by Nia Griffiths
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has admitted that there’s quite a bit of competitiveness between the team in training.
In a squad that’s starting to look dangerously deep, vying for one of the starting spots in the lineup is getting harder and harder. With the likes to Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere in midfielder, the middle of the pitch is particularly congested and it’s not enough to be just good anymore: you have to be amazing. The Ox has spoken about this competition, especially while coming back from injury, and what he wants to achieve next season.
“It’s always nice to play a game,” he said. “It’s a step in the right direction to getting back to full fitness, not just for myself but for everyone. We’re looking forward to the start of the season.”
He continued, “I’ve seen every year as a big one for me and this is no different. I did suffer from injuries for the last two seasons now, which is always frustrating and isn’t something you want.
“I do see this season as an opportunity. First and foremost, you have to do everything you can to stay fit, so I’m working on that. Then you never know what can happen in football. You’ve got to be positive and take any opportunities you get.”
Due to his injury last season, the midfielder only appeared for us 37 times, scoring three and assisting five. Improving on this and staying generally fit throughout the season is one of his main objectives.
“For now I’m just focused on trying to get my fitness back and make the start of the season in the best possible shape to give the boss a hard time so he has to think about his selections.”
“We’re all thinking that – there’s been a lot of competitiveness in training,” the 21-year-old revealed. “There’s been a high standard set and even the boys that have just come back look sharp and ready. That’s what we need looking ahead to the start of the season.”
The Ox is unlucky in that fact that he happens to play in a position where he would be competing with some of the best players in the world for a space. Hopefully this doesn’t put him off and he continues to work towards his goal.
“It’s not just me who thinks it’s a good opportunity, it’s a good opportunity for all of us, especially off the back of a good end to the season last year.
“But for myself it is an important season for me and I’ll just approach it the same way I have all of the other seasons.”