Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has finally responded to criticism thrown his way by Gary Neville and Thierry Henry more than six months ago.
The Sky Sports effectively dismissed him after making a £35m move from Arsenal to Anfield on deadline day in August 2017. Neville, who worked with Oxlade-Chamberlain as part of the England national side setup, insisted that it was a great deal for Arsenal to get so much for him, while Henry, who played with him in his brief return to Arsenal on loan in 2012, went as far as saying
“I have been watching him for a very long time and I still don’t know what he’s good at.”
After a rocky start, Oxlade-Chamberlain has settled into life at Liverpool and put in a brilliant display in Saturday’s comfortable 2-0 victory over Newcastle. As such, the 24-year-old now feels confident enough to be able to speak out in the media on the comments that have gnawed away at him for the past few months.
“Those comments are probably a bit stupid.
“When you have watched someone long enough you know what they can do. If it was aimed more at the end product side of things and doing those things that lead to scoring a goal or setting up a goal then fair enough, I will take those comments on the chin. Saying you don’t know what I do, when you have worked with me, I think is a bit stupid.
“I don’t need to [contact them]. If people want to say those things you remember them, you don’t forget them, but I am not here to make enemies. If that is what they think, fair enough.
“It is not nice to hear it from your peers or people you have worked with and I have worked with them both in different capacities. They can have their opinions. It cannot shake me. The important thing is that when I came here I had a manager who had faith in me and he felt something different to that, and I had faith in myself. That is why I made the step.
“Everyone says you have to be your own biggest fan and believe in yourself. I am old enough and wise enough and I have been around long enough to know that things will be said, and not nice things a lot of the time. And when you are doing well, nice things will be said. That is all part and parcel of it. But it is never nice to hear it from people you have worked with.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain rejected a move to Chelsea in favour of Liverpool, in order to play more in his favoured position of central midfield. So far this season he has made 33 appearances, scoring three goals and assisting five more in that time in what has already been one of his most productive campaigns ever.