Adam Lallana had some kind words for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this week, talking about the need to control his ‘own ego’ at Liverpool. The midfielder isn’t playing much at all.
You’ve got to feel for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The 28-year-old has featured just twice since February 19th, both in the FA Cup against teams Liverpool expected to beat. Jurgen Klopp just hasn’t turned to him over the second half of the season.
And that’s actually incredibly harsh. Oxlade-Chamberlain was playing wonderfully before that as a key part of the team. There was a vital goal against Leicester City in the EFL Cup just before Christmas but it was January where he truly shone.
In fact, Oxlade-Chamberlain scored twice in two Premier League games to end January. He’s played precisely one league game since – it’s hard to say that’s fair.
For what it’s worth, Klopp recognises that. “I didn’t bring on Ox [against Southampton], it’s unbelievable,” Klopp told beIN Sports. “I hate myself for it because he’s such a good player.”
That’s the reality of the situation. Liverpool have such depth right now and every is fit – Oxlade-Chamberlain just can’t play as things stand. It’s something former player Adam Lallana experienced, too, and he had some words for his ex-teammate this week.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and controlling ‘ego’
“It has been a tough few months for Chambo,” Lallana told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Not being involved… I have been there myself. It’s hard to manage your own ego at times because you want to be playing.
“You feel sorry for yourself. At times, you do have to act. When you are down, you have to put a brave face on to support your team-mates. And you can be proud of doing that.”
Lallana went on to praise Oxlade-Chamberlain for his form this season, too. Even if the midfielder isn’t playing right now, he’s certainly played a role this season.
“Come the end of the season, he has contributed,” said Lallana. “When the lads were at AFCON in January, he put in some unbelievable performances. He scored some important goals, so he has contributed massively.”
And that’s really the situation summed up. Oxlade-Chamberlain might not be at Liverpool for much longer, in all truth, but he has played a key role this season.
The Reds simply don’t generate their January momentum without him, nor do they progress in the EFL Cup. While not a key player, Oxlade-Chamberlain has earned any medals he gets this season.