England's World Cup ended in rather limp disappointment, losing their first two games meaning that they have nothing to play for in their third and final group match. It has been widely said that they actually didn't play that badly but just weren't quite up to the task.
As much as one player doesn't necessarily change the performances of a whole team, you just need to look at how Portugal have struggled despite the best player in the world being their captain, but every team has players that can potentially be 'game-changers'.
Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain has had a frustrating season dues to injuries keeping him out of the Arsenal team for large parts of last term. He finished the year strongly though and as a result was included in Roy Hodgson's squad for the World cup.
Oxlaide-Chamberlain was the standout performer in the pre-tournament warm up game against Ecuador which England drew 2-2. They showed good quality going forward but defensive frailty led to the game being drawn. Oxlaide-Chamberlain really caused the Ecuadorian defence some problems and at times it looked like it would take several men to stop him.
This confident style of play strikes fear into opponents and can make them overly wary and cautious which automatically puts you on the front foot. Just look at how effective Raheem Sterling was in the game against Italy, his 'no fear' style and blistering pace caused the Italians all sorts of problems.
Not all the England squad possess that ability to run at players and take them on, drawing fouls and putting defenders under pressure. Ross Barkley has that in abundance but his relative inexperience may well have held him back.
Oxlaide-Chamberlain would have brought that to the England team and would have undoubtedly caused opposition defenders some serious problems. Whether playing centrally or coming in off the edge, he will run at players all day long and before his injury against Ecuador, he had been very exciting to watch. It was so unlucky for the youngster, as during that game you could see his confidence grow.
Excitement is what England needed in Brazil, that spark to make something happen and, after so much pressure was put on Wayne Rooney, it would have been great to have someone else to take up that responsibility too.
I'm not saying that he would have completely changed the way the results turned out, but you do have to wonder whether Oxlaide-Chamberlain could have had a serious impact.
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