Liverpool midfielder answers ‘stupid’ critics
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes his recent performances have left Thierry Henry and Gary Neville looking “stupid” after questioning his ability to fit in at Liverpool.
There were mixed reactions when the 24-year-old left Arsenal on August’s transfer deadline day in a £40 million deal which saw him swap the Emirates for Anfield in a bit to play regular football.
Following the news of his big-money transfer, Arsenal legend Thierry Henry claimed to have been “watching him for a very long time and I still don’t know what he’s good at”, while Manchester United icon and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville said the Gunners had got a “brilliant deal”.
Neville, briefly Oxlade-Chamberlain’s coach with England, said: “Everyone seems to be eulogising over him but he doesn’t get in the best XI and strengthen their team. He has three or four areas of his game which he has to significantly improve.”
Meanwhile, Henry said: “I have been watching him for a very long time and I still don’t know what he’s good at.”
Yet Oxlade-Chamberlain has impressed in recent weeks and is starting to show what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp saw in him last summer. The reds midfielder is brimming with confidence and has played a leading role in Liverpool’s upturn in form as they look to seal a top four spot and press on in the Champions League.
Responding to their comments from the summer, Chamberlain said: “I was very aware of those comments. It is not nice to hear it from your peers or people you have worked with,
“Saying you don’t know what I do when you have worked with me, I think it is a bit stupid.
“They can have their own opinions. It cannot shake me. Fair enough if that is what they think, I am not really too bothered.”
The Liverpool No.21 added: “The important thing is that when I came here I had a manager who had faith in me and he felt something different to that and I had faith in myself.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain has contributed four goals and five assists to the Liverpool cause this season and believes there is still plenty more to come as he takes inspiration from those around him having stuck up a formidable understanding with Mohamed Salah.
The 24-year-old is hungry for more on Merseyside as he looks to push on beyond his debut season at the club. The midfielder is getting the regular football he has craved and looks likely to seal a return to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the 2018 World Cup this summer.
He said: “There is more in me, I know I have to keep pushing on. I can take so much from someone like Mo Salah. “Just look at him this season. He has been relentless and when someone can be competing with Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero for top goalscorer those are the things you have to learn from.
“I have got to keep pushing myself. I have nine games left in the league and we have the Champions League and I want to give the best of myself in those games and do as much as I can to help this team finish as high as we can.”
Football fans can watch Oxlade-Chamberlain and his Liverpool side this season with plenty of ticket options available for all their matches this season. Buy your Liverpool tickets here and see if they can maintain their winning streak under Jurgen Klopp.