The next year for Alex is a crucial one. At this period in his career he will progress faster and be moulded more easily than any other. But the conundrum that faces Wenger now as it did with Theo was whether or not to loan him out, or to keep a closer eye on him and train him in North London. Obviously there are advantages to both and for a lot of players going out on loan does not guarantee playing time, however I'm sure that there are a number of Premier League clubs that would utilise Chamberlain on a regular basis should they be given the chance. I think the two other youth team players that we have had in recent years whose natural ability matches that of Oxlade-Chamberlain are Walcott and Wilshere. The progression of the two has been starkly different, but then again their progression was handled differently too.
Much like he has done with Alex so far, Wenger kept Walcott hidden away for a long time at the beginning referring to shield him from the pressures of first team football and develop his talents behind closed doors. It is understandable that Wenger wouldn't want different coaching styles to affect Walcott's development considering that he had spent so much money on him but it seems that we only bought him when we did because a host of teams were interested in him. In all seriousness I'm sure his development would have been better served had he stayed at Southampton for at least another season. Subsequently it does seem hard to understand why Wenger didn't just send him out on loan. It might be a bit of a cliche but there really is no substitute for fist team football. I also think that Walcott's absence of playing time has affected his mentality. Instead of having the confidence that a player of his ability should have he often seems meek. This side to his game would surely be different if he had had to slum it out with one of the lower Premier League sides for a couple of years. He could have been part of a team where he was a big player, where play was focused around him and he was allowed to iron out his mistakes in someone else's squad.
Jack on the other hand was loaned to Bolton. Now obviously Jack would have turned out brilliantly no matter what, such is the nature of his ability, but you cannot argue that his time at Bolton was not beneficial. Obviously not all loan moves will work out but Owen Coyle seems to be an excellent manager when it comes to nurturing talent. The last two loanees he has taken have been Sturridge and Wilshere. Both now play for their parent clubs in the first team. It may be partially because of the quality of the players that they did so well at Bolton but you have to give Coyle some credit: he certainly brought out the best in Sturridge who was stagnating at Chelsea
Alex has come out recently and said that he needs to improve before he can move in to the first team: "I think there's a lot more to come from me so I am just going to keep working hard, keep learning in training and get some more appearances to do well. It's a work in progress and I don't think there's any need to rush into things. I trust the boss and he's going to develop me in the same way."
So the lad himself seems pretty content with the way things are going but then again so was Walcott and I think it is pretty clear that he could have benefited from more game time early in his Arsenal career. Perhaps Wenger thinks that Chamberlain has the potential to play a role for Arsenal this season but outside of the Carling Cup I don't really see that happening.
When it comes to the youth there's not really any arguing to be done with Wenger but he does seem reluctant to loan players out to Premier League clubs at the right times. Yes he did it with Jack but he should have done it with Bendtner and Vela earlier in their careers. I could understand if they could only make it in to Championship clubs but Oxlade-Chamberlain is better than that if our new signing could have a season of development like Sturridge and Wilshere had with Bolton it certainly wouldn't do him any harm.
© 2000-2013 Arsenal Mania. All rights reserved. Page processed in 0.13 seconds.