I wrote an article for This Is Futbol called, ‘The Hypocrisy of Arsenal’s Signing of Chamberlain’, soon after Arsenal’s signing of 17 year old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton in August saying that, though he was a shrewd signing for the future, it was hypocritical of the Gunners to be insistent in not purchasing proven players for ‘big bucks’, but to then pay a reported £15million for Chamberlain whose only experience of league football at the time was in England’s third tier.

The club completed the signings of five other players, Park Chu-young, Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos, Mikel Arteta and a loan deal for Yossi Benayoun in the days leading up to deadline day at the end of August, which appears to have rejuvenated the side after their poor start to the season. They were all cheaper than Chamberlain, so it still seemed a tad sanctimonious that they would pay seemingly over the odds for a 17 year old with no top-flight experience, but not the them proven players that they were previously linked with.

I still feel this because since then, the former Saints star has only made starts in Arsenal’s three League Cup outings, scoring one on his full debut against Shrewsbury Town, a substitute appearance in the Premiership and two starts in the Champions League, both against Olympiakos including one where he scored within eight minutes of his European debut.

He impressed me greatly and, I’m sure, most spectators who watched him especially in the League Cup clash with Manchester City last month. He really reminded me of Wayne Rooney in that he was strong, had a lethal shot and worked tirelessly for his team effectively causing his opponents problems wherever he was.

So he’s worth the money (in football terms), even if it’s for future reference, but maybe it would be better for the future that he plays regularly from now on seeing as he has stepped up to the mark each time that he has appeared. In the days after this match, Wenger praised Chamberlain and even backed him to make a late surge into England’s Euro 2012 squad. Well, if he played more for Arsenal, emulating his brilliant performance against City on a regular basis, then it wouldn’t be a bad shout, but when will this happen? Wenger knows that he has to be bedded in gently, but if he’s doing the business each time he plays, then why not play him now?

Chamberlain’s opportunity may come in January when the north-London side lose Yao Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh to the African Cup of Nations because unless the club make new signings in the next transfer window then they will be very low on attacking options. And what will happen if Robin Van Persie’s injury problems recur again? Wenger is on the training pitch and knows what’s going on, but as Chamberlain’s performances have testified, surely it is there for all to see that the youngster’s chance should come sooner rather than later.

Feel free to leave me any comments on here and/or on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or YouTube:,,

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  • ade says:

    its pple like u who sed d sam crap abt walcott nd c what he ended been?…a fanstastic player buh stil inconsistent.if u are so good in analysing when a young player is ready,why dont go coaching.let wenger nurture him d best way he feels….hes hardly ever failed in that regard,so leave him.

  • peter killick says:

    I am sure Arsene knows what he is doing and when to play him and i am sure it won’t be long.

  • AussieGooner says:

    I find it interesting that Wenger has only spoken in glowing terms regards AOC except for when he spoke about him needing to add defensive responsibilities to his array of talents. Then when we needed a goal in our last two games, Wenger chose Andre Arsharvin over AOC to bring off the bench to help the situation. Surely AOC’s existing qualities(if you subscribe to Wengers view that AOC has yet to learn the art of defending)were what was required on the pitch when you’re chasing a goal. If AOC had managed to score or assist in a goal then his confidence would have been boosted further. If not, the experience surely wouldn’t harm his development. On the flip side AA is going nowhere with his confidence regardless of the opportunities provided. I wonder if AA is outshining AOC on the training ground at the moment. I very much doubt it.

  • flintstone says:

    AOC should have been experimented with Walcott with changeable flanks formation. This will put opposing defense under tremendous pressure to open up and RVP could lead clinical attacking in finishing. What a sight for Arsenal if that is working effectively,a dream pairing of artists. Together should be the key word in the Jan period,and watch the spectacular.

  • Max says:

    Arsene Wenger is an expert- you are a chump. Who have you ever coached to greatness? When have you even had £100 pounds to spend on a player? In two years time when Chamberlain has achieved greatness, you will look back on this ignorant eessay and curl your toes in embarasment.

    • peter killick says:

      Agree with Max,I also think Arsene knows best.

    • Ricky Murray says:

      Football draws many different opinions and I’m going by what I’ve seen Chamberlain do at a high level so far.

      Arsene Wenger is an expert, but I’m having my opinion. All fans have their say on who they think should and should not be playing based on what they have seen and this is what I’m doing. If you’re ever in a pub talking about football with your mates, do you ever question anything or do you just stand there and say nothing?

  • wizzle says:


    • Ricky Murray says:

      What a wonderfully well thought through and intelligent response. And how ironic that I’m being called ‘cunt’ by someone who calls themselves ‘Wizzle’.

  • reality check says:

    for every great there are two chumps too. squil, denilson, bendy etc to name a few recent ones.but in ox’s case he is bang on the money he would’ve been out of our league in the next years transfer window had he played reguler with saints this season also british passport adds alot of premium to the true worth. at this stage a few wonder strikes boosts your wonder kid status on which aoc has narrowly missed out. he has all the qualities and a killer attitude, wenger is taking easy on this one and rightly so.

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