Assessing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Performance vs Blackburn

By on February 6, 2012

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain

Arsenal’s big summer signing announces himself to the Premier League as he scores twice in a 7-1 thrashing of Blackburn Rovers on Saturday lunch time.

Making only his third Premier League start since his move from Southampton in the summer, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played a big part in Arsenal’s thrashing of the relegation candidates, finding the net on 2 occasions.

Playing out on the left wing with Gervinho at the African Cup of Nations, starting ahead of both Thierry Henry and Andrey Arshavin, Oxlade-Chamberlain showed great close-control, composure and decision-making against one of the league’s poorest defences.

Arsenal fans have been buzzing over the last couple of months based on footage from his time at Southampton and in the reserves. He showed some promise in his first league start, a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United a fortnight ago, in which Arsene Wenger was booed for bringing him off in the second half for Arshavin, with the score 1-1.

Oxlade-Chamberlain and co were unable to unlock the Bolton defence on Wednesday night but there was no booing for the Arsenal manager when he substituted the England under 21 international with over 20 minutes remaining against Blackburn… for Thierry Henry.

Prior to that, the 18-year old winger scored Arsenal’s 3rd after being played in by Robin van Persie. His first touch took a defender out of play, whilst he second saw him go past the onrushing Paul Robinson to leave him with an empty net to tap in to.

His second made it 5-1. Following a mazy run from Theo Walcott in the box, Oxlade-Chamberlain collected his team mates pass to cooly tuck into the bottom corner from close range. The only other shot he took during this game went off target.

Completing 85% of his passes, and finding a team mate with 3 of his 8 crosses, statistically, Oxlade-Chamberlain played better than Theo Walcott down the opposite wing. According to Opta, the senior England international completed 82% of his passes and failed to connect with any of his team mates from 8 cross attempts. Walcott did however finish the game with 3 assists, two of which were considered as passes and not crosses.

Arsenal have 14 league games remaining and are still in the Champions League for their new young star to earn himself a call up for Fabio Capello’s Euro 2012 squad. Who would bet against him?

Watch all the goals from Arsenal 7-1 Blackburn

Also watch MOTD analysis of Chamberlains performance

 

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