Theo Walcott enjoyed a purple patch at the start of Arsenal’s season. He was among the goals and featured in key attacks and was happy to concede the transformation came about because he spent the summer ahead of the campaign getting in tip-top condition.
He made sure that he added focus to his game with a view to making the most of his ability — something he hadn’t done to its fullest capacity since he moved from Southampton to Arsenal more than a decade ago, some critics would argue.
Another player to take a similar switch, though only five years ago, is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. And, similarly, it could be argued that he has yet to fulfil his potential. In some games he is brilliant. Others not so. Some he is on the bench. Others he is out injured.
But has the real, super-talented, authentic Ox emerged of late? You might argue that he has — and if you needed evidence of that being in the affirmative it was available in spades at the London Stadium on Saturday.
While Alexis Sanchez grabbed a beautiful hat-trick those using the best Android betting apps will have banked themselves a few cheeky quid in the 5-1 hammering of the Hammers — and with his display the majority of the headlines — Oxlade-Chamberlain was at his best, too.
He scored an absolute pearler of a goal — his sixth so far this season — but not only that, his overall contribution in the Gunners’ emphatic victory was immense.
The England attacker’s efforts helping to keep Arsenal in second spot in the Premier League behind table-toppers Chelsea weren’t wasted on Gunners manager Arsene Wenger .
“Alex has made a lot of progress this season. He plays with a freedom and power. When he wins the ball in your half he has that power to get you out. I hope that continues for him.”
That said, though, the Frenchman sees room for improvement from his side, who travel out to Switzerland for the Champions League encounter with Basel tomorrow.
”We can do better, there is still room for improvement. Certainly our percentage of chances converted was not the best. It is not in line with what we have done since the start of the season.”
“Ideally you want to kill teams off earlier. But I must say though that since the start of the season, the quality of our finishing compared to the chances we have created is quite good. Certainly much better than last year. We miss only 20 per cent of our chances this year.”