Jamie Redknapp has used his column in the Daily Fail to explain how he thought Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would have to leave Arsenal to further his career but now that he’s actually watched him he thinks he should be the future of Arsenal’s midfield.
The Ox has shone in a central role this season, as he has tended to do when played there during his time at Arsenal. In stinking form for a long time, the shift into the middle really seems to have helped him flourish again.
Arsene Wenger has always seen the Ox’s future in a more central role. “At the moment he is still in formation,” the boss said back in 2014. “It is good for his education as he plays left, right and centrally when needed. After 23 or 24 you settle in a definite position. [The Ox is 23 and-a-half, it’s almost like they have a plan at Arsenal]
“He will be deeper as he has a good long ball, penetration from deep and a good quality to distribute and penetrate individually. Certainly he has the same qualities to Steven Gerrard.”
So why did he put him on the flanks? He likes to do that, you might have noticed and he mentioned above. It’s about education. He also believes it helps players learn closer control as they have a much more confined area to operate in between the fullbacks and the sidelines.
Redknapp writes in his column: EARLIER in the season I argued that Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain might have to leave Arsenal to further his career. After watching his impressive display against Hull, I believe he could have a future at the Emirates in central midfield.
Although he has played mostly as a winger, Oxlade-Chamberlain has all the attributes to thrive in the middle. Against Hull he ran the game, tackling and passing well and running with great energy.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is a confidence player and he tends to retreat into his shell when fans get on his back for losing the ball. Performances like this will go a long way to silencing his critics.
His challenge is to do it in the big games — and they do not come much bigger than Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
Oh, and this weekend was the one his dad, ‘Arry, decided was the right one to declare that Tottenham will definitely finish above Arsenal this season. The next day, they were taught a lesson at Anfield.