Why Neville is wrong about the OX.

 

Gary Neville’s at it again. The formerly interesting pundit has decided to make a jibe at Oxlade Chamberlain. We feel this latest headline grabbing rant epitmoses Neville’s refusal to take a more considered approach. The Sky Sports mercenary has suggested that the Ox wont make Liverpool’s starting eleven.

What we’re saying is that’s just a very warped way of looking at his career to date.

Chamberlain has been blighted with injuries. It seems as though his fitness record has been used as a source of criticism but, given Arsenal’s appalling injury list, evidence would suggest that blame lies elsewhere.

The England international has also been criticised for not kicking on in the last couple of years. While it’s true that he hasn’t established himself in the starting eleven at Arsenal, we must once again take a look at the bigger picture.

Theo Walcott, Keiran Gibbs, Jack Wilshire and Aaron Ramsey to a lesser extent have all failed to live up to their hype.

Last summer we wrote a piece on how much better Ramsey looked for Wales, where he was given a far more defined role in a well set up outfit.

In 2014, Raymond Verheijen described Arsenal’s approach to fitness as amateur and savage. In his scathing attack on Wenger’s methodology he urged the likes of Ramsey to leave in order to save their careers.

“The same career-threatening process takes place at Arsenal with Ramsey, (Theo) Walcott, (Jack) Wilshire and (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain who are structurally injured. Players who are injured season after season develop all kind of weak links inside the body so a vicious injury cycle develops during career.

Thankfully, (Cesc) Fabregas was able to escape Arsenal after a few years so the amateurs in London did not get the chance to also destroy his body.”

We are all products of our environment, and Chamberlain’s failure to mature can surely be largely attributed to the lack of structure at Arsenal.

I wonder what kind of player Gary Neville would have become if he had joined Arsenal as a teenager?

Carl Jenkinson maybe? ​

P.S. that last line was a joke using the rhetoric of Gary Neville to parody Gary Neville’s reductive approach to football. And if any of you don’t get that then maybe you should watch more Stewart Lee…because that’s where I stole that joke.

 

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