Wenger: We must use The Ox wisely


Arsene Wenger has hinted that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could feature more regularly in the Premier League in the near future and stressed that if the midfielder performs well, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be included in Fabio Capello’s England plans for Euro 2012.

Perhaps learning from the huge media storm caused by Theo Walcott’s inclusion in the World Cup squad for the 2006 World Cup, and the intense pressure that was placed firmly on his young (and injury prone) shoulders, the boss did also stress that there was little to be gained by capping a player who did not have the right experience.

“I would like to see [him go to Euro 2012] but let’s go step by step,” said the boss. “I think in England you always take the fast track. To go to the European Championships you need experience in the Premier League so it is important he gets that first.

“He is not far [from being ready for the Premier League]. At the moment we have been quite consistent with the team we put out because we are on a good run and have had no injuries.

“I believe he is still in a period where training every day with top players is important for him to improve. He has quality when he plays in games – he is not fazed by the importance of them. He’s the kind of personality that makes you think he can play on the big stage.

“You have seen him already before Christmas and I have no restrictions at all. For me, if I need him he will play. I don’t think it is too early for him to play anymore.”

Having openly admitted that excluding Walcott from his World Cup 2010 squad was a mistake, it seems unlikely that Capello will leave the in-form winger behind for a second successive tournament. The question that the Italian really has to ask himself is whether he is  also willing to take a risk on The Ox; a player whose talent is as raw and tasty as steak tartare.

If Arseblog News were fond of a flutter (and we are, just ask our friends PaddyPower…hint, hint), we’d bank on AOC probably staying closer to home next summer and being selected by Stuart Pearce for the Team GB Olympic side.

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14 Comments on "Wenger: We must use The Ox wisely"

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Ian allinson's tache

Release the ox!


Madness!! Extend his contract instead..


The Ox is the future – but hopeless, useless Wenger obviously can’t see it yet.

With Wenger’s record of doggedly sticking to players who can’t or won’t do the business (Almunia, Arshavin, Denilson, Eboue, Bendtner etc) we will have to probably wait until next season before he gets his head out of his backside, smells the coffee and gives Alex a regular starting place. But the Ox is ready now!

With so much dross still in our squad, why can’t we actually use one of the few players who is real quality?

By the way: why can’t we send Park back to Korea now to do his National Service? It would save time – and money.


Is this the same Wenger who has played young players when he’s felt they are ready and not before? The same Wenger who has played Wilshere, Frimpong, Coquelin, Miquel, etc… when they have the skills and mental attitude to do well? If not, then please can you let me know which Wenger you are talking about….


December 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm
The Ox (as he is now internationally known) is learning how to defend on the training ground. I am sure as an Arsenal supporter you want to admire him for both going forward and also helping his team in the defence (as Arsene said …even Messi does it). Alex is very young and has many years ahead of him…. he will shine in The World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Time is the master.

Furthermore: JW19- Wilshere went to loan, so did The Coq and both learnt more about the game and came back ready for action. Frimpong have not been on loan and played because of Song absence (and got sent off)… and Miquel gave Liverpool a goal in the PL. Football is not only about going forward… but also about defending…. The Ox is learning that… and personally I saw a marked improvement from him since the Bolton and Shrew games… to the Man City game. However if Arsene is prepared to play Arshavin; who bless him “cannot defend” why not release the Ox with 15 minutes to go (only when we are wining by two clear goals)

BUT ….We the British ALWAYS want everything now…. and once that “now “falls apart we moan. Michael Owen is a great example of wanting it now…. and at present at about 30 year old (the prime of his footballing life)… is the forgotten man… so much so… it’s no longer back page news when he is injured.

Also : re your point about Arsene ethos of blooding young players…. have you thought that Arsene is showing caution for the first time with the Ox… because with Cesc… he fell apart at 22 years ( hamstring injuries), Wilshere…. broken elements in his foot, Theo ( who has a footballing brain… but was a shy and sensitive boy and was propelled unto the world stage and got stage fright…. he is now a man ( I’m seeing the difference). I think Arsene is using difference tact with the Ox.

Finally I am prepared to wait for the Alex in the 2012/13 PL year….when mark my word….. He will shine.


However good the OX is, and he’s fantastic now and I’m sure will have a great career in the long run – there’s no one better than Wenger at giving the youngsters chances to shine and be successful. Wenger may not be a great manager to some, might be stubborn to others and he does things that irritate some of his biggest supporters but if you say he can’t see the talent in a youngster and give him opportunities when he’s ready…I’m baffled.

If you said he played too many youngsters – YES
If you said he gave players who are not that good too many chances -YES

But I can’t think of one young prospect that was not given a proper run out and left the club to have a fantastic career elsewhere. There were obvious talents that went to waste for one reason or the other and there’s a number of guys in the PL and lower leagues who have given a good account of themselves but no one I can point to and say, oh if only Wenger had seen that he was ready and given him a chance earlier!

To further my point, Denilson looked like a top prospect in his first 4 games and then he hit a plateau for about 10 games and ever since then he’s gone downhill with maybe 5 minutes of good play over 3 seasons! While Alex Song looked like a hopeless player for his first few seasons and is now one of our top top performers and integral to the side. Criticize Wenger all you want for his numerous flaws but spotting youth talent and using them fairly is definitely not one of his weaknesses!

And what good does it do to send Park away now (even if possible)? There’s no replacement possible until January and if anything I think he’s more likely to do something than Chamakh this season. We do need quality backup to RVP of course but I don’t think Park will go anywhere. More likely it’ll be Arshavin who leaves in January.


I man, I wish I could see what you said there. I hate how you can’t see the blocked comments on the iPhone.

Eric Irish gunner

Ye load of bollox everyone has drifferent opinions that are not liked by all, should not be blocked unless racist or abusive


I would like to see him in see him in RAMBO’S position when he comes in the red zone.Seems like Ramsey is enjoying a free role which is clearly helping him he’s getting back to his best , the same approach should be done with the OX make him an allround player.

Cygan's Left Foot

I agree with Mr Wenger, we should be careful with him, but at the moment I would love to have him as a sub and coming off the punch instead of Arshavin.


[…] we are left waiting patiently for Diaby, who got injured yet again, to recuperate and start showing us what he is capable of. Frankly, I adore the lad. Lanky, […]


We must also use the Coq wisely.

Whenever I hear grown men shouting “Release the Coq!” in my general vicinity, I get slightly worried. Terrified, even.


Arsene sees Ox in training and would know better than any of us whether or not he’s ready for a starting place. Having managed our club for so long and having brought through many young talents I don’t doubt his ability to notice when a player is ready to to be a starter. For now I think that Arsene might use him more as a sub have him in the squad and available to come on if we need him. He says he doesn’t think it’s to early for him to play in the league games anymore so I think we can count on him making more appearances. He says we’ll use the Ox when we need him.