Jury out on 23-year-old: Three things we learned about Arsenal in win v West Ham
By Alex Stevens
Football Insider analyses three talking points from Arsenal’s 5-1 win against West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday.
Is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain good enough for Arsenal?
West Ham were completely exposed on the left side by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but time and again he failed to pick out an Arsenal shirt in the box. The Gunners dominated possession in the first half and should have gone in at half-time two up, but for Oxlade-Chamberlain’s wastefulness. It must be frustrating for Wenger, who knows the qualities Oxlade-Chamberlain has, but he needs to be able to produce whenever he’s called on. As it is, he too often puts in frustrating performances like he did today. The 23-year-old scored a good goal at the end but he needs to be much more consistent.
Still in the title race
Michael Owen said today that only Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool can win the Premier League title this season but you rule out Arsenal at your own risk. When Wenger’s team turn it on they’re good enough to beat anyone – they showed that when they dismantled a very poor Chelsea side 3-0 earlier in the season. They have to keep their key men fit – most notably Alexis Sanchez – and they have to start making more from their dominance in possession. The match shouldn’t have been 1-0 at half-time – Arsenal were much better than that scoreline. But, when they don’t finish games off when they’re ahead, there’s always a chance that teams will hit them with a sucker punch and they’ll lose vital points. Every point will count this season but we still think Wenger’s men have a great chance of winning that elusive Premier League title.
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Sanchez the difference
Alexis Sanchez was head and shoulders above any other player on the pitch today. It might have been a team game, but Sanchez secured the three points almost single-handedly, unselfishly setting up Mesut Ozil for the first goal and scoring a brilliant hat-trick himself. He still appears to be struggling slightly with his leg and he is absolutely key to Arsenal’s title challenge. If he’s injured Arsenal’s hopes will follow him. If he stays fit and keeps performing at this level, Arsenal will keep winning. It’s fair to say that Sanchez is on the verge of becoming an Arsenal legend.
In other Arsenal news, this TV pundit has said Arsenal won’t win the title this season.