Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t take his big chance against Tottenham Hotspur – even if he was quite unlucky.
If his shot inside the first few minutes hadn’t hit the post, we’d be saying Oxlade-Chamberlain did take his chance. Unfortunately for him, it crashed back off the post from relatively close range.
It means that Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t really have any impact on the game. Spurs made things difficult, of course, setting up to prevent Liverpool space more than anything.
But regardless, the game passed the £35m man by. Oxlade-Chamberlain never got going in attack and Spurs didn’t give him much to do defensively.
It contrasts with Adam Lallana’s performance after he came on for Oxlade-Chamberlain against Tottenham. Lallana may not have the drive or physical presence of his teammate but he was busy.
Lallana led the pressing, constantly offered a passing outlet certainly made sure he was involved. His work in the final minute, where he won the ball back and held onto it in the attacking third, was outstanding. They’re all things we’ve seen from Lallana since his £25m arrival and his consistency is forcing him into the lineup.
He offered the same things against Everton, too. His other recent start, against Wolves, led to his brilliant assist for the winner. Lallana has become a consistent performer now, and an important one.
So when Liverpool face Manchester United next week, Lallana is surely ahead of Oxlade-Chamberlain in the pecking order. The latter simply didn’t perform against Spurs, while the former is delivering every time right now.