal problems he’s endured at the club this season.
He’s perhaps been thrust into the spotlight at Arsenal before he’s been fully ready which is thanks in large part to the inconsistency Gervinho has shown and the fact he was away at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier in the season.
He’s at a very high profile club where he’s under constant pressure to not just represent himself but to represent Arsenal in every walk of life.
Therefore, he may be a little worried that an admission of his poor form this season could be viewed as a sign of weakness by those in the Arsenal squad looking to try and get his place in the team but also those keen on a move to Arsenal this summer.
Arsenal fans shouldn’t be too worried about him because he remains one of the best wide players the club has and his quality will improve under the guidance of Arsene Wenger.
There are definite areas where his game has to improve but if he can make the most of the chances he gets, nail down a starting place in the side and face up to his weaknesses then he’ll just get better and better.
Arsenal fans, have you been worried about him?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald