By Nick Ames in Donetsk
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says that England’s 1-1 draw with France taught him a lesson about what to expect from major international competitions.
The French bossed possession in sweltering conditions in Donetsk, seeing 60 per cent of the ball as Oxlade-Chamberlain and his team-mates put in a disciplined performance to keep them at bay. After the game, the 18-year-old explained that such situations are par for the course at this level.
“In tournament football there are going to be periods in the game where you’re up against world-class players in opposition teams and won’t get a lot of the ball,” he said.
“You’ve just got to make sure you get the right result – and sometimes you’ve got to win ugly, as they say. We have got a lot of quality in our team, but France showed lots of quality as well.”
Next up for Oxlade-Chamberlain is an important clash with Sweden this Friday. The Swedes may be seen as a rung below the French in terms of international footballing status, but they’re traditionally thorns in England’s side – and the Arsenal midfielder is expecting another intensely competitive encounter.
“Every game in this competition is going to be very hard for us,” he said.
“Teams wouldn’t have qualified unless they had the quality in the first place. So we’re approaching every game the same way and know it will be tough, but we have the ability to do damage to anyone on our day.
“As long as we keep approaching each game in the right way and keep our eye on our goals, working hard and matching each team we come up against, then hopefully our attacking prowess can come out.”