With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seemingly improving by the game, is it safe to start wondering whether this is finally his year?
It’s been the Ox’s year more of less every season since we bought him from Southampton in 2011. In his first season, he scored two Premier League goals in 16 appearances. Not too ground-breaking but he was a teenager, new to the squad and a fresh face.
The next season, he scored one in 25, injured his hip and struggled for game time. But again, he was young.
His fitness seemed difficult to maintain with a knee injury keeping him out for months the following term.
2 – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has now scored in back-to-back EFL Cup games. Specialist.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 25, 2016
After this, we always swore that when he was fit, he would hit his stride but he never did. He’s one of those players that’s deeply affected by other people’s views and when he got criticised, he got worse. When the crowd got on his back, it got on top of him. It’s like he had Ramsey-itis; he was almost trying too hard, over-complicating moves and losing the ball. It wasn’t just frustrating for us but for him as a player. You could see it on his face.
This summer is the first time I’ve really put my hands in the air and said we should just sell him.
But now, seemingly taking a leaf out of the newly reborn Theo Walcott, he’s surpassed his goal tally from last season (two). He’s scored five in all competitions. Three in three.
Typical Arsenal player, trying to make me look stupid and eat my words.
He’s looking confident, looking for the pass instead of holding onto the ball and just running into players only to get dispossessed. He also has a keen eye for goal, it seems.
Could this finally be the Ox’s year?
I really, really, genuinely hope so. Not necessarily for us but for him.