Wenger: Ox must listen to his body

Wenger: Ox must listen to his body

Arsene Wenger says Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s chances of featuring in the FA Cup final hang in the balance with the player set to undergo tests on his troublesome groin in the next couple of days.

The 20-year-old midfielder last featured for the Gunners as a substitute in the 3-0 win at Hull City but hasn’t been able to shake off a problem that has also cast a shadow on his inclusion in England’s World Cup squad.

“If he gets over the next three or four days, he will be available. If he doesn’t, then we have to rest him and see. The next three or four days will be vital for him,” Wenger told press yesterday.

With Roy Hodgson set to announce his provisional squad for the World Cup on Monday, the boss warned that his young charge shouldn’t be risked if he’s not in a fit state to perform to his strengths.

“He is desperate to go [to Brazil], and who wouldn’t be? But we are in a job where your body responds or it doesn’t respond.

“If it doesn’t respond… the body is always stronger. In the end, you need your body to play football.

“He can only go to the World Cup if he is completely fit. It wouldn’t be helpful for England for him to go there and not be 100% fit.”

It’s been a frustrating season for the Ox, who having missed four months of the season with a knee problem, came back strongly in January, February and March only for this latest setback to again stunt his progress.

Given the pitfalls of coming back too soon it looks as though he should now focus on being ready for England’s training camp in Miami in a few weeks rather than the FA Cup final. From an Arsenal point of view we should have enough quality to cover his absence.

That’s not Arseblog News promoting international duty above domestic responsibilities, we just think the Ox – should he be picked by Hodgson – deserves a bit of luck after a bad year and could well use the World Cup as a building block for next year.

25 COMMENTS

  1. The Ox might end up making a better striker than Theo. Much as it pains me to say it, there is something of the Rooney about him.

    Would be great if he has a run at the first team without having to worry about injuries but like any player he’ll be busting a gut to get on the plane to Brazil. Fair play, but as long as he comes back fighting fit. ‘Mon the Ox!

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    • Please don’t ruin this post by mentioning that old Shrek.
      But yeah, you’re right. He’s got the flare and spirit that I remember last seeing in Cesc.Fantastic prospect.
      Hopefully he will come back stronger than ever.

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    • I dunno.

      The Ox works hard, has a drive to improve and doesn’t look like an ogre; apart from that, maybe.

      In all seriousness, he doesn’t play like a striker but then again he does have similar attribute to Tevez imo and he makes a decent striker, either way the Ox is a talent.

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      • I was thinking of the rasping shot, the balance, the strength, the nuggety determination, the directness and willingness to take risks, more than the spudulike features of Wazza, to be honest. The Ox doesn’t dive either so looks and ethics are two areas he’s already ahead of the spud faced one

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        • Yeah, those are attributes shared by most of the top players these days though, even the fancy ones have a fair bit of power and drive. I don’t disagree in general, both talents and well developed physically when they were young (Ox still is, but you get the picture).

          Although, I have seen the Ox ‘make sure the ref sees fouls’ which is a close relation to diving but not as bad as Rooney’s love for throwing himself down.

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      • Walcott is a much better finisher than Chamberlain though, at least in my opinion. An example would be the game against Tottenham.

        He has everything else though, and with time he can improve his finishing. :)

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        • Can you really blame a guy for doing everything he can to play in the biggest tournament in the world. Must be hard to be as rational as Wenger always wants from his youngsters when they are young and just want to play

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        • but they’re not just youngsters, if they accept a professional contract worth millions, they better be professional. I don’t think it’s too much to demand on them, as something like, “take care of your health.” It’s required in pretty much every other industry that involves young talent.

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  2. I can’t see Ox as a striker, but definiately a box to box type midfielder; receiving the ball from the centre halves then driving forwards. His range of passing is excellent. I remember the game Vs Shrewsbury in the League Cup a few seasons back – he sprayed the ball around brilliant in the middle.

    As much as I’m excited for England and the World Cup – I really do not want Jack or Alex to go. They are still in the recovery stages of their injuries – everything seems rushed and last minute.

    They are both in the very early 20s and have at least 2/3 more World Cups in them.

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    • Missing out on a WC can crush your confidence, and going to a WC can boost it. And we all know the difference confidence can make. (Ramsey) Not to mention it gives you experience of playing big games in another country when everyone is expecting you to perform.

      So I hope they get called for it.

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  3. Look at Theo – he has excelled since not being a part of the 2010 finals in my opinion…

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  4. I’ve always thought AOC could play just about wherever he wants. He’s a young, fairly raw player whose main attributes are pace and power, along with decent technique, a fine shot and a great work ethic. Obviously he’s not going to be a member of the back five, but those are key features of any position in the midfield or up front. The question is how he adapts his game. Arsene will have a big say in this because Arsene chooses where he plays, so he’ll probably become a midfielder. But he’s got an eclectic enough range of abilities to play anywhere.

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    • What, only ‘decent’ technique? Did you not see him tearing Bayern apart with his dribbling at pace?

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  5. Speaking of tevez….why not? And I know this is gonna sound crazy…..but….but….Torres? I think hed tick in our team. Chelsea was the wrong move for him. Still does his bit for the team but whenever I watch chelsea their service is always shite and always the opposite to what torres needs. In behind defence. They always make him hold it up. Which he does quite well. Any thoughts?

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    • He’s getting old, for a striker. With his wages he wouldn’t represent value for money. And I’m pretty sure he’s kind of lost his poaching instinct. Great player, for a while in the past.

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  6. Not a striker for me. Will end up through the middle as an attacking midfielder. Good winger at the moment but I believe he’s more of a driving force creator than a ‘crosser’.

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    • I don’t think he will end up as an attacking midfielder. For one there are too many other candidates in our squad and his skill set is more suited to the box 2 box role
      So, yeah wings or box to box

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  7. hope he gets fit comes off the bench in fa cup last 20 gets a goal witch he deserves he’s played well in our cup run ! Hope he goes to world cup he is a very good asset to the England team ! I think we are going to have to use the squad more in this world cup because of the conditions !

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  8. When he started out he seemed a very similar to Theo but with more power. Seems to me he has been spending time with Rosicky as he now likes advanced positions in the middle and looks to burst past with a quick turn of pace and power rather than just lurking and waiting to run and cross. He will be a top class player imo

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  9. Ox is a fantastic talen but I don’t see him as an out-and-out striker. As others have mentioned above, he’s either a winger or a box-to-box midfield (a la Ramsey) for me. He’s got amazing pace and ball control, and I especially love that he will run at a defender and take them on. I’m of two minds as to his participation in the WC; mostly, I hope he just has an injury free summer and comes back to us next fall in top shape.

    I honestly think by the time he retires, we’ll be talking about statues for him.

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  10. Although Ox, no listening to your hand. Next time your left appandage is saying to you ‘I can reach that shot’ remember to respond with ‘I am not a goalkeeper, my arm does not get an overriding vote on this matter’

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  11. Just going back on a few comments re the ‘box to box’ midfield role. When you consider all the midfielders given that tag down the years the majority have been a big component of their respective teams attacking prowess. Think Bryan Robson, lothar Mattheus, Frank Lampard, Aaron Ramsey. Hence why I say attacking midfielder.

    Box to box midfielders are in essence attacking midfielders for me, yes Ramsey (current example) does the defensive work well but he’s been phenomenal in the final 3rd and that’s where I want to see him on the whole; controlling the middle of the park, with creativity, good passing, runs into the box, an eye for a goal and tackle. And that’s where I want to see Chamberlain ply his trade. Leave the sitting and real defensive work to a specialist in that area.

    So ‘box to box’ is a term I don’t quite like, if your box to box midfielder had no impact in the oppositions’ final third what would be the point, we all want to see our ‘box to box’ midfielders create, influence our threat going forward and ultimately score a few goals right?

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  12. Another of our young players to keep an eye on is Joel Campbell.

    As I recall, there were a number of voices very critical of Dick law chasing the Costa Rican.

    He is quick and can add an option to wide areas if (should) Ox play more centrally.

    His distribution is excellent from crosses and his finishing is on course to being an alternative for Podolski’s in a couple of seasons.

    and we paid a pretty penny for him.;)

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