Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has paid tribute to the “overwhelming” support he has received from Arsenal fans during his successful debut season with the Club.
The young forward has impressed since his summer switch from Southampton, breaking into Arsène Wenger’s first-team squad on a regular basis since the turn of the year.
Oxlade-Chamberlain believes the supporters have helped him to settle from day one – and have played their part in the team’s excellent run of form.
“With 60,000 fans screaming you can’t not hear them,” he told the Official Matchday Programme. “It does help us and spur us on, and the more they cheer for us over the rest of the season the more it will help. We always go out and play for them and if we work together it will help us to succeed as a Club.
“On a personal level they have been great to me as well and I can’t thank them enough. When you go out to warm up and get a standing ovation you try not to smile or start laughing, but sometimes it’s hard as it can be quite overwhelming!”
Oxlade-Chamberlain will be keen to start against Wigan at Emirates Stadium on Monday, having featured off the bench in Arsenal’s last four league matches.
But the 18-year-old knows that whoever starts, Arsenal will be in for a tough test against Roberto Martinez’s in-form side.
“You just have to look at their last couple of games, playing really well to push Chelsea all the way and then beating Manchester United with a great performance,” he said.
“We beat them convincingly at their place earlier in the season, but they did play some good football that day.
"I think we do too though, so if we match them physically and work hard then we have the quality to come out on top. But we know it will be a hard game for us.”
The full interview with Alex is available in the Official Matchday Programme for the Wigan game. Click here to subscribeCopyright 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 16 Apr 2012