Monday, 30 January 2017

Jermaine Jenas names Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's best position in the Arsenal side

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can have a real influence on the Arsenal team in central midfield, according to Jermaine Jenas.

The England international started alongside Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Jeff Reine-Adelaide in the middle of park in Arsenal’s 5-0 win against Southampton in the FA Cup fourth round at St Mary’s on Saturday evening.

Oxlade-Chamberlain finished with one assist in the first half on the south coast, while the versatile midfielder touched the ball 88 times and finished with pass completion of 91 per cent.

The Arsenal star has struggled to tie down a regular starting spot in Arsene Wenger’s side after starting just eight Premier League games this season and making a further 10 appearances from the bench.

Speaking to BT Sport’s FA Cup Tonight show, former Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jenas discussed Oxlade-Chamberlain’s best position in the Arsenal team.

“I just enjoyed watch Oxlade-Chamberlain play in midfield. I said a while ago that’s where I think he is best suited not only for his style of play, but it will keep him away from injuries as well,” Jenas said.  

“It’s the explosive style of play on the wing – stop and go. That’s what Theo has struggled with all his life. Alex has started to get hamstring injuries. 

If he can try and cement his midfield role, he can have a real influence.”

Shkodran Mustafi determined to achieve Arsenal target

Shkodran Mustafi says he is determined to maintain his unbeaten record as an Arsenal player until the end of the 2016-17 season. 

The Germany international hasn’t lost a game since his move to Arsenal in a £35m deal from La Liga outfit Valencia in the summer transfer window.

Mustafi has established a promising partnership with France international Laurent Koscielny at centre-half in Arsene Wenger’s side.

The ex-Everton defender missed a number of games over the festive period as Arsenal suffered defeats on the road at Everton and Manchester City. 

Mustafi returned from his fitness setback in 2017 and Arsenal have remained unbeaten despite the prospect of losing at Bournemouth before three late goals rescued a 3-3 draw at the Vitality Stadium earlier this month.

Speaking to Sky Sports about his impressive record in the Arsenal side, Mustafi outlined his plans to preserve his unbeaten streak in Wenger’s line-up.

“I hope I can keep that statistic until the end of the season,” he said. 

“It’ll be difficult but for me personally but I just go from game to game and try to give the maximum and improve, then the results come,” 

Mustafi said. “When I lose I sometimes just don’t come home and stay at the hotel, because I don’t want to listen to all that. But I’m happier for the other people than me that I haven’t lost yet. 

“When I go into a game I’m not thinking about losing, I’m there because I want to win. If I do something I do it properly, I’m a footballer because I want to improve and win games, that’s why I’m sometimes difficult when I lose.”

Arsene Wenger is delighted with attacking options he has now

Arsene Wenger has said that the return to fitness of Danny Welbeck is akin to having a new signing available to him.

The 26-year-old has spent a large chunk of the past two years sidelined with serious knee injuries, but has recently returned to action and scored his first goals in eight months to help Arsenal to a 5-0 rout of Southampton in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Theo Walcott also hit a hat-trick at St Mary's and, with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Lucas Perez also at his disposal, Wenger is pleased with the attacking options in his squad. 

"Yes it feels like I have many new strikers because I think Perez played very well as well and I left Giroud at home," he told reporters.

"The problem will now be to find the right combination which will use them well in games.

The result is strong with the balance of the team. When you look around you on the bench and you have this sort of player Welbeck coming on or when he starts it is somebody else.

He gives us more quality going forward.

"We look tonight and Perez and Walcott and Danny Welbeck and I have Sanchez on the bench, it is an exceptional quality. 

For a long time we did not have the offensive quality available." 

Arsenal host Watford on Tuesday looking for a fifth consecutive win in all competitions.