By Joe Brewin
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admits that playing against AC Milan in the Champions League was an experience he will never forget.
The youngster lined up in the centre of midfield against the Italian giants, impressing in a 3-0 win at Emirates Stadium.
Despite an assured display, the 18-year-old says it was something of a culture shock reverting to the position he has not featured in since his days in the Southampton academy.
“It was a dream yes, but it was also a bit nerve-wracking because I haven't played there since Under-18s football I think,” he told Arsenal.com. “It is where I have grown up though so it was nice to go back there.
“I think my Dad was more excited about me playing in that game than any other because he thinks I am going to drift into central midfield more as I grow older.
“It was nice to play there, I just knew I had to work hard and do other bits of my game. Sometimes when you play on the wing a lot you forget other parts that you have to do in the middle.
“It is a different work rate as well. When you are playing on the wing you sprint a lot, recover and then sprint again, whereas when you are playing in midfield it is non-stop. Maybe it is slower running but it is here, there and everywhere.
“So it was different, a big shock to me but obviously playing against Milan with their players was a really good experience and one I won't forget.”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 17 Mar 2012