Paul Merson has said on Sky Sports News (5:22pm, December 11, 2021) that Liverpool attacker Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a poor game against Aston Villa.
The former Arsenal and Villa star has said that Oxlade-Chamberlain found it hard to play in the false 9 role for Liverpool against the Villans at Anfield on Saturday.
Merson was actually critical of the position as well.
Liverpool won the Premier League game against Steven Gerrard’s Villa 1-0.
Mohamed Salah’s second-half penalty proved to be the difference between the two teams.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Liverpool struggles v Aston Villa
Merson said: “It has never been a position. So you are asking someone to play in a position that isn’t a position. So it was hard, it was hard for him. Villa sat very deep, they pinged them back. For me, I thought he found it a little bit difficult today.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain is not a centre-forward, and it showed against Villa.
The £35 million midfielder (BBC Sport) simply could not be the focal point that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wanted and needed him to be.
The former Arsenal player did have some joy when he dropped deep, but it was a game to forget for the 28-year-old.
In our opinion, Klopp should not use Oxlade-Chamberlain as a forward.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is a midfielder and is simply not suited to playing as a false nine or upfront.
The former Arsenal player should be played to his strengths and should not have to change his game now.