Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger is confident about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain developing into a central midfielder and follow in the footsteps of Jack Wilshere.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has produced some wonderful performances since his return from injury and has shown his versatility to play both in a central role and out wide as a winger. With Arsenal facing a lot of injury concerns recently, especially in the midfield department, the Ox has provided Wenger with a vital option in that role. He started in the pivot alongside Mikel Arteta against Bayern Munich and looked the most threatening player in attack for the Gunners in the first half. His direct running and pace on the counter-attack caused a lot of problems for the Bayern defence, who struggled to cope with him when he had the ball.
Arsene Wenger has earlier stated that the 20-year-old has all the qualities to transform into a central role as he develops and has hoped to see him follow the footsteps of Jack Wilshere.
“He has the sense of positional play and he has the qualities which you want to see in the modern game. He has that capability to break through because there is a lot of pressure in the modern game.
“So those players who have the ability to get out of that pressure are of course very important, he has good vision.
“He has shown potential, I think there’s a lot more to come from him in many areas but there’s potential to work on. There is still a lot of work for him, but he has interesting qualities in this position.
“He has similar qualities to Jack, I am sure he has observed Jack as well, to take all the information from Jack to develop in a similar role.” – The Arsenal manager said.
With Mesut Ozil out injured and Aaron Ramsey’s return being delayed, Oxlade-Chamberlain is expected to start in the crucial North London Derby on Saturday, as Arsenal look to close the gap at the top with Chelsea. Liverpool’s match against Manchester United also provides them with a wonderful opportunity to leap frog the Merseyside club if they drop points at Old Trafford. But Arsenal’s record at White Hart Lane isn’t too encouraging. The Gunners have won only one of their last six matches in this ground and that too arrived in a League Cup fixture back in 2010.
Wenger is aware of these statistics and insisted that his team can’t afford to slipup at this point.
“We have played two draws and three losses there [in the last five league meetings. It is a difficult ground to go to for everybody.
“It has always been difficult at White Hart Lane but we are in a position where of course we want to win the game.
“After Stoke it was very important that we had a good result against Everton, we had a good result even at Bayern but [it remains important] that we continue and have no weak moment any more until the end of the season.” – Wenger explained.
His opponent Tim Sherwood has come under a lot of pressure recently. Tottenham have lost four of their last six matches in all competitions and Sherwood has openly criticized his players in press, following their shambolic performance against Chelsea. Last night they suffered another big loss at home as Benfica scored three past them at White Hart Lane, and many believed he could lose his job if he faces defeat against Arsenal. But Arsene Wenger has defender Tim Sherwood and insisted that Spurs needs time to perform as a team after the host of new arrivals in the summer.
“I think he said that the performance was not right, and I say that as well sometimes. For the rest I think he is dealing with it well.
“There was an incident during the [Tottenham v Benfica] game, and I think he was right personally because he had been provoked in an unfair way. Overall he handles the [whole] situation well.
“Tottenham have bought so many players that it might take them some time to get the right balance or find the right level. I think they are a good side.
“I still think it always takes time when you bring in many new players, but you cannot say Spurs have had a bad season, they’ve had a good season and they are there.
“Like everyone else, like we have, they have gone through good and bad periods.” – He said.