Anyone who has watched Liverpool’s game well will know they rarely play shots outside the box. It was surprising to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain give it a try in their Champions League match against Genk on Wednesday and rattled in two goals from outside the box.
Even though the former Arsenal man is nowhere near his best just yet, he is gradually starting to look like the Oxlade-Chamberlain we used to know and adore before his knee injury set him back.
It was much of a thrill to see him alive and buzzing about the pitch against Genk. He surely made his presence felt, picking up positions between the lines and drifting into a wide right area to allow Mohamed Salah to occupy central spaces.
It was an amazing thing to watch.
Even with a makeshift back four that was without Joël Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold, the game had gone well for Liverpool. Truly, the balance was off in the midfield but that is to be expected considering it was the first time the midfield trio of Fabinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keïta had been picked.
In all of these, Oxlade-Chamberlain had managed to pull off an impressive performance, scoring two goals with long distance shots. It was a beautiful performance and one can boldly say it was the outcome of having two progressive players in the middle third. Both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keïta are comfortable with the ball at their feet, they’re press-resistant and forward-thinking.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s long shots good or bad?
No other midfielder in the Liverpool ranks attempts that shot. In fact, very few of them even find themselves in such an intelligent position between the lines. With a fair amount of space, it’s incredible the things Oxlade-Chamberlain can do with the ball and he needs to be given more chance to try.
It’s understandable that Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t going to start every game moving forward but when he does, the Reds have another dimension to their attack and they’ll be even trickier to nullify.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is and always will be a wildcard for the Reds. He’s got the dynamism to burst past opponents, the dribbling ability due to playing as a winger, then the vision to pick a pass but also the technique to shoot from distance which gives him an edge with his accuracy on shooting.
This is why fans are raving about his return to fitness. It’s all because he’s a unique transformer and a game-changer for Liverpool.
In all of these, we can say his long shots are good for Liverpool so far he makes sure the shots are accurate and converts into goals. The downside of him shooting from outside the box is having the ball go into a goal kick which kills Liverpool’s gameplay. As far as that is considered, he will be a threat to any opponent he’s playing against.
Shooting from outside the box can be good or bad but for a player like Oxlade-Chamberlain, it can only get better. This can only be perfected with allowing him to run wild and trying his legs on the shots so it’s best to point out that hesitation or trying to pull him back from doing it might just kill his game totally.