As Arsenal suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to West Ham, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain provided Gunners fans with a glimmer of positivity.
The 21-year-old slotted into the right winger role, and has enjoyed a rare chance to get a string of games under his belt following the absence of Alexis Sanchez.
And despite the best efforts of Chamberlain, he couldn’t do enough to help his side recover from 2-0 down as Petr Cech made two horror mistakes.
The English international was making his 79th appearance for the Gunners, and following a recent drive in media hype, many football fans predicted this would finally be his year.
Since joining the club in 2011, the midfielder has been riddled with frustrating injuries which have ultimately dampened his development.
However, after making a name for himself during an impressive pre-season, all eyes were on ‘The Ox’ as Arsenal took to the Emirates for the beginning of the 2015/16 campaign.
WhoScored Rating: 7.43
Chamberlain’s WhoScored rating was the second highest received by a player in an Arsenal jersey, with Santi Cazorla also at the top of the ratings with 7.57.
And although it may have looked like an upsetting result for the Gunners today, Chamberlain made sure the fans had something to cast their eyes upon.
The winger, who has also played in the central role before, made 9 successful dribbles today, the most of any player out on the Emirates pitch.
That was a success rate of 100%, having made the runs down the right hand side whilst troubling Aaron Cresswell, who picked up the lowest rating of the West Ham back four.
As well as his success in taking on defenders, Chamberlain also tested the abilities of goalkeeper, Adrian, who picked up the MOTM performance according to the statistics provided by WhoScored.
The Englishman took inspiration from the recent comments made by Arsene Wenger, as he managed three shots on goal, with one of those being blocked.
But his involvement in and around the goalmouth soon decreased, after Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez were introduced to take the place of Chamberlain, who dropped back into a more central position.
And it was there that he improved on his already impressive pass completion records, making 43 key passes and 39 accurate passes to finish up with a 92% success rate.
However, The Ox made just two tackles in the 90 minutes that he played, with only one of them being successful, which could come as a worry for Gunners fans.
The midfielder was on the back foot of multiple counter attacks today, and his ability to be strong in both attack and defence is something he must now work on.
Getting forward the promising youngster looked confident and influential, but things just didn’t seem to click with Mathieu Debuchy, who started alongside Chamberlain at right-back.
The Ox will now look to fight for his place in this starting eleven, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing following todays team performance.
Alexis Sanchez will be back to a match-ready status soon, and with so many options in the middle of the park it’s time some of these players make standout appearances on a regular basis.