2012 – the year of The Ox?

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is ready to shoulder the responsibility of holding down a first team place if Arsene Wenger calls on his services in the coming weeks and months.

The England under-21 international has only played sporadically in the first XI since moving from Southampton in the summer but has certainly whet the appetite of fans with goalscoring performances against Olympiakos and Shrewsbury Town and a dynamic showing against Manchester City in the Carling Cup.

Accepting that competition for places at Arsenal is strong, the summer signing still feels he can make a difference this season.

“I can’t say [when I will play], I don’t know, that’s for the boss to say really,” he told Arsenal Player. “I’m just available if ever needed.

“There are a lot of games and maybe it is a time where players are going to be rested. It’s a lot of work for the body physically so if I am required then I’m ready. I’m looking forward to getting an opportunity and I will try and take my chance.

“Everyone that comes into the team knows what’s expected of them. At the end of the day we all train together at the same tempo and the same intensity so I think whoever steps into the team knows what’s expected of them from the fans, from the boss and from each other.

“You’re playing for Arsenal, you have to be on top of your game at all times if possible.”

While Arsene Wenger has been eager to stress his young charge’s quality, even tipping him for inclusion in England’s Euro 2012 squad, there is a sense that the boss has learned from the hubbub which surrounded Theo Walcott accession to the first team. That being said, with Andrey Arshavin obviously struggling and Yossi Benayoun and Tomas Rosicky lacking the pace to do damage on the wings Oxlade-Chamberlain could get a run in the side in January when Gervinho heads to the African Cup of Nations.

One area the Gunners certainly could do with cover right now is in the full-back positions. Injuries to Kieran Gibbs, Andre Santos, Carl Jenkinson, Bacary Sagna and Johan Djourou mean that youngster Ignasi Miquel will likely start against Aston Villa tomorrow night, while Laurent Koscielny could be shifted out to the right again.

Although the defence is being stretched to the max, Oxlade-Chamberlain feels his teammates are equipped to deal with whatever is thrown at them.

I think it’s a handicap for any team when you’ve got four full backs out – two left backs and two right backs. It’s not ideal for any team but there are a lot of boys that can fill in,” he continued.

“You’ve seen Thomas Vermaelen and Ignasi Miquel both do really well. With Carl and Bac out on the right, Johan’s filled in really well and obviously he’s picked up a little niggle now.

“But the boys have the quality to do that, everybody understands everybody else’s roles. If they don’t play week in, week out they still understand – everybody at Arsenal is a quality player.

“I’m sure the boss will find somebody good enough to do the job.”

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JodyThe goon

The game against city was crying out for the ox…..i don’t know why arshavin was brought on instead. Eapecially as the ox was the beat player in the previous carlin cup game.. Strange…

Master Bates
Master Bates

yeah. we had stability but needed more flair , the carling game OX made zabbaleta his bitch

jay
jay

Agreed, and when we bought on Chamakh & Arshavin, RVP couldn’t make much of an impact.

Thinking about what we’ve seen Ox do in the CC, playing with Chamakh, Park, Arshavin & Benayoun (although I think he should be rotated into the 1s aswell) – taking the piss out of full backs and getting balls into the box kinda makes you wonder what he’d be able to do with the likes of Gervinho, Ramsey & RVP on the other end to finish.

Comedian
Comedian

I just think its time to rotate some players from the first team. I am not picking on Ramsey but for all the games i have watched he’s very good for the first 60 mins and all that goodwork just disappears.
As for OX he is a quick learner i like the way he came back to defend against Olympiacos he will develop even more by being surrounded with all the experience players we have in our squad now.

Sabrina
Sabrina

Not sure I agree with you on Ramsey he can be a bit frustrating sometimes when he misplaces a pass but I don’t think he disappears late in games at all. He scored a late winner for us in the CL not too long ago. I think he has trouble with the “defense splitting pass.” We could use better there.

Dazzer
Dazzer

I think he came off the bench to score that winner.

Sabrina
Sabrina

Oh. Well I still don’t think he’s disappearing in matches just that he’s been a bit inconsistent with his passing at times.

Goontang
Goontang

I Think that’s where Jacky Boy will come in very handy. Although Song will be a big miss tonight because somehow he’s managed to add the defence splitting pass to his resume in recent seasons. Rambo just need’s more time, more experience, but theres only one way he’ll get that. by doing exactly what he’s doing. i would love to see Rosicky get more game time, he can certainly bring energy into a game.

Comedian
Comedian

i couldnt watch the shrewsbury game but i hardly remember any of his attempted shots going wide or over the bar. Looks like he has got this great ability too shoot from anywhere and it always ends up as a shot on goal or hit the bar.

jay
jay

In England U21’s training: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzqm6zsawlc

Sabrina
Sabrina

It’s time for Ox to take his rightful place in front of Arshavin in the pecking order.

Thorough

I think his chances have been limited because Wenger, like most of us, always felt the Ox was a choice to replace either Gervinho or Theo. But with his shooting power, trickery and dribbling skills I think he can come straight into the team in place of Ramsey. I hate a playmaker who cant score or take a game by the scruff. Give the Ox the AMF role Wenger and you will be shocked at what you get…..positively.

why is my name required
why is my name required

its time to unleash the ox

ramgooner
ramgooner

im sure ox will get his place when he proves to boss that he is a bull while tracking back.the major factor that convinced boss to start walcott this season is walcott is no more a defensive liability and with the dearth of fullbacks boss will be looking for support from the wings.be patient ox.the world wants to see you play.we know you are good.be patient.wenger knows!!it is obvious from the fact that you are our most expensive summer signing.arsenal got a player who can make things happen.wenger knows!!

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

I completely agree with the first blogger, JodyThe goon. That City game was absolutely crying out for the Ox to come on and wreak a bit of havoc on City’s defence.

As I’ve said before, we don’t have a squad packed with with oustanding quality but the Ox is a special player, even at eighteen. Sir Alex Ferguson has never been afraid of taking a gamble on young talent, Wenger shouldn’t be either.

After Sunday, I hope that Wenger has finally given up on the useless Arshavin; the Ox must be promoted to the first team squad in his place.

the only sam is nelson
the only sam is nelson

in fairness wenger hasn’t exactly been afraid of chancing his arm on youth over the years, and frankly if anything the problem has been the opposite – faith in youth prevailing over the idea that some experience might steady the ship

watching arshavin on sunday i got the impression of a man running out of time, it looked like he was trying for the first time in a while, but he looks like he’s clean out of luck on that front. the ox should be a threat from the bench i think, but then i think the same about frimpong, he’s like the special forces of the midfield (BOOM take that, Nasri! CRASH take that, John Terry! PARP PARP take that Lee Cattermole etc etc).

danger is that he gets sussed (look at andy carroll) and arsenal is a great place for players to learn how to avoid being one dimensional – so if the ox is learning his trade, all the better for us down the line

jay
jay

I feel, looking at our squad, the Ox is comfortably our best chance to get additional goals from the 1st team considering the form of Arshavin & Chamakh.

Very well spoken too, hopefully something he’ll continue to become a permanent fixture as his game matures to match his character. I for one hope that he get the nod, the sooner the better, hopefully a run out against Leeds in the FA Cup to prove what he can bring to the 1st team – again.

zeb
zeb

I feel a starting place is a bit much if we have everyone back and healthy (gervinho and wilshere) But I would love to see him come on as a impact player if we need to chase or win a game, he could add that extra spark to grab us some more points. if we need to defend a game benayoun is the obvious sub for me, always tracks back and works hard.

saying this, I would love him to start on the right wing when gervinho’s away, and also if ramsey gets injured before wilshere gets back. (I would actually like him to start ahead of ramsey but thats not going to happen)

Lord Teddy Ears
Lord Teddy Ears

I cant see the issue with playing him he has skill and talent plus lets face it he cant be any worse than Arseshaven but if he make a mistake then the arm chair pundits should shut the fuck up and let the kid learn.

We have a really good blend of youth that actually want to be Arsenal players no “its in their DNA” bollocks and that is going to keep us going as the clubs like Man City will fall away well the money men get bored.

In Arsene we trust but please buy some help for RVP

Steve
Steve

He’s good at frying pan table tennis too and pretty handy with a cricket bat….

TexasGooner6
TexasGooner6

During the City match, we were crying out for someone who could dribble in traffic. City had Silva, Aguero and Na$ri and we had RVP. I think that is where Arshavin’s lack of form has hurt. When he was playing well, we had Na$ri, Cesc, Arshavin and RVP. All could create off the dribble, pass and shoot. Maybe The OX can do it but Gervinho can’t (yet). Theo is a great counterattacker but not so much on the creative skills. That is why I want Hazzard so much. He can create and score. He could support RVP so well.

gustavpoyet

gervinho is not what is needed, tbh we need world class on the flanks and both he and walcott dont produce, you can say what you want for effort and adaptation but you can just tell when someones not got it, pull out your chequebook wenger , we are the only sides that generates profit and has 2 billlionaires on the board yet wengers still a tight git
else as can be seen this year were struggling for 4th and spuds have overtaken us , liverpool on our arses and 6th may end up a reality

Jeth
Jeth

“The Earth is slow, but the Ox is patient” 🙂

Butthead
Butthead

Walcott is just too consistently football braindead at times. I think Ox will prove to be a much better player in the long run. Getting a bit sick of Walcotts inconsistency, the inconsistency is due to him not being a brilliant player. He does have moments of brilliance but we need consistency, and I think OX will prove to have that more.. due to being a more talented footballer. I’m looking forward to him taking over frmo Walcott.. or Walcott learning how to play better.

gustavpoyet

here here i thought it was just me,, @22 or what ever he is if you are world class your meant to be showing it consistently, not just for 10mins every 4th game, to be fair he has improved alot this year but in my opinion an average premier league player, the ox on the other hand looks head nad shoulders above him and dont quite understand why he isnt at least the impact sub of choice

goonerdan
goonerdan

anyone else loving the young boys team spirit atm? Ox, Benik, Frimpong, Henderson, Carl, everyone. Makes it much better to enjoy being an Arsenal fan even if we’re not winning. Love it

Gooner til I die

CAGooner
CAGooner

I know there’s a danger of bringing a young player on too quickly but that certainly hasn’t been the case with the Ox. I had hoped to see a bit more of him this season and, as others here have suggested, the ManCity game would have been the point to bring him on rather than Arshsavin and Chamakh. Now Chamakh will be missing for the ANC next month, and the moody Russian may–or may not–be dealt then, which leaves a perfect opportunity to get the Ox a lot more playing time.

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philby
philby

Love this kid, really sounds like he’s got the right attitude