Arsene Wenger has said that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is learning from another English winger in the Arsenal squad, Theo Walcott. Walcott is enjoying an excellent season and The Ox is now in a rich vein of form after his impressive performance last night (via Arsenal.com).
The pair has both been criticised in recent seasons for never really fulfilling their potential. There are certainly parallels between Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and now it seems that both players are on the up.
Theo Walcott is Arsenal’s top scorer and is enjoying an excellent season. The winger has had a tough time in the last couple of years but now seems to really be showing the sort of form people were expecting of him as a youngster, particularly in front of goal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been very much in the same boat over the last couple of seasons but after his display last night, that looks to be changing.
“I think he has added some belief to his finishing,” Wenger said. “Now we have hope that whenever he has the ball, something can happen.
“He’s powerful but he also finishes well and he’s added that to his game. That’s certainly linked with confidence, hard work in training, and he looks to be following Theo Walcott in that way. They are lifting each other but they can also play on both flanks.”
The comparison between Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain seems fitting. Walcott’s best season prior to this one was undoubtedly 2012/13. He got 14 Premier League goals that year and was roughly the same age then that Oxlade-Chamberlain is now.
“He [Oxlade-Chamberlain] is not a young player anymore, he is now 23 and at 23 you become a football player who is the finished article.
“Before 23, you learn your job. At 23, you become more consistent, you know what’s expected of you, you know how to deal with the pressure, with the situation, with the competition inside the squad.
“He is more determined and he has worked a lot mentally you know, to be really focused and I think it comes out every day in training and now it is starting to come out in the games.”
Let’s hope that Wenger is right and Oxlade-Chamberlain really is taking a leaf out of Theo Walcott’s book. Arsenal fans would certainly be delighted to have a pacy, goalscoring English winger on either flank.