Arsene Wenger hopes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will take confidence from his recent performances and says Arsenal are working hard to get even more from the England international.
After several seasons playing on the flanks, the 23-year-old has looked sharp playing in Santi Cazorla’s central midfield role, a position he’s also been handed by Gareth Southgate at international level.
“He has done well and has been more stable, more focused in his performances,” Wenger told Arsenal Player ahead of Sunday’s crunch Premier League clash with Manchester City.
“He has a good acceleration and in central midfield this kind of potential to go forward gets you away from pressure. It can create differences where he can serve the strikers and get out, past people. In the modern game where there is a lot of pressure on players [with the ball], guys who can dribble and can go past people have a huge advantage.
“The work we do with him now is to get more and more from him, because I feel there is still potential in him that has not been completely exploited yet. That’s normal because he is still an under-25 player, and I hope that this period gives him the confidence, and also the taste, to want more.”
On the subject of confidence, the boss also touched on how it has drained from the squad as a whole since the December defeats to Everton and Manchester City.
In both games, the Gunners stole into leads and looked in control before nerves got the better of them.
“It started at Everton where we were 1-0 up,” noted the boss. “At City we were 1-0 up. And things went just against us and we could not respond.
“Our offensive numbers are good. Our defensive numbers are less convincing. And that is not down to the defenders only. It is down to the balance of the team between going forward and defending. But it is true that our offensive numbers are quite convincing.
“I am still convinced they have the right character, and it’s a good moment to show it. As well, the self-esteem of a group is not set in stone. It’s linked as well with the last results.
“The confidence, when linked with the last results, drops, but where the character comes in is the desire to fight against it and to fight together. And the natural tendency is to go a little bit into your shell and think a little bit more about you and not about the group.”
It does say a lot about the current state of the team, that a player who in January would’ve been happily let go by the majority of Arsenal fans is now considered an integral part of our midfield. It shows you what putting in a bit of effort can do for your reputation, regardless of quality.
It is perhaps also a good reminder that fans do not know as much as they think they do, and that our passionate, visceral responses can often cloud our judgement.
I’ll give myself a thumbs down on that. 🙂
You’re completely correct Futsboller, Wenger knows best. Just ask Bayern.
And is that the cue for him to be sold? Better not be in that case.
His contract is up at the end of next season so unless he signs a new one this summer he will be sold. Finances dictate that decision.
Anyway, why do we have so many players getting to the end of their contract? Just add that to the long list of reasons why Wenger no longer deserves to stay as manager.
Not sure it is quite fair to saddle Wenger with all that, but it fits the agenda, certainly. I think what looks like careless management to us with respect to player contracts, is actually evidence of a patient process behind the scenes; several players will be moved on this summer, but we’re coordinating (scouts, agents, finances, management) our options — we’ve likely identified areas to strengthen, but we won’t move a player on until we look ready to secure the replacement. Sanchez and Ozil will both re-sign this summer; it’s just a matter of getting the right figures on the… Read more »
I hope this is all true.
I wonder why everyone is complaining about contracts, I think it’s a problem for the club either way. If they renew two years early people slap the manager for resigning underperforming players, now they wait to see performance first before renewal and that’s also a problem. You can’t win with attitude like this from fans these days, nothing you do is good enough
Why are the players underperforming then?
same reason they overperform
Boohoo. Every other club in the PL have players on their last year.
City have Navas,Toure,Sagna,Clichy,Zabaleta out of contract this summer and in 2018 they have Fernandinho and Kolarov out of contract.
United have Zlatan out of contract this summer. Mata,Herrera,Young,Valencia,Blind,Shaw,Fellaini,Lingard are out of contract next year.
Yet, we are a club in crisis for not having extended Mesut Ozil and Sanchez who still have a year left. Stop moaning and get behind the team.
Right logic but wrong example.
Both City’s and United’s best and most valuable players are on long term contracts and they almost always find agreements if someone IMPORTANT tries to rebel. And how could you even use Zalatan in this context.. Us on the other hand: Ade, Nasri, RVP etc and now Ozil and Sanchez..
These 2 clubs who have no problems spending money lol its quite easy to sign or acquire players when you don’t have budget to hold to.
Haha deluded. You only play him because everyone else is fucked. This is no master plan
You may hate and disrespect the gaffer but you’d be the deluded one if you claim you haven’t heard the manager a good number of times say the Ox is more a midfield player than a winger and that’s the plan for him. Even when counting midfield players, the gaffer always counts the Ox as one so don’t come here saying he’s deluded when in fact you are the one who’s delusional.
You are the type of cult Wenger fan that will claim the current plight of the club is no fault of the manager.
Why does someone’s rational support of club and manager deserve the pejorative “cult” attached to it? Nice agenda.
More like irrational support of the manager.
I would just ask a simple question, has Wenger ever mentioned before this season that he views Chamberlain as a midfield player? I’m sure the answer is yes, and if that’s the answer then it’s got nothing to do with “cult Wenger fan”. And just so you know, I actually hope Wenger leaves so we can see if we move forward on the pitch and so fans like you have something or someone else to direct your disrespect to
Blogs, This is your place. You own it. You know it the best. From what I see some of the pre-meditated, regurgitated hateful posts that are hamstringing all sensible discussion… have stats out of context… bait other commentators… all of this is really whipping people into more and more stupidity. It is beyond embarrassing or self-destructive now. It is driving me off these boards from sheer annoyance. Maybe you can do without one visitor. Just thought I’d make myself heard. Spinner, John C and others like them: I’m sure you are swell blokes in person. But by god you are… Read more »
We’ve heard this before. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see innit.
I think of has got it all there, he just seems to loose concentration when passing sometimes resulting in a few loose passes he could do with cutting out. More time on the pitch and it’ll come though.
And he never will. You look at the likes of dele alli, the Celtic dembele, the Dortmund dembele, they are so young and are already consistently performing for their teams while we are stuck with excuses like he’s young so consistent performances are difficult for him and that he has potential. Potential is useless if that is the only thing a player has year after year. Saying a player has potential is just another way of saying that player has achieved nothing yet. Sorry for being harsh but just really frustrated atm because our players with potential never seem to… Read more »
So him leaving next season makes perfect sense for Arsenal. Bravo.
It’s Wenger himself who now ruins all the young players at our club… They come as exciting prospects & leave as deadbeats until their new Manager instils confidence and discipline which is when they start to improve again…
Bentley, Diarra, Upson, Nordtvelt, Muamba, Cole, Fabregas etc
I don’t remember Cole of Fabregas leaving as “deadbeats”…as for the rest on your list Meh.
Very poor statement and an even more pathetic argument. The evidence to prove the exact opposite of your statement is plentiful.
OK… You all win… Wenger is the greatest Manager in the history of football and over the 20 odd years he’s been in charge, he’s made Arsenal the greatest club in the history of football.
why do you get butthurt when your own example was horrible. Cesc left a deadbeat? Cole? cmon be better then that
And that’s not including those who remain Arsenal players but are out on loan such as Wilshere, Campbell etc, and those still at the club who only really perform once in a blue moon such as Walcott & Chamberlain… These young men are earning sums of money that most of us can only dream about and do so at our expense, namely the genuine, long-term supporter… If any of these had even half the guts & determination of Sanchez, a man who cuts a frustrated figure with the lack of effort he sees from most of the rest of them,… Read more »
Title-winning team right there..
yeah yeah you keep digging a bigger and bigger hole.
Wilshere hasn’t been hurt with major injuries the past 2 years and Campbell??? why does every Wenger out fan bring him up like he’s proven AW wrong? He’s a fringe player.
I’m not saying AW doesn’t have faults. He’s for one thing too loyal to his players. He needs a ruthless person next to him to push out underperforming players. Walcott should have been gone 3-4 years ago. Ox is in the boat Walcott was in 3-4 years ago.
“But it is true that our offensive numbers are quite convincing.”
2 shots on goal against West Brom. Sorry Arsene, I’m not convinced.
give it a rest, mate. you’ve voiced your opinion about wenger, ad nauseum. every single article it’s the same stuff from you. maybe try commenting about something else for a while. he’s right, ox hasn’t reached his potential yet and looks promising in the central midfield role. don’t you think?
I am commenting directly on what Wenger said in the article above. You don’t like what I have said because it doesn’t not follow your pro-Wenger agenda.
I’ve made a relevant comment to the news article but you don’t want people to express their valid opinion because it differs to your own. With that attitude to free speech, maybe North Korea might be more suitable for you.
Except free speech works 2 ways you utter fool…
you’ve made your point. you can reply once in each post even a lengthy post and be done with it. Its so repetitive like your the only one with similar opinion and if you don’t keep voicing it then it will disappear.
We’ve scored 96 goals this season and our conversion rates are much better than last season; I think that’s what he means.
We’re trying to pull ourselves out of the worst funk in form I’ve ever seen; do we have to insist on a turn of the screw, too?
Futsboller, why are we in worst funk form you have ever seen?
I’ll await your response where you wrap yourself on knots trying to claim it has nothing to do with Wenger.
Because players and manager aren’t getting their jobs done on and off the pitch. The responsibility is shared throughout the club. It is dismal to watch and endure, but I don’t buy into the rabid response to ‘burn it all down’ and go head hunting, and I derive no pleasure from submitting the club and its representatives (manager, players, etc.) to another unnecessary turn of the screw at every possible moment.
Absolutely.. . And yet the Wengernistas continually shout & vote down anyone who doesn’t agree that he continues to be the Messiah not only for Arsenal but for the future of World Football!
I thought Havard Nordveit and David Bentley were the messiahs?
Don’t forget about Campbell
“On the subject of confidence, the boss also touched on how it has drained from the squad as a whole since the December defeats to Everton and Manchester City.”
You mean the defeat to Man city when they equalised with an offside goal? That defeat. That one had a really negative ramifications for our entire season?
Timmy, Tim, Tim. What were you saying on the arsecast about not being able to remember these incidents?
So why did Arsene not start holding him into a CM earlier?!
I really like the guy, but…
Chamberlain has looked more bothered on the pitch lately than most of the squad combined. But I fear it is a case of playing to get away. Like others in the squad I’d imagine an intelligent lad like Alex has realised that the best chance of success lies elsewhere.
Any how, after that dose of truth, on with the thumb downs….
Yes but the (honest) question is, can he realize his full potential under you Wenger?
One more player, who having been crap for bulk of his stay, showing magical signs of improvement as his contract winds down. The stuff football fairy tales are made of.
I feel that Ox and Wilshere should be the future of our centre midfield so it’s pretty concerning that they’ve both been allowed to reach the last year of their contracts!
Two players who are totally unreliable, regularly injured, contribute about two goals a season each and have been given far more chances than they’ve ever deserved. They’ll be 30 years old and we’ll still be waiting to see their potential. If Oxlade-Chamberlain could remain focussed for more than 20 minutes at a time it might be helpful. And in the next breath you will be moaning because we never win anything!
No shit Sherlock!