When An Ox Jumps Ship By: Stan Whyte

The scenes from the FT whistle at Anfield told you everything you needed to know. Cameras plunged into the faces of Özil, Sanchez, and countless others of Arsenal Football Club.

Dejected, empty, shocked.

Britain Soccer FA Cup Arsenal v Hull

These are just a few of the words which could be used to describe the faces of the current “stars” of the Red Half of North London on 27/8/17. The scoreline that day?

Liverpool 4 - Arsenal 0

The particular details of this fixture are meaningless in this instance as what only matters is who played RWB in a disastrous 5–2–2–1 for Arsene Wenger on this day.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The same man once red carded at The Bridge for “looking like” Kieran Gibbs. Look it up.

“The Ox” as he often goes by, had been playing out of position as a faux outside back/attacking winger, (box-to-box wingback if you will), for quite sometime now. He wanted a centre midfield role at The Emirates. His gaffer preferred Granit Xhaka. (And Arsenal fans wonder why there’s been a revolving door amongst the players this season…)

The cameras didn’t capture the look of a dejected RWB at the FT whistle that day. Little did the LFC faithful know on that day, there was a move close to completion to bring that RWB to Anfield Road.

No one knew it then, but The Ox was about to jump ship. Hard. Four days later, a £35m transfer agreement was agreed upon to send the 24-year-old to Melwood. Some Reds were pleased. Others? Disgruntled. Count me in the camp of the former.

Fast-forward to the 3rd round of the League Cup at the King Power in Leicester almost 3 weeks later. Oxlade-Chamberlain now starting as a RWF in Jürgen Klopp’s vaunted 4–3–3. But the image that everyone will never forget from that day was the trainer adjusting Ox’s tape around his calf/shins.

“£35m for this bollocks?!” Was the line many a Red uttered at the FT whistle that day. 2-nil to the Tigers and an early bounce for the Reds. Not the greatest start for a transfer to say the least.

Patience is a virtue. Especially for supporters.

Suddenly? The man is scoring swash-buckling wondergoals against supposedly the best club in England. Twice.

Sometimes when an Ox jumps ship, the results can be glorious.



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