Out of form and out of the side, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hit back with a goal last weekend.
A superb strike against AFC Bournemouth gave Arsenal a 2-0 lead at Dean Court on Sunday. It was his first Premier League goal since September 2014, and you have to hope it’ll help spark a better run of performances.
There’s been plenty of criticism for Oxlade-Chamberlain and his form this season, and it’s seen him drop out of Arsène Wenger’s plans, falling behind Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell in the pecking order on the wing. Like Ox, Walcott joined Arsenal as a teenager and the 22-year-old feels the criticism of his performances is unfair considering his age.
“He’s been around for 10 years and is still only 26, which is young, too. In a way I think people might look at me in a similar fashion and forget I’m still young,” the midfielder told London Evening Standard.
This weekend could see him make his 100th Premier League appearance since signing for Arsenal in 2011. Only three players have reached that total at a younger age for Arsenal,
“It is a nice milestone but it doesn’t mean too much in my career right now. Maybe it is something that you look back on once you’ve finished playing. Right now 99 League games doesn’t seem as many as I would have liked — 100 is a nice number but I will just see it as another game for me.
“Over the course of my career already there have been plenty of ups and downs — you will be very lucky if you never experience bad times during your career,” he also said. Maybe he’s talking about a lack of starts this season, or the injuries he’s suffered in the past, but this could be a new start for him after last week’s impact.
“That’s something I will have to deal with. Football changes forever. You can have a great game one week and a bad game the next so you have to keep moving forward.”