Daily Archives: September 15, 2016
The first set of Champions League fixtures were concluded yesterday, with some teams standing out with a string of impressive results. With me having more focus on the English teams, it was nice seeing Leicester City bounce back from their disappointment at New Anfield with a resounding 3-0 win over Club Brugge. Riyad Mahrez was one player that needed some goals to raise his confidence as he has looked like a man bereft of it in recent weeks. Many people were waiting to see what the English champions had to offer in Europe and I’m sure those that placed their bets in the team were not disappointed.
Elsewhere, Sergio Aguero continued his amazing goalscoring form with back to back hat-tricks in the Champions League, bringing his tally this season to nine goals in five games. Tottenham, on the hand, bottled their opening game at home to AS Monaco and I wasn’t surprised because it was so Tottenham of them. Bottling things since the creation of the beautiful game in the 1800’s.
Arsenal had a hot and cold performance against PSG with Alexis Sanchez canceling out Edinson Cavani’s opener as both sides sharing the spoils. With Ludogorets and FC Basel providing opposition, both sides would have to gain maximum points against them and the clash between Arsenal and PSG at the Emirates could determine the winner of the group but that’s me making speculations. Football doesn’t actually work that way.
However, I have been concerned about the performances of certain players in the team, with a certain Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming to mind. Astonishingly, he began the campaign well with a brilliant preseason, wowing the fans with some beautiful football and scoring some memorable goals, raising their hopes that he would finally realize that untapped potential this season. Wenger has also found a way to accommodate the lad in the first team this season but it’s fair to say that the Ox hasn’t lived up to expectations.
Hey, I don’t expect him to go all Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi on us, but at least, show some output from all the direct play. He also has a knack for holding onto the ball a bit too long and on the final third, he has been found wanting. In the four games he has started this season, he has struggled badly and was eventually substituted. You’d be surprised to know that the Ox is just 23, as he has stuck around for quite some time, spending five years with the Gunners, but it seems like Arsenal is stalling on offering him a new contract, as he currently has two years left on his current £65,000 per week deal.
Ox has also struggled with injuries in his fledgling Arsenal career and I’m hoping he would succeed at the club, but when it was stated that the Gunners were open for the lad to move last summer, it raises a lot of questions. For a lad that cost a whopping £12m as a teenager from Southampton, the Gunners are still hopeful that he could prove to be the real deal but time is running out of the lad. While the Ox continues to struggle to impose himself, a certain young Nigerian, Alex Iwobi, has been in great form and he even has two assists to his name this season. With Iwobi impressing, the Ox would soon find himself relegated to the bench, with Alexis Sanchez on the left, Iwobi / Aaron Ramsey on the right while Olivier Giroud and Lucas Perez battle for right to spearhead Arsenal’s attack.
Does the Ox deserve a new deal? I’d say yes for the following reasons.
- He’s a young Englishman that can command a mammoth fee if the Gunners finally decide to cut their losses and let him go. They would certainly take cue from the Serge Gnabry situation to ensure that are not hamstrung by another club looking for their players. We live in a world where Englishmen attract the juiciest fees, so Arsenal will be no different.
- I feel he would come good some time because he has some reserves of potential in him. Yes, he’s 23 and isn’t the 18-year-old exciting prospect we signed in 2011, but if he can show some improvement in his performances, we would definitely want him to stick around for a while.
With so much football left to play this season, I’m hoping for the Ox to get his act right, so he could see himself at a new club next summer.
Bonus Reading: Arsenal Stalling Over the Ox’s Contract as Time is Running Out on his Career – The Independent
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