Arsenal Wasted Oxlade-Chamberlain, Says Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has risked Arsene Wenger’s wrath ahead of Liverpool’s visit to the Emirates Stadium by claiming the Arsenal manager failed to get the best out of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool in August after Wenger decided to cash in before the England midfielder’s contract expired.

The 24-year-old never quite lived up to his early promise at Arsenal after his switch from Southampton.

But, after a slow start at Liverpool following his ($46 million, 39 million euros) move, Oxlade-Chamberlain has started to hit his stride in recent weeks — just in time for his first return to Emirates on Friday.

Reds boss Klopp has been impressed by Oxlade-Chamberlain’s development at Anfield, saying: “He had to adapt. I know how it is if you’re kind of a big signing.

“You have to perform immediately. But it’s difficult.

“I was happy from the first day about his involvement, about his attitude, and since then he became more and more a Liverpool player.”

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

But Klopp believes Oxlade-Chamberlain would already be an even more potent force if he had been instructed to add a goal threat to his game while he was with Arsenal.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored just twice in 20 appearances for Liverpool and managed 20 goals in 198 games for Arsenal.

Klopp believes that poor strike rate is down to Wenger prioritising the talents of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

“I think the biggest improvement, or the biggest potential he still has, is really being involved in goalscoring situations, because he has it in himself,” Klopp said.

“It is unbelievable, but he was not asked for this too much I think in the past.

“If you watched Arsenal in the past, the two decisive players were Sanchez and Ozil.

“In a lot of moments, the decisive passes, Ozil or Sanchez. Then you are not that much involved.

“Here, we put it on much more shoulders, and if he’s on the pitch he needs to be involved in situations like this.

“I see really a lot of space for improvement as well, and that’s good.”

– Purist principles –

As if that wasn’t enough to irk Wenger, Klopp also made a point of highlighting how the Frenchman, so renowned for his purist principles, has often used a far more rudimentary approach against Liverpool based around the aerial ability of Olivier Giroud.

“Against us most of the time Giroud played from the beginning, so that says a little bit about the style of Arsenal they have chosen against us very often,” Klopp said.

“They are a complete football team, able to do everything. They can switch and change styles.

“Against us it happened quite often that they played a lot of long balls, with Giroud. But he cannot play on Friday and that will change a few things maybe.”

With Manchester City running away with the Premier League title race, the focus at the Emirates will on the battle for a top four finish.

It is a crucial clash for both sides as fourth placed Liverpool are one point ahead of fifth placed Arsenal in the battle to qualify for the Champions League.

Wenger made it clear how important Liverpool’s visit is when he made 11 changes for Tuesday’s 1-0 League Cup quarter-final win over West Ham.

Liverpool haven’t played since Sunday’s thrashing of Bournemouth and Wenger is concerned the hectic fixture schedule is taking a toll on his team after Giroud was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

“It is very demanding, especially because we already have a tough schedule behind us,” he said.

“We have to sit down and analyse very well what we can do. What is very worrying in my job is when you start to lose players like Giroud.

“After, you cannot afford to lose another one. I have to look how I can manage the schedule.”

AFP

EPL: Arsenal, Tottenham Reveal Team Preparation

EPLArsene Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of Wednesday night’s home English Premier League (EPL) match against Swansea City.

The Arsenal manager said on the club’s website that he does not think they have any problems from Sunday apart from one or two who have muscular tightness.

He said that apart from that, everyone would be available on the field of play.

The Frenchman also disclosed that Oxlade-Chamberlain would be out for six to eight weeks.

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur manager, Mauricio Pochettino, says his side are not feeling pressure as the EPL title run-in gathers pace.

Pochettino dismissed the notion that his side are the favourites to win the league.

Second-placed Tottenham, who are chasing their first league title since 1961 will take on West Ham United on Wednesday night.

Arsenal Win 2015 Community Shield At Wembley

Arsenal-Wins-Community-ShieldArsenal on Sunday defeated Chelsea 1-0 to retain the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium.

At the end of the regulation time, Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, had a reason to celebrate against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, having failed to win in any of his previous 13 attempts.

In February 2014 the Chelsea boss called Wenger a “specialist in failure”, and then in October the Gunners boss shoved his rival during a heated touchline quarrel.

Alex Oxlade-chamberlain scored the winner with a powerful drive into the top corner with his weaker left foot.

The Gunners named goalkeeper Petr Cech in their starting line-up following his summer move across London while Theo Walcott, who has just signed a lucrative new deal, led the arsenal attack.

It is the first time that Arsenal is beating a Mourinho-led Chelsea side since 2011.

“Will Not Be A Friendly”

Before the match, Arsene Wenger said that the Community Shield against Chelsea “will not be a friendly”.

According to arsenal.com, Wenger admited that a victory in the match, which would be his first against Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho, is capable of shaping his team’s confidence for the 2015/16 season.

Having enjoyed a perfect pre-season performance, Wenger hopes his side would maintain their momentum against the champions, but warned against reading too much into the result.

“We have to accept that every game is decided and judged as definite,” he said. “But you know that in real life it is not like that. The tribunal is out there and will draw conclusions from Sunday.

“But no matter, positive or negative (result), we have to continue our way and focus on ourselves.

“It’s a game that is important but it is still preparation. We want to win it and overall it can just give us that little bit more confidence before we go into the season.

“You know, it will not be a friendly as it is like that and it is good like that.”

The Gunners go into the match on a run of four successive victories at Wembley, and having scored 14 goals during pre-season.

The morale of the team would have been boosted by the duo of Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott, who have both agreed contract extensions with the English giants.

The victory will be a boosted for the team, as they prepare for the commencement of a new Premiership season.

Emirates Cup: Arsenal Crush Lyon 6-0

ArsenalArsenal delivered a dazzling attacking performance against Lyon to claim a comfortable victory in their opening match of the Emirates Cup.

The Gunners took control just before the half-hour mark during a breathless nine-minute spell in which they scored four times.

It started with Olivier Giroud heading home Mesut Ozil’s free kick and moments later they doubled their lead as the rampaging Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain raced through to slot beyond Lyon goalkeeper, Anthony Lopes.

Less than 100 seconds later and they had a third as teenage forward Alex Iwobi capped off a lively first-half showing by firing into the top corner after good work from Aaron Ramsey.

The Welshman then added a fourth in the 38th minute when he raced on to Ozil’s pass to poke the ball in at the near post.

It would take some going to match their first-half display after the restart, but the Gunners were determined to put on a show and they claimed their fifth just after the hour when Ozil drilled in a powerful shot.

Santi Cazorla added a sixth late on from a free kick, with the Gunners’ imperious display offering genuine cause for optimism ahead of the coming campaign.

Arsene Wenger told the media after the game, “It was a good, dynamic, collective performance where we could see that many players scored goals. Overall it’s in the continuity of what we did at the end of last season, and we’ve taken that form into pre-season as well.

“There’s a good team dynamic and we’ve shown again that we can score goals, which is what everybody expects from us.

The manager, however, called for caution on making a statement for the Premier League title

“Let’s be cautious on that front. We finished third in the league and won the FA Cup last season. That’s a good basis, of course. Our target is to do better.

“We know that we will put all of our effort in and that it will be very difficult because it will be a big challenge. We just want to focus on our quality.

“Top-level sport requires you to get the best out of your potential, so to achieve that it’s important that we focus on our own performance and do not worry too much about the others. We just have to focus on being as good as we can be.”

Arsenal face Bundesliga runners-up, Wolfsburg on Sunday in their next match of the Emirates Cup.

Arsenal v Monaco: I’m Not Bothered By Pressure – Wenger

Wenger UCL
Arsene Wenger

The pressure on Arsenal as favourites for their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie with Monaco is welcome, says Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, before Wednesday’s first leg at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners have exited the competition at this stage in each of the last four seasons.

“The French might give us the status of favourites. It doesn’t bother me.

“There’s a lot at stake but these are the games you want to play,” said Wenger.

The Ligue 1 side gave Wenger his big break in management in the late 1980s but the Arsenal boss was not in sentimental mood in his pre-match press conference.

On reunion with Monaco, Wenger expressed his excitement on the club’s return to the top level from the second division.

“I am happy that Monaco is back at the top level after being in the second division.

“It was my first chance at a big club but I have been manager of Arsenal for 18 years now and I am focused only on qualifying for the quarter-finals against a good side.”

On team selection, he said the only uncertainty he had was [Jack] Wilshere, “but everybody else is available”.

When asked about goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, Wenger said: “I cannot tell you [who will be] goalkeeper.

“I worry about every player, but only 11 players can start. That’s the same for everyone. There’s competition for players.”

On Arsenal’s (allegedly) easy draw, the Arsenal boss said: “Easy is a word you have to ban in the Champions League, it is hard-earned every time.

“There’s always one goal between going out and staying in.

“In the last four years we’ve gone out in the last 16, twice against the winner, on goal difference or on one goal.”

Speaking on the French side, Wenger said: “They might give us the status of favourites. It doesn’t bother me.
“The worst thing that happened in my career was to play games without any pressure. There’s a lot at stake.

“These are the games you want to play when you are a player and a manager.”

The Gunners will be hosting the Ligue 1 side, AS Monaco in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League last-16, at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

FA Cup: Wenger Gives Updates On Arsenal’s Injured Players

Wenger
Arsene Wenger

Arsenal Manager, Arsène Wenger, has disclosed some details about his team on Friday, ahead of the team’s FA Cup game against Middlesbrough.

Wenger, revealed that “Alexis is still not able to go out (and) he could be short again for Sunday,” stressing also that Aaron Ramsey would be out as he has a little hamstring strain.

On whether Ramsey has an underlying problem, Wenger said “We haven’t found the underlying reason.

“There is an underlying reason that is certainly medical or bio-mechanical because he is a guy who is serious, works hard, has a controlled and disciplined life, so there’s no obvious reason why he should have muscular problems.”

When Wenger was asked whether he would change his training regime, he said “No, we have individualised training for the players and prevention.

“I don’t think that is any special case that has been neglected, it’s just that we have to find a reason why that happens.

“It’s not a major injury, it’s a Grade One, a small injury, a small muscle problem,” the 2014 FA Cup Winner noted, confirming that the injury would keep Ramsey out for about two weeks.

On Jack Wilshere, Wenger said “He’s motivated and focused to come back as quickly as possible.

“He worked very hard but he has still been out for [more than two] months and what he needs now is to get back.

“Competition gives you that sharpness that training cannot give you because it’s about a combination of fitness and decision-making and speed of decision-making,” Wenger noted, adding that it would take Jack a while to get that back.

He further noted that Oxlade-Chamberlain is the closest to recovery among the trio of Arteta, Debuchy and Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Arsenal host Middlesbrough in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

EPL: Alexis Will Be Back Against Leicester City – Wenger

Sanchez-9Arsenal FC Manager, Arsène Wenger, has on Monday, revealed the latest team news ahead of Tuesday night’s game against Leicester City.

This is subsequent to the defeat at Tottenham which left the Gunners in sixth place on the English Premier League table.

On the latest team news, he said Alexis Sanchez would be back in the team and described the 18-goal top-scorer as the best goal scorer and one of the hardest-working player in the team.

“Alexis will be back in the group and we don’t have any injuries from Saturday. Everybody else looked fine yesterday.

“He’s our best goalscorer and one of our hardest-working players in the team. Physically I think we suffered a little bit on some occasions on Saturday and it’s good to have him back,” he said.

Wenger also gave an update on the recovery of midfielder, Jack Wilshere, “He’s back in full training this week. I don’t know exactly [how long until he returns], we have to monitor him on a daily basis and see how he develops,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.

The manager further said that the trio of Arteta, Debuchy and Oxlade-Chamberlain were still [a while] away. “Oxlade-Chamberlain is about two weeks,” he stated.