The last couple of months have been tough for everyone connected with the club, so it was especially pleasing to win at Middlesbrough on Monday night.
After the match, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain spoke to the media - and here's what he said:
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on if Arsenal needed to step up…AOC: Yeah, of course. What we’ve done previously in the last few games hasn’t been good enough. We needed to take responsibility for that and we’ve done that this week between ourselves. We knew today that it didn’t matter how we won, we needed to go out there and get back to the basics, and that’s making sure that our commitment levels were right to play for this football club. It’s a massive honour to play for a team like Arsenal. You’ve got to give it 100 per cent week in, week out, and maybe that had been slipping in the last few weeks. That was the first thing we needed to get back to tonight and we did that. The three points were massive.
on the new formation…AOC: It was something new for us. We worked on it this week. It was a change and new for a lot of us, but I think we’ve adapted really well to it tonight. Especially in the first half I thought it worked really well for us. In the second half, Middlesbrough came out and made it a lot more difficult. They went direct at the end but all in all it was a new system and we’ve got the three points with it - that’s all that matters.
on Arsenal doing the ‘nasty things’ better tonight…AOC: Yeah, we tried to, especially at the end when they sent a lot of long balls forward and we had to defend. It was a proper defensive performance at the end. There were times that we got opened up but I think we all recovered as well as we could and when balls came into the box, other than for the goal where they got the first contact, I think the boys defended really well. That’s why I said the commitment was everything tonight. I just want to say one more thing - in recent weeks it’s not gone well for us and to see our fans travel all the way up here on a Monday night means everything, for them to stand by us. It was only right that we could get them three points so we’d like to thank them.
on if Arsenal deserved that support…AOC: Look, it’s a massive club and that’s one thing that as players it’s an honour to play for. To see them come all the way up here and support us after a tough time means everything and we need to keep fighting for them.
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