It’s good to see the club beginning contract talks with the squad, looking to tie down players for the long-term. Of course, it helps if they invite the player and/or his agent along; helps smooth things over I find. Ox is the latest star but nobody bothered to tell him about the meeting so he went off and played on his PS4.
Frankly, it’s a bizarre claim to make. Talks are ongoing but we’re not telling the player. I don’t recall Arsène mentioning Ox’s contract before but 18 months to go is the new black. The Mirror, perhaps primed by the player’s agent, ran with the tale last week. Lo and behold, it’s there in black and white:
“We have started talking to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and we start as well, and will extend certainly, with Santi Cazorla.”
Note to self: get some memory games to build up the grey matter.
“I think he is developing well.”
“This season he is making steps and moving forward and overall when you have invested so much time and work and the player has as well and he’s integrated into the team I want him to stay.”
He’s certainly in his best form for a while and being given a run in the side. He looked disgruntled at being substituted at the weekend and that’s a good sign. You don’t want players to be happy at seeing their number on the fourth official’s board. Unless they’ve got a bucketload of goals and are being given the ovation they deserve.
In Ox’s case, it’s good to see him realising his potential but there’s a long way to go before he stakes a claim to a place in the starting line-up. It’s crucial that he does. I think the England squad is crying out for a player with his directness and pace. A return to form benefits him personally in that sense but consistency will serve him better.
Later on today, we get to find out who knocks us out the Champions League this season with the Round of Arsenal’s Exit draw taking place shortly. Or already having taken place, in which case you’re looking at some more ill-informed speculation.