If his fears do prove correct, you would have to feel sorry for the Arsenal and England international star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. At 21-years old it would hardly represent his last chance to appear in a Wembley final but that might not be much of a consolation if his injury problems and lack of fitness lead Arsene Wenger to leave him out of the Arsenal squad for the FA cup final against Aston Villa.
As reported by The Mirror, the Ox is actually pretty happy about how this current season has gone on a personal level despite the injury problems that have seen him make just 23 Premier League appearances. The dynamic and versatile player feels a lot more settled in the side and is happy to play wherever the boss wants him. He just hopes that the hamstring problem picked up in the quarter final stage against Man United at Old Trafford does not keep him out of a second Wembley final in a row.
That would not be just his second such setback either, as he missed a final as a teenager with Southampton as well and so you can understand how desperate the Oz is not to make it a third strike.
He said of last year´s final disappointment, “It was a really difficult one. It’s not a nice feeling. Especially when you feel that you have been influential.
“Last year I’d been injured three weeks and only came back a few days before the match and the manager felt the other boys who’d been playing and training were more ready.
“It was a disappointing one to take, especially because when I was at Southampton in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final I was in a similar situation. Alan Pardew said to me ‘I’m leaving you out today because I feel like you’ll be back here in the future a lot,’ and then the second one comes along and I miss it as well!
“I don’t know [if I’ll make it]. I hope that I’ll be fit and I’ll be available but it will be up to the manager to decide if he think I’m fit and I’m ready.
“I did feel [this season] was my best campaign. Gametime is obviously a plus – I felt like I was getting my fair share of that and I felt strong. For the first time I was an important part of the team.
“When you’re a young lad in a team like Arsenal you feel like, of course, you deserve to be at the club… but you’re on the periphery and there are world class players and more experienced players around you.
“[This season] especially, I felt like I found my own role in the team that was important to our team.”
THe fact that the young star did come on as a sub in the final Premier League game suggests that he has a good chance of being in the squad at least but there is very strong competition for places. Do you think the Ox will make it third time lucky on Sunday?