Arsenal FC: 5 Reasons Why Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Should Start Playing Regularly

Matthew Celentano@@Gunner_NYCFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2011

Arsenal FC: 5 Reasons Why Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Should Start Playing Regularly

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    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain went from the football equivalent of rags to riches in just a year.

    After impressing in Coca-Cola League One with Southampton, the young dynamo soon caught the attention of football fans across the world. It only takes a quick search on YouTube to watch the winger's goals and assists and realize that the boy has a tremendous amount of talent.

    He soon drew comparisons to Arsenal winger Theo Walcott, who was once a speedy Southampton attacker as well.

    At the end of the 2010-11 season in the third tier of English football, Chamberlain was put into the League One team of the season at the young age of 17. Strongly linked with a move to Arsenal, Chamberlain finally completed his transfer during the summer for a hefty fee of £12 million.

    The youngster has already scored in every match he's played (besides being a late substitute against Manchester United in the 8-2 drubbing), with goals against Shrewsbury and Olympiakos, but he's yet to earn a start in the Premier League. 

    Chamberlain could very well be the Gunners' saviour and fans are crying out for Wenger give him a chance.

    Here are five reasons why Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should start playing regularly for Arsenal.

1. Confidence

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    Like most young players, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has bundles of confidence.

    The Englishman always seems to play with a smile on his face, and he's certainly made it clear to the press that he wants to get some playing time and score some goals. Chamberlain is eager to prove himself and help the Gunners get back on track—personally, I think he can do exactly that.

    It may sound ridiculous, as he's only 18 years old and is technically still in high school, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has the confidence that the rest of the Arsenal team is desperately lacking.

    Recently, the Gunners have started their matches looking nervous and their worst start to a season in 58 years has got most of the squad feeling down in the dumps.

    But Chamberlain is at the age in football where his naiveness means he just wants to play, no matter what it takes.

    Provided he's given some real playing time, the young winger has the right attitude and mentality to lift up the Gunners spirits.

2. Loyalty

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    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain only arrived at Arsenal a few months ago, and is still high on the idea of playing for one of the world's most successful clubs.

    During the summer, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy all left Arsenal for one reason or another. All of a sudden, loyalty became a question at the Emirates.

    Robin Van Persie is currently stalling contract negotiations and Gunners fans are still filled with worry about the "exodus" during the summer transfer window and the possibility of it happening again.

    On the other hand, Chamberlain is one of the players that Arsenal fans know is fully committed to the club. The youngster seems to be excited about the prospect of developing as a player under Wenger and helping his side win.

    There's no question of Chamberlain's loyalty to the club, which is important in a rough time for the Gunners.

3. He Knows Where the Goal Is

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    Not only does Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have the right attitude, but he also happens to be pretty good at kicking a football. In fact, he might just be the best 18-year-old in the Premier League.

    His most recent performance was for England U-21s against Iceland U-21s, where Chamberlain's hat trick gave the Three Lions a 3-0 win.

    He's already scored two goals for Arsenal, one being within the first 10 minutes of the kickoff. His performances on the wing have been dazzling to say the least and the youngster has the potential to be the best winger in England once he reaches his peak in about a decade.

    It's not just that Chamberlain will bring confidence to the team when he's on the pitch, but he'll also create goal scoring opportunities and clearly knows how to hit the net.

    The only time Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been given a chance in the Premier League was for about 15 minutes after Arsenal were six goals down against Manchester United, and the task was simply too great for the 18-year-old.

    Wenger needs to give Chamberlain a chance against a team that he stacks up well against rather than throwing him in the deep end against United. The Gunners' next match is against Sunderland at the Emirates, which seems like a perfect game to try out the young dynamic winger on the right side of the attack.

    But what, you may ask, will happen to Theo Walcott? After all, he's been played in the same position as Walcott and there would be a huge drop to his morale if he lost his spot in the starting 11 to an 18-year-old.

    Not to worry, this will all be addressed in the next slide.

4. Chamberlain on the Right Wing Would Let Walcott Play as a Center Forward

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    It's what every single Arsenal fan is crying out for: to grant Walcott his wish of playing as a central forward.

    He certainly has all the qualities needed for the role. As the fastest player in the Premiership, he's capable of beating any offsides trap and most of his goals are results of brilliant runs into space.

    Although his finishing has been criticized, it's gotten considerably better and when he's one-on-one with the keeper (a position he usually gets himself in), he rarely misses.

    So given Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gets the chance to start on the right wing, there could not be a more perfect opportunity for Arsene Wenger to finally give Walcott his wish of being played as a center forward. It could be the change that Arsenal may need—a refreshing new formation to rejuvenate the Gunners' gameplay.

    Robin Van Persie would play behind Walcott, a position that seems more fitting for the Dutchman, and the two could easily turn out to be a dynamic strike duo.

    Although it's hard to see Wenger straying from his stubborn ways, this is a formation change that the Frenchman should try to gradually install in the team.

    After all, he's obviously doing something wrong at the moment, so he might as well give this a try.

5. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Is Currently an Unknown Force to Premier League Teams

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    If Arsene Wenger were to play Chamberlain against Sunderland, the Black Cats would have very little knowledge of what they're dealing with.

    Besides the few minutes against Manchester United, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has never played in the Premier League, making him fairly unknown to other football clubs in the top flight. The only information other teams know about him are based on his performances in the Carling Cup, Champions League and League One last season for Southampton.

    This means Premier League opposition could easily underestimate the 18-year-old's speed and ability, and defenders will have trouble knowing what to expect from a player who they have no experience against.

    Arsene Wenger may not know it, but he has a secret weapon on his hands...


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