By Giuseppe Muro
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is determined to follow in his father’s footsteps and play for England. But Arsenal’s summer signing has set his sights on winning more caps than his dad.
The teenager, who joined the Club from Southampton in August, turned heads with two outstanding displays for Stuart Pearce’s Under-21s last week and harbours ambitions to represent the senior side one day.
His father, Mark Chamberlain, won eight England caps in the early 80s and the winger admits he would love to surpass that total.
“Things are looking good but there’s plenty I still need to do if I want to play for England one day, like my dad did,” he said. “And hopefully win a few more caps than he did!
“I always knew I wanted to be a footballer and, as long as that was my aim, then my dad would do everything to help me achieve it.
“My mum kept me concentrating on my schoolwork at the same time so it was a good balance. I think my friends always thought I’d make it but you can keep saying it as much as you like - there’s still a lot of hard work to do before it happens.”
Chamberlain Senior enjoyed a distinguished 20-year career with a number of clubs including Port Vale, Stoke and Portsmouth, racking up over 500 appearances along the way. Alex says the former midfielder had a big influence on his fledgling career.
“He’s hands-on when he needs to be - he’ll let me know when I’m not doing well or need to improve something, and he gives me plenty of good advice.
“When I do well, though, he won’t go over the top - he’ll quietly say ‘well done’, and point out where I could still improve. He’ll never let me get ahead of myself and it’s the same with my mum, even if she gets a bit more excited!
“My dad’s very calm and he does things in the right way for me - I understand him, and he’ll always be honest about how I’m doing.
“I still realise now that I haven’t reached the pinnacles I plan to, so I wouldn’t say I’ve made it yet either.”
The full interview with Alex is available in Saturday's Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.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 8 Sep 2011