Arsenal: Englishman waits on new deal; Legend on Wenger 'kindness'; Bellerin challenges Bolt
Arsenal might be pulling out all the stops to get Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez to sign new contracts, but they have a more relaxed attitude when it comes to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
According to The Independent, Arsene Wenger was prepared to let the former Southampton winger leave in the summer and does not believe he has done enough to warrant an improved deal.
Seemingly though, Wenger looks determined to make it work with Chamberlain; he has started the last three league games and the match against PSG on Tuesday.
However, as Jack Pitt-Brooke points out in the article linked above, he has not made it to the 80th minute of any game this season. Furthermore, his consistent presence in the first team may not be entirely down to faith from Wenger or any particularly scintillating form, rather as a result of the lack of others’ fitness. Ramsey is still not available, Giroud has not yet worked his way back to full sharpness, and Welbeck is a long term absentee. The Ox should certainly look to pull out all the stops while he is enjoying a run in the side.
Chamberlain’s situation is very similar to that of Ross Barkley at Everton; both have attribute you could possibly ask for in an attacking midfielder, but lack the means of piecing it all together to form something tangible.
Wenger has spoken in the past about Chamberlain’s propensity for self-criticism and analysis, and he looks like a player whose mind is constantly whirring when on the pitch.
Arsenal, especially in the absence of Olivier Giroud, favour a fluid front three based on rotation of movement and quick, one or two touch interplay.
Add to that Wenger’s preference for letting his players find their own solutions on the pitch, and Chamberlain could probably do with having the game simplified for him.
Arsenal legend Ian Wright has just published his autobiography and some The Sun have serialised an interesting section of the book today.
Only Thierry Henry has scored more Arsenal goals than Wright, and he believes that some former Arsenal players have taken advantage of Wenger’s good nature.
Wright said: “In my view, players like [Emmanuel] Adebayor and [William] Gallas have taken liberties. When Adebayor arrived at Arsenal, he had everything.
“He came in just as Thierry Henry was getting ready to leave. It looked like the perfect transition. Then all of a sudden he wanted the same money as Thierry.
“For him to go off like he did and start flirting with Barcelona and Inter Milan was completely out of order.
“It was like holding the club to blackmail and it destroyed any relationship he had with the fans.”
There is no doubt that those two players were hugely divisive figures in the dressing, and led to quite a poisonous atmosphere.
Many pundits suggest that Wenger has filled his squad with too many ‘son-in-law’ types, and while that is overplayed somewhat, he was definitely scarred by his experiences with the likes of Gallas, Adebayor and Robin van Persie.
Finally, Arsenal right back Hector Bellerin has challenged triple Olympic champions Usain Bolt to a race. Bellerin’s speed is enough to make him a consistently strong performer for The Gunners, with his pace an asset in both attack and defence.
The Spaniard holds Arsenal’s 40-metre sprint record with a time of 4.42 seconds, and though that is extremely quick for a football, it is unlikely to worry Bolt too much.
Intriguingly, Puma sponsor the Jamaican sprinter, make Arsenal’s kit as well as Bellerin’s boots, so you can bet that their PR department will be keeping a close eye on this.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Emrah Partal
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