Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has spoken about his positive season so far and revealed how he’s developed into the forward we see today.
In the past, the winger has struggled to get regular minutes on the pitch and also with lapses in form, which have only been worsened by being injury prone. Last season, the Ox only scored once in 22 Premier League appearances.
This campaign, he’s scored twice and assisted four times in the league, while also scoring four in the EFL Cup and Champions League.
Speaking to Arsenal Magazine, the 23-year-old explained that he believes his new style on the pitch is down to finally realising he’s a winger, not a midfielder.
“In the past maybe where I’ve been more of a midfielder than a forward, I was more used to coming to the ball and wanting to get the ball, so I was picking up the ball maybe in deeper positions and not in behind the defence, which is obviously where you’re the biggest threat,” he said.
“This year I’ve just worked mostly on making runs in behind and just trusting the boys to find you with balls over the top. That’s when you unlock them and when you’re most dangerous so I think for me personally, what I’ve worked on the most this season is not coming towards the ball as much.
“That wasn’t always a natural part of my game. As I said, being more of a midfielder I was always more lingering on the edge of the box for the ball to come back out or being the person that’s crossing the ball, so I’ve tried to work on getting into more dangerous positions and scoring more goals this year.”
Interestingly, the Ox hasn’t exactly been on fire this season so the fact that his stats are going in the right direction is promising. His dithering on the ball, or ‘lingering’ as he puts it, has infuriated Gooners for a couple of seasons so it’s encouraging to hear he’s trying to stamp that out.
He’s out of contract in 18 month’s time and while it’s up to him whether he wants to stay, I’m sure the club will want to keep him on if he can rack up some more goals.