By Nick Ames
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been one of Arsenal's brightest sparks of the past month but the young midfielder refuses to get carried away by the plaudits that have come his way.
The 18 year-old is the son of ex-England winger Mark Chamberlain and he told this month's Official Arsenal Magazine that, come rain or shine, his dad is always on hand to keep him focused as he aims for the consistency that can prove elusive for young players.
“With him being by my side I can never get too big for my boots,” said Oxlade-Chamberlain. “He always keeps me rooted and highlights the things I need to do better.
"When I do have a good game he’ll have a quiet word and say ‘well done’, but that’s as far as it goes because he points out that I’ve now got to keep doing it.
“As a winger, when you have a good game and take people on then people expect the same every week. I’ve got to do what I can to apply that consistency, and that’s what he tells me.
"It’s the same with my mum – she was always encouraging me to do my schoolwork and focus on other things in life. I think I’ve got a well-grounded family network and that definitely helps me.”
It’s a little known fact that Alex’s sporting genes can be traced back to his mum, too. He explained: “She always likes to keep fit and played volleyball quite seriously when she was younger. She actually had trials for England and went along with the squad once, but it was too far to travel so she didn’t pursue it.
"She runs marathons too, and in pre-seasons I used to go out running with her until I got a bit too quick!”
The Official Arsenal Magazine is available from all Club shops and good newsagents, as well as from programme sellers at all home games. You can also subscribe online or call 0845 301 7626.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 23 Feb 2012