With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain enjoying the freedom given to him by Jurgen Klopp, was Arsene Wenger’s way too restrictive?
Chamberlain has acknowledged the differences between Arsenal and Liverpool a few times this season already.
However, this time, he’s given an interesting insight into how Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klopp differ as coaches.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, Chamberlain said:
“I think the other main thing is how positive he is and how he wants his players who are good at shooting, are good at dribbling, he pushes you to keep doing those things always. I think that maybe why you see our shooting stats are always quite high!
“But it’s nice to see that from a manager, because some managers only want you to shoot when it’s maybe ‘right’, whereas this manager wants you to make the decision and whatever it is he deals with it, he’s happy with it, he encourages it.”
It’s likely that Chamberlain is referring to Wenger’s patient, possession approach and his emphasis on not rushing or wasting attacks.
It’s well-known that Wenger discourages his players from shooting from distance or from odd angles. Instead, he wants them to work the ball until a clear opportunity arises.
The logic behind this is simple: shots from distance have a much lower chance of going in, hence taking a lot of them isn’t efficient.
It’s one of the few instructions Wenger sends his players out with.
Klopp clearly feels differently. He wants to put the opposition under pressure all the time and blitz them with shots from everywhere.
It’s a less efficient approach, but one that encourages his forwards to be proactive and threatening.
Such an approach might suit Chamberlain more, as he was always a spontaneous player.
His best moments always came when he could be explosive, while he struggled with a more measured style of play.
It could be that he was never suited to Arsenal’s style and wasn’t able to fully adapt it despite spending six years at the club.
Let’s see if he can adapt at Liverpool…once he gets off the bench regularly, of course.