There’s been plenty of ammo to fire shots at Arsene Wenger of late, but the Frenchman’s reluctance to alter his tactics cannot be used anymore… well, at least not this week. Indeed, the Arsenal boss utilised a 3-4-2-1 set-up away at Middlesbrough on Monday night, which reversed the Gunners’ recent run of poor results – albeit they were facing an underwhelming Teesside team.
A 2-1 win was the result on the night and although it was all about getting points on the board for the London club as they battle towards a top four finish, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s showing at right wing-back was an added bonus. The England international, who is known for his versatility, has struggled for game time this term, but really put forward a case to be kept in the XI for the closing stages of 2016/17…
As the numbers show, ‘The Ox’ was heavily involved from wide, having 90 touches of the ball while completing 88% of his passes. Most encouraging, though, were his nine crosses, the most of any Arsenal player, which bodes well for the coming matches with Olivier Giroud known to be dangerous in the air, while five clearances, two aerial duels won and two tackles made are also good positive signs for the position the attacker was playing in.
Perhaps Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performance will tempt Wenger to stick with three at the back for the coming weeks.