Wenger: I rate Ox and want him to stay

Wenger confident on Oxlade-Chamberlain's future

Arsene Wenger says he’s surprised to hear reports that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wants to leave the club in the summer.

The Times claims the England international, whose contract at the Emirates ends in July 2018, will reject any new deal put on the table and will look to call time on his six years at the club at the end of the season. Furthermore, they state that Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez also want out.

“I haven’t seen that,” remarked Wenger when asked about suggestions that Chamberlain has said he feels ‘taken for granted’.

“I’m surprised by that because I believe that he has been developed well, he is developing well at the moment and he has been given his chance.

“When you are somewhere, you have to want to be there first. After that, the only thing I can say is that personally I rate him highly.

“I showed that in the way I keep faith in him when he spent long times out injured. He’s developing very well at the moment.

He added: “I personally wish that he stays at the club, because I think he’s a very promising player who has developed very well and who looks to me to have the values that we rate at this club.”

Chamberlain last put pen-to-paper in 2012 alongside fellow Brits Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson. Of that group only Ramsey is tied down past next summer.

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69 Comments on "Wenger: I rate Ox and want him to stay"

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What a mess.


Wenger has to come out soon and clarify what he’s doing. We can expect these guys to extend their contracts if there’s ambiguity around the clubs future.

Patrik Ljungberg

Can we?


Ha, that was supposed to say ‘can’t

Clive St Helmet

What a crock of shit. It might make a difference to us fans, but if my boss at work refused announce if he was going to renew his contact or not I wouldn’t give a fuck. And I like my boss, a lot. I just know that another boss will come along and manage me, and if I perform well I’ll be fine.


Weird we haven’t tied him down earlier but I guess it is a mixture of money and his injuries again.

He’s come on a lot in midfield, wasn’t working that well on the wing.


ramsey is more injured then ox and he got a new contract which I’m not against it but it had to be offered to the OX also.


His agents borrowing a trick from Walcott’s is all.


I wish. But I fear his agent is borrowing a trick from how he dealt with Sterling at Liverpool (it’s the same cuntish agent). I think he’s going to force a move in the summer, which will totally suck because a) he’s finally fulfilling his potential, after years of injuries and low confidence; b) with his dribbling, passing, and impressive physical power, he’s pretty much the only player we have who looks like they might solve the post-Cazorla problem of our central midfield, which in my opinion has been the biggest on-field reason we’ve collapsed so spectacularly in the last three months; also, c) with a year left on his contract, we won’t even get a top price for a player who should be sold for lots and lots of money indeed, given the “English premium,” and he’ll certainly go to another Premier League team, probably one of the Manchester clubs. To see him playing under Mourinho next season will make me want to puke.


I donno whether I agree with him finally reaching his potential. I mean, yes he has had a couple of okay games in the centre of midfield.. but in those games bar the Southampton result, we have lost away at Chelsea, Liverpool, Munich and obviously again at home to them. I wouldn’t say that he’s like hit this new level of performance. In all of those games he was just the best out of a bad bunch so its really hard to quantify with any real certainty that he’s turned a corner.

I definitely agree he has been mismanaged a lot, but with his really poor injury record, I suppose it is kind of difficult for Arsene to get a high level of performance out of him consistently. He seems to have a really poor run of form, then he somehow manages to pick up and show some consistency, but then he gets injured again and is subsequently out of the team for a long period.

So the jury is out for me on the Ox, I get that he no doubt has some serious technical ability, but I have to wonder whether he genuinely has the right mentality to be a top player. He seems to be far too self-critical, and he lacks so much confidence and belief in this own playing abilities at times. Maybe you could point the finger at Arsene for that, to a degree – for not installing the necessary level of arrogance and belief in him from an early age, but at the same time…. would he really be any better anywhere else? I don’t know. For me, I kind of get the feeling he will be one of those players that never really does anything with his playing career.


I have always been a fan of The Ox so forgive me if I am very partial. If he is having the best performance out of a bad bunch, it is not his fault that the players around him are not so good. Secondly, when players spend time on the bench, they tend to lose match fitness and focus, which is exactly what happened to him. He is a top player, he always finds that pass, and in the grand scheme of things, he is a guy to build a team around, if he stays fit.


That’s fair enough Toni. Some good points raised there. I’m just not sure that he is really going to achieve his full potential at Arsenal. I think there is a reason that he has been on the bench so much. I disagree that ‘he always’ finds that pass. I think he has it in his locker, but I don’t agree that he finds it all the time, because if that was the case, he would be a nailed on starter the whole time – but he isn’t. So I am really not sure about him.

Clive St Helmet

Massive fan of the Ox. IMO it’s more important to keep hold of him than our diva superstars. Definitely one for the future, plus he seems a top bloke and really quite switched on. Massive fan of his. I’d be gutted if he left.


I wish our club would borrow a trick from other big teams and offer deals to players they want to keep instead of letting them run down to the last year!


Yes, all I see it photos of Pochettino with a spud who has just signed a new long term contract, even though they weren’t near the end if the current one.

Why the hell are so many of our players down to 12 months left?

Blogs, please could you sort out my moderation issue?


Based off of 2015-16 season you would have given Ox a big raise?


Yes, but that’s because I always thought he could be a great CM 😉


Hope he stays coz there is defo a world class player in there somewhere.


No there isn’t.


Good argument.

Bould's Eyeliner

See you guys next week.

The Playmaker

Now that Ramsey and Ozil are back, Arsene might bench Ox or put him on the wings. And that will further reduce the chances of him signing an extension.


Well, he shouldn’t


If it is indeed true that Ozil is more likely to sign a new deal than Sanchez, then this story of Ox wanting to leave makes sense. Building the team around Ozil hasn’t worked thus far, and he will always be in the way of Ox/Ramsey/Jack/Iwobi/Jeff’s development as number 8’s. I


How does a 10 stop an 8s development


Also, Ozil can play in a front three if we adopt a three man midfield, which would be perfect for those young midfielders you mention, all of whom could thrive in a three man midfield. No problem, and I guarantee that him “wanting to leave” (i.e. his agent wanting to get his filthy hands on more money) has absolutely zero to do with whether Ozil or Sanchez sign new deals or not.

Faisal Narrage

Problem with the whole “Ozil can play on the wings” argument is that Ozil himself doesn’t want to play on the wings.

It was a big factor for why he came to Arsenal in the first place, because he himself admitted Arsene promised to play him in his favoured position of no.10 as he doesn’t like being shunted to the wing.


Yet he does it, pretty handily, for Germany.
Plus, in a mobile 3 man attack (and alongside the likes of Alexis and Welbeck, it would certainly be that, with lots of interchanging of positions), to say he’d be “on the wings” doesn’t really describe the role well. Does Coutinho play “on the wing” for Liverpool? Not really. Sure, he’s out there a fair amount of the time, but then Ozil already spends the most time on the flanks of any no 10 I can remember. He can do the job, and flourish, if we put the right people around him and give him a run of games to adjust.

DB's first touch

Because when you play with Ozil as a 10, both your midfield pivots have to play much closer to a 6 than an 8. This is why people keep saying that Ramsey needs to play with more positional discipline, which is essentially the same as saying that with him playing as an 8, it leaves us too exposed to counters (and potentially outnumbered in midfield at times).


That’s basically my point. Ox and Ramsey can both play with more freedom if they are allowed to thrive in their natural positions as 8’s. we need to think long term here, both of these guys could be at the club for the prime of the careers. We made a mistake building that club around expensive imports, we have to trim our British core to only the real first teamers in that group (Ox, Ramsey, Jack) and hope they can become the next leaders of that team a la Terry and Lamps at Chelsea and stay true to our Arsenal values.


I think there’s a very good footballer in there somewhere, but if you guys think Ramsey’s been struggling for over two years now because of Ozil, that seems like shifting the blame to a ridiculous degree. Ramsey had his best season as a professional playing behind Ozil. What changed after that was Rambo, not really wanting to play as an 8 at all, but closer to a 10: always ahead of the play, seemingly only concentrating on getting into the box. And his close control and passing has consistently been sloppy as well. So let’s not make him a victim here. Yes, he’s been unlucky with injuries, but when fit, he simply hasn’t played well enough, in any aspect of his game.

Having said that, I loved the 3 man midfield we started with against Bayern. Had a nice balance, provided both Ox and Ramsey are told they have to use their superior athleticism to track back as much as to bomb forward. But that’s not because Ozil wasn’t there; it’s because Arsenal weren’t playing with a 10 at all. I agree this tactical shift is the way forward, just don’t think it was Ozil holding these other guys back (and think he still has a role to play in the forward line). These guys will play better together in a proper midfield three because it allows us to play two of these “8’s”, and they can compensate for each others’ relative weaknesses (e.g. the Ox can bring the ball forward on the dribble in a way that Ramsey can’t). But even so, they still both need to play lots of defense (even if it’s “defending from the front” by high pressing) because Xhaka doesn’t have the mobility to provide defensive cover for the back 4 by himself.

DB's first touch

PFo…I pretty much agree with what you are saying. I wasn’t necessarily saying that it was Özil’s fault that Ramsey hadn’t replicated his best form. However, given that we have yet to find a player to dovetail with Ramsey as well as Arteta did AND that current tactics have evolved beyond the 4-2-3-1 (and that this no longer seems the best option for this team), playing with a true #10 is going to come at the detriment of the old fashioned box-to-box #8.

Lula da Gilberto

To be frank, I’d be more gutted if he left than if Alexis or Ozil left. Hope he stays.

We've done it again

You’d be more gutted if Ox left than if the world class players left? Wow!!

you gotta like it

Well it’s his opinion and It would hurt to see chambo go… very good player with more heart than Ozil and that is my opinion…… Wow!!!


It doesn’t have to be either/or. We don’t have to slag off one of our player to complement another one (that this seems to be what it’s come to among the Arsenal fan base is sad, really).
I personally will be sad to see any of them go, because they’re all good players. But I sympathize with the initial poster, because the Ox is considerably younger than the other two, because we’ve put in significant time developing him without reaping much reward for that in terms of his performances yet, and because he looks like he could help solve our midfield problems. He could be as important for us as Dembele is for Spurs. He’s got as much natural talent as any young English player of the last decade (including the very good but also massively overrated, and massively cuntish, Dele Alli). And if he now goes and becomes a key part of a winning team at United or City, that will be sickening.


World class egos, more like…

Heavenly Chapecoense

Are you trying to drain the swamp ?


While I dearly love Ozil, I would also be more upset if the Ox left. While we have


Sorry, my dog jumped on my keyboard. As I was saying, i think the Ox has finally started to turn a corner for us and is as actually trying to drag us forward. Unlike 90% of the squad at least he works hard and puts in a shift. I felt the same way about Joel Campbell. He wasn’t always amazing but he always put in a good hard shift and you need that in teams to be successful. You need to have players willing to do the dirty work to win things and we don’t have many of those players in our squad. The Ox would be a huge loss.


I liked the young Ox who use just keep his head down and just go straight at the opposition. It was same with theo. Both as they progressed that attitude got lost somewhere. Yes the first against bayern at emirates showed they had some fire and both never had double thoughts on their decision making but the thing that frustrates me and most of us is we always see a reactive Arsenal when things go wrong but cant maintain it for consistent period of time. For the last ten year if i had to chose the people who had right attitude going into everygame i would it were just two koscielny and sagna. Saw reports of us being intrested in mbappe never seen him play much but how different is he to ox . Again same thing going after a
player and developing instead of developing the right attitude with the talents we already have or buy talents who have the right attitude and talent. Missing out on xabi alonso , buying gervinho instead of hazard still irks me.


The Ox knows he is a better option for central midfield than anyone else available (apart from Santi) yet he gets routinely shunted around. He plays a few games in the middle but as soon as others are available he is sacrificed (which does back up his ‘taken for granted’ line).

Santi carries the ball through the middle third so players like ozil and Alexis are receiving the ball in the attacking third. Without him they are having to drop deeper to get the ball. The ox can solve that problem for us.

I’m willing to bet if a high calibre replacement comes in for Wenger (I’m not saying that’s right or wrong) he may well sign a new deal. I don’t for one minute believe that Wenger doesn’t want him to stay.


I don’t totally disagree with you about him being shunted around (though he’s had lots of injuries, and hasn’t always torn it up when given the chance), and of course he might genuinely feel frustrated, which I get.

But the “taken for granted” line is 100% agent speak, guarantee it. His agent’s capitalizing on the club being in a bit of disarray at the moment, both on and off the pitch, and on the fact that his client happens to have put a run of form together for the first time in ages, to make trouble for us. And we’ve been stupid enough not to offer him a new contract months ago, when it looked like he was finally starting to get some form back (he was sensational against West Ham, for instance, and that was before he was played in the middle). I’ve always thought the Ox seems like an intelligent, genuinely good, personable lad, so I hope, once Wenger or someone commits, and the club get their fingers out and offer him a new contract, that he tells his agent he wants to stay. But agents have a way of turning footballers heads in these scenarios.


Based off of 2015-16 season you would have offered him new contract with an increase in pay? I wouldn’t and yeah he’s playing the best I’ve seen him play in a long time. What if we did offer him a new contract with increased wages and he got injured again or struggled after signing? the reaction would be, why would you offer a contract when he has a history of injuries or inconsistent play until the summer where you can evaluate what he did during the season?


I really really do hate to say this, but Arsene Wenger sounds more and more like a used car salesman.

Arsene can still do great things in football and maybe even at Arsenal, just not as it’s manager anymore. Leave the club as the honourable gentleman that you are Arsene.


If you want him to stay why you don’t offer him a new contract and show him the commetment he deserves. Because it is arsenal way to run down the contracts to one year left as that is the max players can go with the wages of the first contract and arsenal is not offering players new contracts with 2 or more years left, as their are saving money as much as they can.

I’m sure that if last year new contracta were offered to alexis and ozil before the seaso. Starter or in the middle they would have signed them.


It was absolute lunacy to play Iwobi ahead of the Ox for even one game. I know crowd were getting on Ox’s back but nothing new there, we really do have the most ignorant fans. Wenger’s faith in Iwobi has killed our season along with Sanchez and Ozil not being as good as they think they are.


Dude, you accuse the fans of being ignorant, but then you come out with a staggeringly ignorant statement like “Iwobi killed our season”. He’s had ups and downs this season (still more ups than downs, I think), but that comment’s just silly.


To be perfectly honest I don’t not believe any of this current crop. Of players to be irreplaceable, not suggesting they should all go but this team has failed constantly over the last 3 or 4 years to fulfil their potential, there is room for improvement in every area and for that to happen players will have to be moved on.
There is not one player in this squad that would have been a regular starter in Wengers championship winning teams imo, that is the reason we are where we are at the moment.


To be a gooner. Ox has had a mixed season. So has a player like Ramsey. The good and the bad.

Now most fans would like to see Perez given a go but does it occur to them that despite his good return so far the reason he’s not starting enough is because we have to give these boys every chance possible. Deserved when they do well and a chance to redeem themselves over and over again when they are struggling.

Maybe players like Campbell and Perez just exist to fill in when these boys get injured and form whichever side counts for nothing.

Can’t always have it all.

Reality is we are stuck with a certain breed of players and irrespective of their form, we’ll always give them first priority (even out of position at that) .

There’s always another breed who irrespective of how well they perform will always wait on injuries not to get a chance but get minutes as they wait on the fitness of another player.
This type is disposable and Perez can be this year’s Campbell and we’ll simply buy a new chap once Perez eventually tires of the role.

For years you read stuff like “There’s real potential in there, if only he can do this and that and cut out this and that”. “If only he can rediscover his form of that six month spell way back in the day and does simple things and discipline and all ”
And come match day, that’s the player in the lineup ahead of a player actually delivering.

Point is we are to loyal and still want to develop players in one hand and then want to compete with a machine like Chelsea who have to have the finished product in every position and the bench too.

We end up wondering why we don’t win it. If the Chelsea machine breaks up, there will be a Man city waiting in the garage and maybe not before long Man united one.

We’ll still be giving our Coq a chance, waiting on the potential of some players, blaming some players for losing form (those expected to deliver throughout) and moaning about a Perez / Campbell not getting a chance while really not wanting them to take the place of our beloved who might or might never really reach the potential we assume.

PS. I don’t think Campbell was the solution of finished article but his form relatively deserved more game time

Faisal Narrage

One could argue building a team whereby young folks are merely handed the opportunity just based on their potential whilst those with less but greater work ethic is exactly why we never win stuff. Hard work beats talent, as they say.

Maybe a team built on a fabric of those believing they have to fight for every given moment and must ascend their limitations by developing in other areas of their skillset (improve reading of the game, work better as a unit, be more defensively aware, physically work harder) would produce a championship-winning character, who when faced with obstacles are able to overcome them, because they have an experience of overcoming things all of their life, that it becomes part of their nature.

Shoot, awful as they are this season, look how it worked for Leicester. Imagine having that level of attitude along with the CURRENT level of talent we have, where we would be.

Sometimes it feels some of these players play as if they have nothing to lose. They don’t have a chip on their shoulder. Guys like Perez, who had to fight their way to the top, always feel they have everything to lose. Sanchez for all of his talent, has the same feeling.


I’ll be gutted if Ox stays. He consistently makes big mistakes and inconsistently does anything good. His giveaway for first goal at Chelsea perfect example: passes up easy pass to sprinting Bellerin for dicey Orion in crowded midfield. Instead of arsenal break Chelsea goal, Bellerin hurt, game over. If Arsenal want to be first class they need first class players. That’s not Ox (or Walcott or Gibbs or Ramsey…)


Um, are you sure that was even the Ox. I seem to recall that was Coquelin.


Just the media trying to fuel the dissent.

Unfortunately many Arsenal fans are all too susceptable.

Alexis could be an issue this summer. He looks like he doesn’t think the rest of the squad has the same appetite (or work rate) as he does and he has a point.

Ozil I think may be dependent on Wenger. He might give the gaffer due respect should he stay on for a transitional period otherwise he may get his head turned. They will be no shortage of suitors.

Ox I’ve never felt will be an issue. Depends on how much more time he gets IMO but he isn’t lazy and is making a strong case for himself particularly in midfield next to Granit where we are short on options and Coquelin just doesn’t seem to be able to adjust to the Swiss.

Again, if Wenger wants him to stay, he likely will.

The last thing we want is to be in a position to have to replace all our key players. It will be rebuilding all over again.

This is a real danger we must try to avoid.

Whether its Wenger or a new gaffer, they should build on the merits of the current team and address the shortfalls. As much as it has been frustrating (and largely because of) we are not far from competitive as it seems.

These things hinge on minute details that can make a massive difference.

Look at Chelsea last season or Leicester this season.

Sure you may point to Conte but City brought in Guardoila, United Mourinho with mixed results.

Best for us to take stock closer to end of the season. We have a lot to do still till then.


At last some one sensible.

I totally agree with you.

Wenger's Pink Slip

Ozil’s replacement hopefully.


I know he has been playing really well recently but still so Arsenalesuqe fan thing to say we need him more than Ozil and Sanchez and why he didn’t get new contract before. If I remember it correctly, few months ago you could have found comments on Arseblog that he didn’t really developed like he should have. We ought to wait to see what happens this season and if it is like last ones he should go. Those were the words of many many Arsenal fans including me. I want him too.

My point is we are always concluding things too soon. This season went very wrong only since 31.1.. The lack of chemistry (and confidence) in that team is the biggest problem today. We fans (those protest, abusing players, manager…) and media are at fault for that too. This season was a progress a performance wise. We were 21 games unbeaten. Remember? We need to beat that crisis which it came because of the tenses in the team and not because of lack of quality or bad mentality. Media destroyed our season. We wouldn’t be champions obviously because Chelsea (No Europe, no injuries… big difference) has the “perfect” season but we wouldn’t be in this situation.

DB's first touch

While it is nice to see fans having a positive attitude towards Ox (or any Arsenal player for that matter) for a change, I’m a bit surprised to see so many decrying the fact Arsenal haven’t yet secured Chambo signature on a new contract. It seems that it was only last summer that the arseblog news comment boards were filled with people wanting to cut Chambo loose, arguing he was over-rated, never likely to fulfill his potential and too injury prone to be a useful player. Fast forward 7 months or so and suddenly everyone is mad that Arsenal didn’t extend his contract a year ago, letting a player enter into the final 18 months of his contract before initiating negotiations. This was a make-or-break season for Ox, with Arsenal understandably wanting to see if he could kick on in his development and stay relatively injury free before offering him a new deal…given the situation, we should be happy that Ox has made the most of his chances and strengthened his case for a new contract.

DB's first touch

I’ve noticed that all my comments always get flagged for moderation…any idea why that might be? Don’t mean to complain as I generally am a big fan of everything arseblog, but it would be nice to be able to comment ‘in real time’.


I have the same problem.


Sorry – we have some issues. Noting personal. Will look into it for you

DB's first touch

no worries Blogs, thanks for looking into it!


I’ll be gutted if Gnabry is allowed to leave – oh did he see the future under the weak old fool


If he was “world class” material he would have established himself by now, which he didn’t, and he woud’ve been offered a new contract. Sadly he’s not, just another one trick pony, a bulkier Walcott if you like and I don’t think we can wait another 7 years to see where he goes…he’s a nice guy but that doesn’t bring us goals and assists.


Even though Ox has made mistakes, I can see his potential as a replacement for Santi in the middle. obviously he’s not nearly as skillful but his style of play is vital in his absence. He’s looking for Wenger to give him an extended run in the side the same way he always played Rambo even when he had a dip in form. I hope he gives him a new contract and new role at the club.

I’d rather we sell Ozil and use that money to buy a true wing forward like Dembele of Dortmund who will be happy to play in their ‘natural’ role and fill the gap left by Ox’s departure from the wing to CM a la Stevie G / De Bruyne.


I totally disagree @74. The Ox has been hindered by lengthy injury issues, usually just when his potential begins to materialise on the pitch. I want him to stay. No way is he a one trick pony, and the goals that he has scored have been class..


Plus he is a team player, unlike some others in the team.


Just listen to the waffle on the Arsecast.

Again a lot of wishful thinking :

1) All this criticism about poor player management because we should have signed Ox earlier…well start of season he was in erratic form and when he played his final ball was always a problem. In fact the cry then was why was Wenger persisting with him. Its a bit rich to suggest now that when Wenger had to switch him to the middle and he has suddenly stepped up that Wenger has been amiss and should have not waited so long on contract negotiations.

2) On the matter of players not wanting to come to Arsenal because of dressing room ‘issues’…again I can’t see that as a problem. Firstly that may not last. Secondly Chelsea had dressing room issues with Conte and the worked through it/Conte got praised for his management. Wenger is working through the same issue presently. You can’t have double standards.

3) With regards statements from the board, no amount of statements will satisfy some of our crowd (who are classless) bar the board saying they will sack Wenger at end of season, so what do you really want the board to say? They are doing the right thing in saying as little as possible and and saving this discussion to end of season because the last thing you want right now is to destabilise the manager and his team.

I think you need to get people to come on your show with a bit more mental clarity.

Crash Fistfight

Maybe you should go on the podcast – you seem to have all the answers.