'I haven't been affected by the hype'

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has thanked Arsenal's fans for getting behind him while he found his feet at Emirates Stadium.

The 19-year-old is coming towards the end of his second campaign with the Club after signing from Southampton in the summer of 2011.

Oxlade-Chamberlain made a big impression in his debut season and was rewarded with a call-up to the England squad for the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.


The teenager has had to wait patiently for chances this term, making 16 starts so far, but he remains a fans' favourite.

"The supporters welcomed me with open arms and really did make me feel welcome," Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal Player. "It’s nice when they take to you in a positive light.

"That support really did help me in my first season. I was a bit of an unknown quantity. People didn’t know what they were going to get from me. I was a young lad stepping up from League One into the Premier League and Champions League football. It’s a big jump and people didn’t really know if I was going to deliver.

"I think I found that in my first year, I was happy with the way it went and the fans took to me. It was almost quite exciting for them to see."

Like Theo Walcott, who also made the journey from Southampton to Arsenal as a teenager, Oxlade-Chamberlain's fledgling career has been surrounded by hype. But the 19-year-old takes it all in his stride.

"If you didn’t have people critiquing you, you wouldn’t find motivation"

"It hasn’t really affected me too much, because I’ve always been focused on where I need to be, and I’m always trying to improve my game," he said.

"Sometimes it is hard to ignore, when it’s coming in the papers and your friends are telling you what people are saying. It is hard, but it’s all part and parcel of it. If you didn’t have people critiquing you, you wouldn’t find motivation.

"I always want people to be watching me and I like it when people tell me I need to be doing more. It gives me more motivation to go out and there, roll up my sleeves and prove to them that they can knock me down, but I’m going to keep going and keep proving that I can play and I can do well."

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