I must sound like a broken record, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should play inside week in and week out and he should play inside for England. I thought it before the weekends game against Everton and last nights performance against Bayern Munich, but after both of those games, I am now absolutely positive.
I mentioned to a few of the writers here as part of our round-table that I thought Jordan Henderson was the biggest loser against Denmark. He had an opportunity to stake a claim to a place in the starting line-up and he let it slip away. He played a reserved game, one that didn't lead him to being called up in the first place.
So the position is wide open. Carrick hasn't done enough, Cleverley hasn't done enough, and Henderson hasn't done enough. So what about Ox? if you saw him today you would be hard pressed to argue that he has all the talent in the world. He was composed and direct. He played in a deeper role but he got forward and caused problems. He had a shot on target, made clearances and interceptions around his area and successfully distributed the ball to his colleagues.
He was up against players like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thiago, Gotze and then Kroos when he came on. I would go so far to say he looked just as good as all of them if not better.
Little balls in and around the area, one-two's, short passes, long passes. He knows when to pass the ball and when to take players on, having someone drive at the heart of our defense from that central role causes fear and panic. He was taken off with just 5 minutes to go, and I think it was a way of telling the man "well done, you couldn't have done any more".
I just pray that Hodgson and the England set-up realise the potential of having him inside. I hope they realise that just because you have pace, you don't have to be stuck out on the wing. As far as finding someone to play inside with Gerrard, I think we may have found him.