Chris Waddle suggests why these two Arsenal stars have not been performing

Arsenal

The former England star believes the careers of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have suffered because they were over-hyped as youngsters.

Former England star Chris Waddle has told bwin that Arsenal's English players such as Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have failed to live up to their potential because they were over-hyped at a young age.

The Gunners have seen another title challenge tail off this year, and one of the running themes of their season has been their English contingent failing to hold down any consistent form.

Walcott has been one of the main targets of criticism from Gunners fans this season as the 27-year-old has failed to impress after an initially promising start to the season following his contract extension last summer.

The former Southampton prodigy has scored nine goals in 40 appearances in all competitions but has netted just twice in the league in 2016 and has seen his campaign characterised by patchy form and anonymous displays.

Meanwhile, Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored just once since finding the net in the season-opening Community Shield win over Chelsea and has featured mainly from the substitutes' bench this season as he again struggles to contend with injury problems and inconsistent form.

Waddle, who broke into the senior set-up at hometown club Newcastle United as a 19-year-old in 1980 and quickly became a star, believes both Gunners players have been hampered by the spotlight being on them as teenagers.

He told bwin: "Some Arsenal players such as Theo Walcott, who hasn’t developed to the extent we all hoped he would and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has struggled for consistency, were hyped up too much, too early.

"There are too many people that jump on youngsters too quickly today, players such as Walcott, Jack Rodwell, Ross Barkley. Sometimes you need to hold back from putting additional pressure on players and just let them play.

"Rather than judging them now, we need to judge them over their careers when you can fully evaluate whether they were great and whether they realised their potential. Paul Gascoigne was a great example of that. He always tried to let his football do the talking whilst everyone was raving mad about him."

Walcott has continued to be included in Roy Hodgson's England squad despite his poor form, but his place in the squad for Euro 2016 could be at risk after an inauspicious domestic campaign.

Meanwhile, Oxlade-Chamberlain has failed to kick on to the predicted heights during his time at Arsenal, and is being linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium this summer.

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