Ox Given Time
You know what, as good as Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain is, and as happy I was to see him included in the England world cup squad he was not one that I had topping a list to be in the starting XI.
His performance against Ecuador in the friendly during the week was fantastic though.
After 45-minutes to an hour of that game I was left in little doubt that he could, if not should, be in that starting XI when we take on Italy as his pace, power and ability could make him a real danger - all of those qualities would terrify opposition defences in Brazil.
Then bang, out of nothing he picks up another injury.
A medial ligament injury to his knee could see him out for up to 3-weeks, which if he is that will mean he will not only miss the Italy game, he would miss the Uruguay and Costa Rica group games too, with that being the case would a risk be taken?
I am not so sure...
Although, with all due respect, I am not so sure what Michael Carrick or Tom Cleverley would bring to the party if called-up as an injury replacement, so if it was me I would bring in Jon Flanagan as another fullback option and then use Milner as a primary midfielder with none of this 'right back cover' nonsense.
Oxlade-Chamberlain will be given until the 'very last moment' to prove his fitness, with England having until 11pm on Friday 13th June to make a decision on a replacement.
All being well, and fingers crossed, Oxlade-Chamberlain can make the recovery we would like as an England side that could include both he and Ross Barkley, among other exciting attacking players, would be quite something and those attacking benefits would outweigh the defensive frailties that England have.
That being said Oxlade-Chamberlain is not afraid to put in a shift and show his defensive side of the game either.
Fingers firmly crossed he can make it!
Vital England on:
Vital England on: