Oxlade-Chamberlain happy with England performance

The Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was a surprise inclusion in the England squad to go to the Euros, but it was even more of a shock that he was picked to start in England’s most important Group Game against France yesterday.

But, as always, the 18 year-old kept his feet firmly planted on the Ukranian ground and was just pleased that he Roy Hodgson had faith in him to do the job, although he admitted that he didn’t get much chance to show his breakneck speed against the tough French defence. He looked pretty strong when he went forward and looked like he’s taken a high dose of hmb to help his muscle development!

The Ox said after the game: “Yeah it was a surprise to be picked, everything’s just coming to me as a surprise at the moment!

“But I have to remind myself that I was one of the initial players picked for the squad. I’m here to do this job and, when called, I’ve got to make sure I’m ready.

“Obviously I’m delighted to get the call and then you’ve just got to get your mind around the game.”

“I think I did okay,” Oxlade-Chamberlain continued. “I think it was a bit frustrating at times for me to get into space and do what I like to do and run at people and find space out wide.

“But we like to play compact and I think we had to against a good French team who almost overloaded the midfield.

“Obviously I’m delighted to represent my country and I gave everything, but tonight wasn’t about me, it was about the team and getting a good result.

“Against a good French side we’ll take a draw, we’ll move on and we’ll get something from there.”

Although he had a couple of chances it seemed that the French strategy was to cynically drag him to the floor every time he used his speed to try and get through their lines, but he was obviouly not in awe of the occasion and can only improve as the competition goes on.

Perhaps he will be England’s secret weapon?

Chamberlain – From Arsenal massacre to England call-up in just nine months

The newest Arsenal star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can’t believe his meteoric rise to an England call-up just nine months after making his debut for the Gunners in the 8-2 massacre against Man United.

He said: “I couldn’t imagine going from what happened at Old Trafford, which was totally embarrassing, to going to the Euros.

“I’d come on as sub when we were only 3-1 down — so you might blame it all on me! It’s something I never want to experience again.

“Now to get the call from the England manager is unbelievable. He told me I was being selected on merit and that he’d put me in the squad because he felt I could help the team.

“He mentioned that he’d seen me do well against AC Milan when I played in central midfield and that it was up to me to prove him right.

“Straight away that gave me a massive incentive to know you have a manager who believes in you and trusts you. It brought a big smile to my face.

“I’m going to do everything to show he was right to pick me.”

That sounds like Hodgson fancies him playing in the Rooney role, so perhaps he will get a chance to prove himself in an early game while Rooney is banned. Chamberlain has only made 15 starts for Arsenal in his career, but he could come back from the Euros as an England hero. Meteoric indeed!

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Oxlade-Chamberlain – Don’t worry! I’ll perform for England

The Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may have been a shock inclusion for England after just having made just six League starts for the Gunners this season, but he still seems quite relaxed about it all and has confirmed (for me at least) that he can handle all the pressure that may be thrown at him.

“The way I see it is that if you play football you want to play for clubs like Arsenal then you want to play for a country like England as well,” he said on Arsenal.com.

“You would be silly to want to do these things and not expect people to have high standards. People will support you but they will also expect you to deliver and I think that is all part of it. You have to have some pressure but at the same time you can’t get worked up about it – football is football.

“It’s like a singer, when they go up on stage the crowd expects a good performance. It’s the same with football, when we go onto the pitch people expect us to deliver. We all just have to try and make sure we do our best to do so. We can only do that by working hard and expressing ourselves.”

His level-headedness for his age is quite astounding when you consider how far he has come in the last year. He just seems to naturally understand that you need to keep on working hard to improve no matter how good you are already. Perhaps Arsenal should sign his father as a mentor to other youngsters in the team, because he has done a fantastic job with Alex!

Oxlade-Chamberlain – Theo will look after me at the Euros!

The Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still pinching himself after getting a shock call-up for the England squad for this summers Euro2012 tournament, but extremely happy that the more experienced Theo Walcott will be there to show him the ropes.

“It is massive to have Theo in the squad as well,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said on the official Arsenal site. “To be named in the squad, straight away you think of everyone else there.

“I have been watching the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and John Terry for a number of years on TV and also playing for England. That only seems like yesterday and now I’m going to be going with them, it is a bit daunting but I can’t wait.

“Straight away, I thought about how good it would be having Theo there, because I have a mate! I get on well with Theo and when I first came to Arsenal he took me under his wing to help me out.

“I know Theo and I know that he went to a World Cup at 16 and enjoyed it. That obviously gives me inspiration and encouragement and I’m really looking forward to it.”

It will be a great learning experience for the 18 year-old to go to the Ukraine with the England squad, even if he doesn’t play. He is obviously going to be an integral part of the squad one day, and you never know, Hodgson may throw him on at a critical time and he may come back as an England hero!

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joins the Arsenal missing list

Arsenal are suffering from their usual extensive injury list as they do every season, and Arsene Wenger only had two fit midfielders able to take their place against AC Milan on Tuesday night.

Wenger had to improvise and the winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was moved into the central midfield for the first time in his career, and performed admirably as Wenger agreed after the game.

Wenger said: “For a guy who has never played at the top level in central midfield, he started in a Champions League game and he did well. He tired a bit in the second half after his injury, and he got less of the ball than he did in the first half. When he got the ball, you always think something could happen. He can play all of the places across the pitch, in midfield to wide. You could see he has suffered physically, but also that he has the class to be in there.”

But it has been revealed today that, other than the injury during the game, The Ox is also out of action after catching flu and will have to miss training until he is fully recovered.

The 18 year-old revealed on his Twitter account: “Still struggling with the flu today, on my way home to let my mum look after me lol ! good job we haven’t got a game until Monday!”

With all the injuries that Arsenal have already, they can ill afford an outbreak of flu amongst the remaining players so Oxlade-Chamberlain better make sure he doesn’t give it to anyone else!

Wenger confirms that The Ox will play against Aston Villa (and he wants to win the FA Cup!)

Arsene Wenger has today confirmed that there is nothing wrong with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s calf (although the Arsenal boss still insists that he was suffering from fatigue when he took him off last week) and the 18 year-old will definitely be playing a part in this weekends FA Cup match against Aston Villa.

Wenger said: “He is alright, it was just fatigue. His calf was not gone or anything like that, he just started to tire a little bit. It is normal for a guy who plays a game at that intensity. But health-wise he has no problem. He will be involved on Sunday.”

Other than the bad news about Jack Wilshere, Wenger was upbeat about the other injured Arsenal players that could return to the squad. He says that Coquelin, Henry, Sagna and Arteta will also be fit enough to rejoin the squad, but he also admitted that he would be cautious ahead of Wednesdays (much more important?) League game against Bolton on Wednesday.

He said: “At the moment, many players are on their way back. I will have to decide on Saturday, I have to look at them and see how much of a gamble I can take because we play again on Wednesday. Gibbs will certainly not be involved at all on Sunday, but the others could be involved. That will be decided tomorrow.”

Although it is unlikely that Le Prof will play his very best team against Villa, or overly risk the ones returning from injury, he still insists that the FA Cup remains a priority. He said: “If you look at my record, you will see the FA Cup is important for me,”

“If you look at the record of all the other teams, I think our record is better than all of them over the past 15 years.

“Even last year we went for four trophies. How many teams go for four trophies this season? Nobody.

“I think we always try to go for everything and for a long, long time last year we went for trophies late in the season. Still we will try to do the same and try to win the FA Cup.”

I really hope you do mean that Arsene, as we are extremely unlikely to win anything else!

Oxlade-Chamberlain defends Wenger’s decision-making

I have never seen such anger from Arsenal Blogs and fans directed at Arsene Wenger before (although he has made bad substitutions for years!).

Few people can understand why he replaced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Andrei Arshavin yesterday, which could be directly surmised as the reason why Arsenal lost the game, but the youngster himself still supports Wenger’s decision.

“It’s the boss’ decision at the end of the day,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said. “He is the boss and he’s a top quality manager, you’ve seen how many years he’s been at Arsenal and all the great decisions he’s made, so whatever the decision is I will respect him.

“It’s always nice when the fans are on your side, you’ve just got to keep going out there each week and try to please them and do as well as you can for the team and the manager.”

Despite Arsenal losing their third game in row, Oxlade-Chamberlain issued a rallying call and says the team can learn from these errors: “We go out to win every game.” he said. “So when we don’t it’s obviously a blow to the team but all we can do is keep coming back and try and push on from disappointing results like this. I think it can only make us stronger.

“We’ve got to learn some lessons from the mistakes that we make but that’s all part of making a good team.

“There is always confidence. This is Arsenal football club. We’ve got some absolutely top quality players who are capable of all sorts of things.

“I think we just need to stick together as a team now and come out of this sticky patch and come out of it better.”

Very wise words from the 18 year-old and his loyalty to Wenger should be commended, but the fact is that it will be some time before the Arsenal fans will forgive the manager for yesterday’s mistake….

Should Wenger unleash The Ox against Man United and drop Arshavin?

The new young Arsenal striker Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been impressive every time he has been given a run-out by Arsene Wenger, and many fans think that he should now be given a starting place ahead of the inconsistent Andrei Arshavin.

Now that Arsenal are big outsiders in the England Premiership betting lines, then surely it is time for Wenger to start blooding his young talents so they are ready to play a full part next season.

The Gunners keeper Wojciech Szczesny feels that The Ox is ready for the first team, but thinks that if Wenger has decided to be patient then the managers decision should be respected.

The young Pole said: “I’m a big fan of Alex. He is very unpredictable with what he does on the pitch, he is very direct, he can get past people and he has a good cross on him.

“I like him a lot. I think he is ready but it’s the manager’s decision and he knows what he is doing. You’ve seen it over the years with the examples of myself and Jack Wilshere.”

But Oxlade-Chamberlain is big and strong and very confident, all things that Andrei Arshavin is not, so I just have to vote for The Ox to start against Man Utd this afternoon. Is anyone with me?