Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played 60 minutes against Norwich City on Saturday night.
The Reds dispatched the Canaries straightforwardly and registered a 3-0 win, with goals by Diogo Jota, Bobby Firmino and Mo Salah.
It was a solid performance by Jurgen Klopp’s side overall, but there were a few issues with how Liverpool played.
One minor thing to note was Ox not finishing the game, despite seemingly being match-fit, given his place in the starting XI.
Former Liverpool forward Stan Collymore highlighted to us post-match that the 28-year-old has now gone three years without racking up one crucially important thing…
“Alex hasn’t finished 90 minutes of football for three seasons. He didn’t [against Norwich], as Fabinho came on for him,” the Reds former No.8 exclusively told Empire of the Kop.
“I want to see Jurgen play him for five or six games – it doesn’t matter if it’s Cup games or the early Champions League rounds, I need to see Oxlade-Chamberlain play [several 90-minute matches] because that’ll be the time to judge him.
“Sometimes you look at social media and people say ‘well, Ox still isn’t doing it,’ [but] it’s been a punctuated last few years at Liverpool and Arsenal, so that’s a minor concern.”
Collymore is right to point out just how long it’s been since Ox completed a 90-minute match, and to be honest it took us by surprise when it was first said.
The midfielder has struggled with his fitness over the last few years – at both Liverpool and Arsenal – but going three seasons without finishing a full game is shocking.
That being said, as hinted at by Collymore, it’s unfair to judge him until he’s able to get a grip on his fitness woes…