Thierry Henry believes Arsene Wenger does not trust midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and is still shocked he was an unused substitute in the stalemate against Southampton.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was recalled to the starting lineup in the clash against Bournemouth today, but was unused in the last match against Southampton.
And Henry was left baffled by the decision not to introduce the England international in place of Mathieu Flamini after 85 minutes, with Francis Coquelin replacing the French midfielder instead. He told Sky Sports: “He doesn’t trust him.
“I was like ‘Coquelin comes on with five minutes to go [against Southampton] and we have to win the game and the Ox is on the side? Why are you trying not to win the game there instead of trying to not lose it?’ I didn’t understand it at the time.
“I tried to see what was going on, the view of the manager. He must have said to himself ‘is the Ox going to win me this game’? And he must have said ‘no’! Let’s not try to lose it. It might sound crazy I know but does Oxlade-Chamberlain do enough to be a starter at Arsenal?
“How long are we going to say he’s a prospect? He’s been there for four-and-a-half-years. Enough now. You have to be a starter. The same goes with Theo Walcott.”
Former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness added: “Does he [Oxlade Chamberlain] take it seriously enough? He always seem to be a bit of a joker. There is a player in there. It’s stand up and be counted time. He’s 22, he should not be accepting, with the quality he has, sitting on the bench and being a bit-part player.
“You’ve got to be banging down the manager’s door and saying ‘I’m ready for this’. Is he prepared to do that? I see him laughing and giggling a lot [in interviews]. I’d want him to be a bit more serious and angry and upset with me, if I was the manager leaving him out. There’s no doubt about it he has quality. When he doesn’t use him the other night, is it because he doesn’t trust him? At 22 it’s time to stand up and say ‘this is my moment’.”