Wednesday, 28 September 2011

How much can Oxlade Chamberlain contribute to Arsenal this season?

More than I thought when we signed him that's for sure. I've just watched him play about an hour against a Champions League side (OK, not the best one- but still a decent side) and cause them a lot of trouble with his pace, flair and direct dribbling and running. Not to mention his very well taken goal.

If you compare him to Walcott, as everybody seems to be doing, when Theo was 18 (OC's age now) you would say Chamberlain is the better player. He's got pace, which Walcott also had and still has, but he's got better technique than Walcott did, better decision making ability and is a better finisher by the looks of things. He can make a pass better than Theo could, he looks more creative and maybe even more confident too.

He didn't just beat players tonight, he breezed past them with confidence as well as pace and skill. He took his goal excellently and passed the ball well too. He looks like he can contribute a lot more than what I, as well as most other Arsenal fans I imagine, thought when we signed him in August. I thought £12 million rising to £15 million was a lot for an 18 year old, and now I see why we paid it.

He could be a useful under- study to Walcott on the right, or maybe more than that. He could also be a useful player to bring off the bench when we need a goal, with his pace, finishing and delivery all bound to be hard for opposition defences to cope with.

The most exciting thing is that he will only get better. He will become a better decision maker, a better user of the ball and a better passer and finisher for example. He already has talent and his talent will surely only increase year by year. and he's only 18, who knows, we could be enjoying his eye- catching performances and runs for a decade or more.

Elsewhere, I thought Santos and Song also stood out tonight in what was an important win, and not one than should be under- estimated as they were a decent side, more dangerous than I thought they would be. OK, we only helped and encouraged them with that during the first half but we got much better in the second half and overall, looked the more likely team to score and we didn't really look like conceding.

An important win and one that showed our strength in depth. We had Wilshere, Vermaelen, Gervinho, Walcott, Benayoun and Diaby all out tonight with van Persie, Gibbs and Ramsey rested on the bench and we still won and played well for spells.

Match Ratings:

Szczesny- 7

Sagna- 7
Mertesacker- 7
Song- 8
Santos- 8

Frimpong- 7
Rosicky- 7
Arteta- 8 (gets +1 for the goal- line clearance)

Oxlade- Chamberlain- 8- MOTM
Chamakh- 7
Arshavin- 5

Ramsey- 6
van Persie- 6
Gibbs- 6

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