The pressure on the club to finally win a title has not gone unnoticed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who has admitted that Arsenal are under scrutiny.
The 21-year-old even said that if you can’t deal with the pressure and be ready to handle it, you shouldn’t be involved. Harsh words, but I’m sure the midfielder knows better than most how badly the players want to win a title.
“Those accusations fly around all the time,” the Ox admitted. “Arsenal seem to come under a lot more scrutiny than some but it comes with the territory, really. If you are not ready to deal with it then you shouldn’t be involved.”
He continued, “We are a big club, we expect a lot of ourselves, our fans deserve to see us winning things. So it does come with the territory and you have to accept what is said. But we know what goes on in the dressing room.”
As fantastic as winning the FA Cup two seasons in a row is, winning the title is just that step up and something Arsenal haven’t done since the Invincibles. Therefore, this new set of players must be itching to make history themselves.
I think everyone is in agreement that we need a consistent season in order to challenge for the title. However, it’s also important that if we do wobble, we have the strength to pick ourselves up again.
“Through the season whenever we have had a bit of an iffy spell we tend to bounce back from that quite quickly,” he said. “If we suffer a defeat we then go on to win quite a few games. A turning point last season was after the Monaco defeat in the Champions League. We went on a run after that. We bounced back quickly. Southampton away we lost at the turn of the year and then went on to win maybe the next five. Tottenham away as well when we lost that one. Out of all of these disappointments the squad has got a real strong ‘bounce-backability’ and we pick ourselves up.”
He added, “But we do have to work on avoiding those downfalls in the first place because consistency is what will help us be successful.”
The main aim at this moment in time, however, is just to get the season underway with a win.
“You have to get off to a good start and then you have to keep the momentum going,” he explained. “If you manage that it gives you a good chance. I could sit here all day saying what we will and won’t do this year but at the end of the day talking wins you nothing. We need to prove ourselves out on the pitch.”
He later added, “It will come down to consistency and who can put the perfect season together for as long as possible.”