Paul Merson thinks Oxlade-Chamberlain is lucky to get in the England squad, and wouldn’t be in the squad in one of the past eras of better players.
Oxlade-Chamberlain put in another average-at-best performance against Slovenia, kicking a water bottle in frustration when he was subbed off with a third of the match to go, but Merson thinks the Ox should count himself lucky he’s starting in the first place.
Speaking before the game, Merson told Sky Sports (via Metro): “You look in midfield and Oxlade-Chamberlain will be very fortunate to play. In my day and age he wouldn’t even be in the squad.
“That’s the problem now, the squad virtually picks itself. There’s not a huge amount of depth and it is harder to get out of the squad than it is to get in it.”
With Jack Wilshere returning to form and Oxlade-Chamberlain having a dreadful month and a half, the former Gunner will have to step up his game in England’s final qualifier (assuming he’s picked).
From what I’ve seen, no one in Liverpool’s first-team is playing as badly as Alex is either, so his chances to prove himself may keep dwindling if he stays on the bench.
Seven games into the league season, Ox has only been on the winning side against one team. Once against Leicester for Arsenal, and once against the Foxes again for Liverpool.
Even matches against Leicester haven’t been a safe haven for the Ox, as he was widely mocked on social media for his efforts in the League Cup defeat to the same side.
It’s still early days on Merseyside, but he’ll need to show something to fans sooner or later or things could go from bad to worse.