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Alex Oxlade Chamberlain - all smoke and mirrors?


just
Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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Many football pundits, football writers and Arsenal fans rave about this kid so much that you would think he was the second coming of JC, (Joe Cole). I often hear him compared to a young Gazza and Rooney on the radio by Gooners.

Well, I've watched him quite a lot for Arsenal and England now and I just don't see it personally. Sure, he has a similar physique and has a bit of pace about him but I think that's where any comparison ends. His touch, passing and crossing are all very erratic and he doesn't have the effortless close control that Gazza had when running with the ball.

Of course he is only a youngster and may perhaps go onto develop into a quality player with time, but for me, if I had to summarise him now, it would be physically strong with a decent burst of speed but limited technical ability and poor decision making.

Your thoughts?

Edited by just
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Agree with pretty much everything you said.

Comparing Oxlade to Gazza is almost on the boarder line to blasphemy. Gazza sure has to be one of the most naturally gifted players to ever come around, and Ox just isn't.

The "special"-bit in Oxlade is the physical side to his game. He has a good acceleration and a good top speed, but he isn't very good at getting past players, especially from a "standing still"-start. His touch lets him down far too often for him to be a consistent performer in 1 vs 1 situations, situations that are very important for a winger. Walcott falls under this category as well, imo. A guy like Le Tissier could go past players like they didn't exist, and he didn't have an ounce of pace on him.

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I think there's something there definitely, but his attitude & arrogance is already showing - some of the tweet's he was making before, during & after the Euro's shocked me, as well as his attitude off the pitch, think the kid's headed for hate.

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Overrated? probably yes, that's the issue with being english though, the media clings onto any talent it can, still he is a very good player, with the potential to be excellent, his composure on the ball is one thing that stands out a lot for someone his age and his range of passing a and vision means he has quite a lot in his locker

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Can't say I agree, his passing/touch/technical ability are perfectly fine. I'm not sure what games you watched to get to that conclusion. Of course it could be better but for his age and experience it's head and shoulders above the rest, which is why he is so highly rated. Crossing is irrelevant as he's never really been one to run down flanks and whip crosses in, he takes players on and looks for the pass with his vision. Crossing is his last resort and it probably does show in the fact that he's not that great at it.

i don't think he's overrated, like with most pundits and articles/football writers you have to take what they say with a pinch of salt and realise that they aren't speaking on the behalf of everyone else. I can see why their fans would compare him to Rooney though, same build, similar ability, same strengths, etc. It's not that far fetched. Gazza though, well I think someone's having you on there mate. Can't have been a proper fan.

Comparing him to Walcott is just silly and shows real ignorance in my view. He already has ten times the ability that Walcott currently posses and will only get better.

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I think he's a decent player in most respects, especially considering that he's still very young; he's quick, he's fairly strong, he's agile, he's fairly hard-working, he's decent technically and he has the odd trick up his sleeve which makes him a decent dribbler. Aside from his crossing, I think he sometimes takes players on too much when passing to another player would be a better option.

Potentially I think he could be a very good player.

Edited by DaRick
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That's the problem with England, we over hype players far too often making everyone believe these players are special when really they are average. I don't think i would give up a single player in Chelsea for Chamberlain..........well maybe Malouda :biggrin:

I agree completely. I think England keep looking for the next messiah and all that pressure over the youthful part of these kids careers probably does them more hard than good whereas a Spain kids can grow and work on their game and they live in the shadows of the stars so they can build their talents and have someone to aspire too and really hone their game.

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Many football pundits, football writers and Arsenal fans rave about this kid so much that you would think he was the second coming of JC, (Joe Cole). I often hear him compared to a young Gazza and Rooney on the radio by Gooners.

Well, I've watched him quite a lot for Arsenal and England now and I just don't see it personally. Sure, he has a similar physique and has a bit of pace about him but I think that's where any comparison ends. His touch, passing and crossing are all very erratic and he doesn't have the effortless close control that Gazza had when running with the ball.

Of course he is only a youngster and may perhaps go onto develop into a quality player with time, but for me, if I had to summarise him now, it would be physically strong with a decent burst of speed but limited technical ability and poor decision making.

Your thoughts?

Compare him to Lucas Moura and then you begin to see the gap in talent between Brazil's youth system and England's.

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He looks impressive but the biggest problem with these young English players is they have all the pace in the world, good ball control but no footballing brain. He is on the same path as Walcott, Defoe and Sinclair. Good player not great.

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The difference is that English coaches are obsessed with results.

They spend hours poring over this tactic and that tactic and what players best fit their ideas in order to win the local kickaround league. Their focus is winning themselves a trophy, not the development of their team. In my opinion any coach that talks like their Jose Mourinho should stay the f**k away from youth football.

In Australia we have the same problem. Recently I heard a youth coach crowing about how an Aussie group of kids beat the "Barca babies" in some tournament. I reminded him that Australia's U17 Joeys once went to the final of a youth tournament only to lose narrowly to Brazil. Not a single one of those Joeys have had any career success since then, out of that group only Scott McDonald ended up playing for a respectable team in a decent league.

You cannot teach technical skill or footballing ability. It is a skill acquired by practice and by the trainee learning how to solve the "problem" themselves.

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You might be right. Anyway I always thought Germans are after results like you said. Or is that just and old idea that has stuck in my head. Still at the moment they have the best young talent in Europe. Players who have ideas, brain, skill, finesse and all that.

The main idea is England is screwing something developing young players. Rooney is the last brilliant attacking player to surface in England. A player that could shine anywhere outside England.

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You might be right. Anyway I always thought Germans are after results like you said. Or is that just and old idea that has stuck in my head. Still at the moment they have the best young talent in Europe. Players who have ideas, brain, skill, finesse and all that.

The main idea is England is screwing something developing young players. Rooney is the last brilliant attacking player to surface in England. A player that could shine anywhere outside England.

The Germans have one of the best youth development program in the world, but not many domestic leagues have clubs willing to cede control over youth development to the national federation. Belgium has a similar story and we can see first hand the results.

They don't, however, have that "results first" mentality. It was something they ditched long ago and are now reaping the rewards. German kids are actually encouraged to play to have fun and develop their skills, not scrap for trophies so they can satisfy the whims of parents and coaches.

With a focus on results, when kids get yelled at for dribbling or diving in to tackles, they end up only playing safe football. They don't learn to calculate risk, they don't learn how to actually develop the very top levels of skill. Learning how to make the correct pass, the correct dribble or the correct tackle comes from having the ability to try and do it in the first place. Nobody can instruct you when to do it, you need to try and fail many times at it before you learn the correct time and place to do it.

Imagine if someone had yelled at John Terry as a kid and told him to stop putting his head on the line, or told Messi to pass the ball more, or told Ramires to stop running and "hold his position".

Edited by SydneyChelsea
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Yeah, I think you're bang on there Sydney. Someone in another thread was talking about kids getting stuff "coached out of them" (Musonda thread?). They get shouted at for being too adventurous, for passing their way out of trouble rather than just clearing it etc.

As for Ox - I actually think he's going to be a very good player. People here talk about him lacking a football IQ, being the next Walcott etc - but the key difference between the two for me is that Ox has his head up as he runs. I think Wenger is just the right man to get the best out of him.

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