Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has said that he believes the team could have won the game against Liverpool and that he is disappointed that they were unable to see it out. The England international, who is mainly used as a winger by the Gunners, was forced to play as a central midfielder alongside Flamini due to the injury crisis at the club.
The player revealed that manager Arsene Wenger told the team to focus on the second half and to secure the victory. While the Gunners did manage to take the lead thanks to Olivier Giroud, they were unable to hold on to it and conceded the equaliser in the 97th minute.
Speaking to arsenal.com, the player said:
It’s really disappointing for us. I don’t think we played that well today, but sometimes you need to win those games when you don’t play well, especially away from home at a hard place at Anfield.
Liverpool set the tempo in midfield. They closed down really well but we had to expect that. We saw it out until nearly half-time and it was a blow to go 1-0 down but we responded well.
The manager said that if we came out well in the second half by building on the goal we got late on, that we’d have a good chance of winning the game.
To be 2-1 up so late on, we’re really disappointed we weren’t able to see it out.
The game not only revealed the inherent weaknesses in our defence, it also showed how badly the injury crisis has affected us. Both Debuchy and Chamberlain were playing out of position, and players like Mertesacker and Chambers seemed not quite prepared. It is the long fixture list and lack of rest that is taking its toll on the players and all we can hope for now is that the team is adequately reinforced over the January transfer window. This will allow the first team players to be rotated and get some much needed rest, or else the vicious cycle of injuries and fatigue will continue throughout the season.