Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Injury Proof of Own Grit or Arsene Wenger’s Ignorance?


Buried behind the Jack Wilshere headlines is a much more compelling and somewhat disturbing Arsenal story, this one involving Wilshere’s England international team mate, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The 21 year old machine had this to say (the Standard) in regards to how he’s adapted following suffering from ligament damage to his knee during International Break:

"Since my long-term knee injury, I have had quite a lot of injuries this year, with a few niggles and groin problems, but I’ve played through all of it and even when I’ve been in discomfort for most of the games, I have been able to manage it. I feel that is holding me back at the moment."

This statement leaves me incredibly torn, especially given the fact that the Ox had, up until his “niggling” injury, featured in every single match and still has more appearances than anyone except Alexis Sanchez.

So my question is, is this news proof of how tough and gritty the Ox is or is it moreso proof that Arsene Wenger has been a bit ignorant in the matter?

Arsenal usually play it incredibly safe when it comes to injuries, and they should be playing it even more safe when it comes to young, potential superstars like the Ox, but for some reason he has been having to fight through pain all year. Now I’m not doctor, so maybe I have it all wrong and the injury wasn’t threatening, it was just a little “niggling” as the Ox puts it. But either way, I feel a prior rest should have been in order.

That being said, the Ox has been incredibly effective this year. His confidence is growing, as he himself admits in a statement during the same interview:

"This year, for the first time in my Arsenal career, when I do get the ball I have the belief that I can run past anyone on my day and that really does help you. I only feel like that because of the way I have grown and how I’ve developed in terms of running with the ball."

So was Wenger aware of the pain and letting him play or was he quite literally ignorant of it?

I have tons of faith in Wenger. It really makes me twitch to call him ignorant, but I mean it in the sense that perhaps he didn’t know. And if that’s the case, how in the world did he not know that one of his star boys was running around with “niggling” pain in his knee?

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We know Wenger hates International Break, so maybe he’s just sticking it to Roy Hodgson, telling him that no injury from International Break will hold his boys back (that’s a joke, and a poor one).

I’m really kind of bothered by this news. Was the Ox not given time to heal properly or is this just part of the healing process? I think some answers would be kind of nice. The Ox is one of the premier talents on Arsenal and a huge part of our future, so to hear that he’s been having to fend off pain every time he takes to the pitch is kind of alarming.

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