Arsene Wenger's summer signing of Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain did not go down very well with a number of fans. Here we were in the midst of a midfield crisis that could see all the quality sucked out in one fell swoop and Wenger was blowing £12m extremely valuable ones on an untested talent. Where was the priority? I admit to a uneasy feeling of skepticism sitting deep in my bowels in dire need of a good colonic cleansing.
Well, two months later that feeling has eased after seeing what Alex O.C can do on the pitch. Arsenal need someone who has a muscular presence and a composed finish. He showed both against Bolton and Olympiakos. One has to admire the way he swept the ball between the legs of a veteran defender like Olof Mellberg for the first goal. Great first touch and an even better first scoring instinct.
O.C's first CL goal at 18 years and 44 days broke a record for Arsenal. This achievement is all the more impressive given he's been pressed into first team action without an apprenticeship period. This is an emergency situation with the team all bloodied and battered and missing a number of crucial parts. That learning curve has to be an extremely steep. So far, O.C., has shown to be a quick study.
He will be in the spotlight after these matches. Here is where mental fortitude becomes absolutely essential in keeping from succumbing to that pressure. Even an accomplished veteran like Cesc Fabregas showed the wear and tear of an unwelcome burden placed on him. Some of O.C.'s peers in the squad have flirted with promise, yet not entirely living up to potential. There is opportunity waiting to be grabbed.