The England U21 manager Stuart Pearce will be playing Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in tonights U21 international against Iceland, and as The Ox scored a hat-trick against the same team last time out Pearce is expecting another big performance.
He said: “Every 90 minutes he can get, whether it be international or club football, will benefit him greatly,”.
“He is a good enough talent that someone has paid 12million for him, so certainly Arsenal believe he is a real talent, I know Southampton did.
“Alex has played extremely well for us, so he is an improving talent.
“I think he will get better and better the more games he plays.
“He is a very level-headed lad and it is important they have a sensible head on their shoulders to see them through not just the good times, but the bad times as well. He will have a bit of both right through his career, that is for sure.”
The Ox himself (or Chambo as he used to be called) is also aware that he is far from the finished article and can only get better the longer he is at Arsenal. He said: “It is a work in progress and I don’t think there’s any need to rush into things. I trust the boss and he is going to develop me.
“I knew that when I signed here it would be hard for me and that maybe in my first season I wouldn’t get a lot of game time, but I’m learning so much in training from the likes of Robin van Persie and the rest of the boys – and the manager as well.
“I have only had a few appearances, but I have scored two goals and I am happy with that.”
“I think there’s a lot more to come from me so I am just going to keep working hard, keep learning in training. It is down to me, I have got to put pressure on the boss to select me.
“I can only do that by training well and, when I do get my chance, impress him. The boss has said it is up to me, he is going to work with me the same way I have to with him.”
If he carries on the way he is going he will certainly be an Arsenal and England superstar of the future. I just wish that Wenger would play him just a little bit more….