I will miss the Ox
Ox’s introduction to the Liverpool faithful, in his new Liverpool kit, and made at the England camp hurt me.
He wanted to leave, granted. And it’s understandable how he wanted to move.
But it bothered me since it’s a waste.
When he arrived, he was the next big thing, seemingly.
He had a mammoth performance vs. Man United (when ironically a current Arsenal player scored against us and I wonder who “dat guy” was, I cannot remember…) and in the Champions League vs. AC Milan.
However, he to be frank never realised that potential.
I believe it’s more our fault than his.
No fixed position
I believe he never got the chance to structure a fixed position.
Towards the end of 16/17, he played very capably as a right wing-back. However, he has played as a more orthodox winger, a central midfielder, a right-back, and a left wing-back.
He has the responsibility for his own career, ultimately. Though Wenger has not contributed to this, and at 24, he needs a steadier environment.
I can fully empathise with him, since he should be in his prime now.
Most top players by 24 have a fixed identity/position. In our current team, Ozil did. Alexis, Koscielny, Xhaka, Ramsey, Theo, Lacazette, Giroud, Welbeck, etc. all were in their current roles at that age. The Ox, reaching the prime of his career, has not found himself “footballingly” yet. He does well for England, but at club level he hasn’t.
At Liverpool, he may well do so, and get in their midfield. He was primed to leave, and good luck to him.
It could be that the environment at Arsenal is pretty stale for him.
Wenger seems great to play under. And there are top players such as Alexis, Ozil, Lacazette, etc.
But then he has become stale, and he needed a change. Liverpool, as a club with a fresh manager, good young players, and Champions League football, is a good offering. Liverpool, in my mind is a bigger club than we are (only by virtue of more European trophies) but they do look more progressive. If Rodgers were still there, there is no way he would join them. It’s about a non-progressive environment, and again good luck to him under Klopp, as he may experience the exact opposite.
Reflects badly on us
It reflects poorly on us that he has left.
As per Cesc, Nasri, van Persie, and potentially next year Alexis, Ozil, or even Ramsey.
It’s evident that we require change, and once we do, we can retain our top players, and regain the heights that we wish to.
So to you, Mr. Oxlade-Chamberlain, I’m sorry it didn’t work out at Arsenal. But I wish you the best at Liverpool. At least you have already got acquainted with the stadium this season, in a way….
Well Marble Halls I hope you have you flack jacket on!!!