How well does Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain conduct himself…?
Not many footballers are as articulate, intelligent and thought provoking in the media – which wasn’t a side of the Englishman we were necessarily aware of before his summer transfer from Arsenal.
Last night, Ox spoke in length about Coutinho and the Brazilian’s £142m exit to Barcelona, having openly stuck up for the diminutive playmaker in a post-match interview in December.
Ox has explained that while Coutinho was exceptional, there’s plenty of brilliant players still at Jurgen Klopp’s disposal and his concentration will now be solely on them, instead.
“I knew what a world class talent Phil is before I came here and in the short time I played with him I saw what an influential part he was of the side,” he told the Echo.
“He was a big character around the place and a fans favourite – rightfully so. He was an amazing player and he did great things for Liverpool.
“When you lose anyone like Phil, I wouldn’t say you’re losing out, but you want as many good players as you can have in your team. That’s football, that’s the business that we are in. People come, people go.
“Great players will leave clubs and clubs will bring in great players. You don’t like to see friends leave – and Phil was a really good guy – but you wish them all the best.
“You pay it attention and you realise it happens but you can’t start thinking ‘what are we going to do now that Phil is not here?’ When Phil wasn’t playing in the team for some games we still played great football and we still have amazing players who can score goals – the likes of Mo (Salah), Sadio (Mane), Roberto (Firmino), everyone else.
“We have goals and creativity all over the team. Obviously Phil added to that, there is no doubt about that. The fact is he has gone now and we have to think ‘what have we got that is going to get the job done? I have every faith in the boys that we just move on now. I don’t think it should affect us at all.
“Even when Phil was here there were still opportunities for me to play in that position. I’ve got every respect for Phil and his decisions, I wish him all the best but he is not in my thoughts right now moving on to Man City because he is not going to be able to affect the score.
“The only thing I’m concentrating on is Liverpool and winning as many games as we can – starting with Man City on Sunday. I’m more concerned about what I can do, what Mo can do, what Sadio can do, what whoever is playing will do because we are the boys now that will get the right results for the club.”
What a brilliant interview…
Oxlade-Chamberlain lays out the situation perfectly.
And in fairness, Coutinho’s exit could be the making of him. The Brazilian played just to the left of a no.6 in our midfield three, but now he’s gone, Ox could be the natural offensive option for that role.
Against City on Sunday, we’d like to see him deployed there, with Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane ahead.
The reaction to Ox’s comments online was very positive.
Really impressed with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, both on and off the pitch. Took a lot of stick when he came in but has knuckled down and really settled. Knows he’s got lots of improvements to make as well.
— Oliver Bond (@Oliver__Bond) January 11, 2018
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a contender for future LFC Captain.
I genuinely believe that he'd be a fantastic Captain as well.
— Harpreet S Thiara (@HST_7) January 12, 2018
Not like most footballers I actually enjoy listening to what Oxlade-Chamberlain has to say. Very articulate with words, not repetitive and makes interesting points. Superb addition for the reds on and off the field. #LFC
— 💥PartisanKopite💥 (@PartisanKopite) January 11, 2018