Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed how much he cares about what people think and say about him and, to be honest, it’s a little concerning to read.
The forward hasn’t had the best time in recent seasons. Injuries have arguably not helped his dip in form but at the age of 23, we all predicted he would be at a very different level. This appears to have taken its toll on the young man and he now seems completely immersed in trying to improve.
Speaking to Arsenal Player, the England international admitted that whether the Gunners win or lose, he will go home after the match and watch the entire 90 minutes. He won’t settle until he’s done this.
“Football, for me, is life,” he said.
“If football’s going well, my life’s good and my life’s happy. 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.”
The Ox went on to speak about how what other people think of him affects him and it doesn’t make for easy reading.
“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.”
The former Southampton man’s sensitivity is something that’s been brought up by Arsene Wenger and the Ox’s father, Mark Chamberlain, before. When he messes up, which happens, he takes it really hard and then his football suffers even more.
You never want to read or hear about players not really enjoying their job anymore or taking it too seriously. Hopefully, things start to improve for him soon and I’m glad he claims to have gotten a handle on things over the last six months.