Does Chambo deserve an extended run in the side?

Judging on purely talent and technical ability, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would always be an assured starter on the right hand side of our attack, with the left side well and truly occupied by Sanchez. However, due to injury at Sheffield Wednesday, a return and a loss of form, he had fallen behind the pecking order to Walcott and Joel Campbell. So to see him given a start away to Bournemouth was nothing less than a surprise considering the magnitude of the game.

However, if we were to take a look at the previous game, the decision puts things into a little more context. Campbell’s last game at Southampton didn’t make for great “statistical” reading – before his substitution Campbell managed the following:

 

Campbell’s Numbers against Southampton

Shots Passing Chances created Crosses Take on Tackles
1 77% 0 0 2 20%

Not exactly effective! If we compare this to Sanchez on the opposite flank we can begin to understand why he was a candidate for substitution. He has performed admirably in recent weeks, but as they say “You’re only as good as you’re last game”.

 

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Sanchez’s numbers against Southampton

Shots Passing Chances created Crosses Take on Tackles
5 83% 5 3 9 40%

The change was not much of a surprise at all. The decision was further vindicated by a good overall performance and a fine taken goal by Chambo for Arsenals second. Nonetheless did the performance warrant a further stay of execution?

 

The Ox is a bundle of pace, power and strength and will frighten the life out of any full back. What lets him down, (again witnessed at Bournemouth) is his knack of losing the ball in dangerous areas and his decision-making – although he will always remain a constant threat when going forward.

 

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Ultimately what will determine his place in the side is our favourite word “consistency”. If The Ox can again reach the level he did against Manchester United away in the FA Cup, with his wonderful assist, in that game and during that period then he will be a key component in the last leg of this title race. Campbell stayed in the side not only because of his tremendous work rate but because of his crucial goals & assists. Players in the final third are ultimately judged on their contribution, hopefully for Oxlade-Chamberlain it’s onwards and upwards from here.

 

 

 

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