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'Football isn’t a job, it's my life'

It has been said that being a professional footballer requires an entirely different level of devotion and professionalism to most other jobs.Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may be seen as one of the more laid-back characters in the Arsenal squad, but he says his relaxed front hides a burning ambition to reach the very top.

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Oxlade-Chamberlain's fine goal at Forest

 “Football, for me, is life. If football’s going well, my life’s good and my life’s happy,” he said. “If it's not going well, off the pitch I’m not as happy and I go home and I take it around with me a lot.

“After every game, no matter what - whether it’s a win, a loss or a draw - the first thing I do when I go home is I get on the TV and watch the whole 90 minutes again before I do anything. “I generally won’t go out for dinner or go and chill with my friends until I’ve watched the whole 90 minutes.“Whether I’ve had the best game of my life or the worst game of my life I always need to look back on the game and see what I did well or could have done better.“That’s what I do and that’s how seriously I take my football - it’s not a job, it really is a lifestyle. It’s 24 hour, on and off the pitch. You have to think about what you’re doing and how that will affect you going into training.”

"I’m the type of person that tends to care a lot about what people are saying and what people are thinking. I think as I’ve grown older I’ve learnt that you really can’t please everyone."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

At 23, Oxlade-Chamberlain recognises the need for him to realise his potential, and says he has learnt some tough lessons since arriving at Arsenal.“I’m the type of person that tends to care a lot about what people are saying and what people are thinking,” he said. "I think as I’ve grown older I’ve learnt that you really can’t please everyone.“As I’ve got older, the pressure on myself and the expectations go up. You need to find a way to manage that the best for yourself and I’ll be honest, it’s not until recently, the last six months to a year or so, that I’ve fully got my head around how to go about that with dealing with people’s expectations on me and my own expectations. “It can be hard and I still think I’m quite young, I’ve just turned 23 and now it’s focusing on how to push myself further and better myself as a player.”

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