Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; the type of guy who would buy himself a new notepad and pen, title up all his assignments on various Microsoft Word documents – including adding a snazzy border – make a to-do list and then call it quits for the day without chipping away at that word count.
A job half done kinda guy; enough to not warrant a severe moaning but enough that you’ll roll your eyes behind his back, in the belief that he’ll eventually finish the job he set out to do.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) December 10, 2016
The Arsenal attacking-midfielder has six goals and five assists to his name, so far this season, and this has seen some people label this as form – which it isn’t. However, Ox – and most importantly, his agent – have been swept away in the nonsense, and decided to use the tiresome and not-so-subtle moan to the press to get the England international a new contract.
Wenger had revealed recently that the club and the Ox were in discussions over a new deal, but the former Southampton winger clearly feels this isn’t the case.
An ‘EXCLUSIVE’ no longer means what it used to in journalism. It’s basically a gentleman’s agreement between player/player’s agent and journalist that, if they run this story to get their client more money/move/new contract etc they will one day be rewarded with a genuine and huge story – this, of course, never happens; but the puppet show must go on.
The 23-year-old’s decline since the promise shown in the early days of his move from St Mary’s to the Emirates Stadium, has seen expectations and standards around Oxlade-Chamberlain lower, dramatically. We now live in world where six goals in 21 games – three of those goals came in the League Cup – and five assists, warrant describing Ox as a man in form, warrant a new contract and warrant a man that Arsenal can’t afford to lose.
Wenger has Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez as more pressing contract disputes to sort out. And even the likes of Per Mertesacker, Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs have a higher priority than a man who has thrown away chance after chance to prove himself.
Oxlade-Chamberlain always comes across as a sensible, grounded and decent chap. But, like most footballers, clearly lacks the ability of an honest self-assessment. And that has now left him with two choices: firstly, he could knuckle down and take note of Theo Walcott’s resurgence as a first-team starter at Arsenal or secondly, he could do what he’s doing now, getting unnecessarily carried away with his performances, lapping up his agent’s waffle and becoming the next Scott Sinclair.
Funny thing is, whatever the outcome of the Ox contract dispute, Arsene Wenger will come out looking like a fool; either Ox signs a new deal, which he doesn’t deserve, and stays at Arsenal without ever reaching the perceived potential he’s meant to have or Ox leaves and joins one of Arsenal’s rivals, doesn’t set the world alight, but they don’t need much to beat an honourable, respectful and wonderful older gent like Wenger, around the head with a stick, nowadays.