Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has urged his Arsenal teammates to not allow Chelsea mind games to get to them on Saturday so we can hopefully keep 11 men on the pitch this time.
The forward spoke about the impending Premier League fixture and admitted that it’s an intense match full of emotions and even mind games. Over the last few matches we’ve seen the likes of Per Mertesacker and Gabriel sent off because the occasion has got to them. Gab’s red card, for example, was a result of Diego Costa winding him up and provoking him to lash out.
If our players can stop the emotion of the situation getting to them, while remaining passionate enough to harness any aggression and turn it into positive energy, than we should be able to win.
“It’d be nice to keep 11 men on the pitch against Chelsea this time round,” the 23-year-old told Arsenal Player.
“I know it sounds funny but generally speaking in the last few games against them, it’s always a big clash with a lot of emotions and maybe some mind games.
“First and foremost, it’s a massive game and we just need to keep our discipline and stay in the game. I’d back this team to be able to beat anyone in the league on our day.
“It’s going to be a big occasion but we can’t get too caught up in it, we just need to go out and play our game.”
He added, “[The home crowd] will make a difference, but at the same time you’ve got to keep a cool head and you can’t let all of that cloud your judgement or get the better of you on the day,” he said.
“You know, if you go a goal up and the crowd starts getting right behind you it can push you on. At the same time, sometimes you might end up going a goal down and the crowd can show their frustration and you can’t let that affect you too much because you’ve got to focus on getting the right result and keep plugging away.
“The crowd will be massive and I’m sure the atmosphere will be great. It always is for the big games and we’ve got to use that to our advantage. We need to get the right result so everyone leaving the Emirates happy.”
The Ox is completely right although he’s probably one of our most sensitive players when it comes to crowd frustration. If he does get a chance to play, hopefully he can prove he’s above this.
Check out his goal he scored against Chelsea in the Community Shield last pre-season.