The international break is upon us, and Alex Oxalde-Chamberlain can’t wait to return to England duty.
Due to injuries the winger hasn’t played since a win over Scotland in November, which saw him score his fourth goal for his country. Now he’s back in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the games against San Marino and Switzerland, and has been talking about the difficulty of playing for fans who oppose you for the majority of the season.
“When young players come into the squad they have to get used to that added pressure of playing for England,” the Arsenal man said.
“Playing for England, you will come under criticism at some point. There are a lot of fans from different clubs who support England and they will always have their own opinions going through the season on whether you should be in the squad or not.
“These are the things you have to deal with.”
When it comes to England squads I know I am less than positive about certain players whenever they are called up, always preferring an option from Arsenal. It can’t be particularly easy being an Arsenal player and feeling that you don’t have much support because you’re suddenly representing fans from the other London clubs, Liverpool, the Manchester clubs and more.
What’s clearly key in that situation is not to doubt yourself.
“You are always told you have to believe in yourself, otherwise nobody else will,” said Oxlade-Chamberlain. “You can’t go too far wrong with that.”
There’s little doubt the Arsenal man has confidence in his own ability. Let’s hope that can inspire two good performances over the next week, should he get on the pitch.