The Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has admitted that he was playing through the pain barrier for the whole of last season, which severely affected his performances, but this year he is perfectly fit and ready to make a big impression on the side.
In an interview with the Online Gooner, the young England international was asked if he thought this would be his breakthrough campaign. He replied: “You’ll have to ask me at the end I think. I feel good at the moment. I feel like I had a good pre-season, I feel strong.
“I felt last year, I played the majority of games in pain and not 100% right and I was battling through up until Christmas. I managed to get around 22 games under my belt and then my body sort of gave up on me again so that’s frustrating. So to feel like I do now is almost a bit of freedom. It’s nice to be able to train every day, play every game and not be in pain. It’s a massive thing you take for granted, your fitness. So that’s something that has been really nice so far this season and it stands you in the best stead to go and do what you love to do.
“There’s nothing more frustrating than playing games when you know in yourself that you’re not 100% right. Obviously last season I started and I’d be running around and no one would know there’s anything up but I’d come of the pitch and I couldn’t walk for a day or two properly. I was really sore, my groins were sore and that can be very demoralising, especially when you’re only 21 and thinking “what’s going on with me?”
“So this year, to have that freedom and that feeling throughout pre-season, even now it’s really nice, and that obviously gives me the best opportunity to hopefully play as much football as possible. Hopefully for me and the team we can have our best year in a while.”
We are all hoping for that Alex! And we all want to see his name on the scoresheet a bit more often as the season progresses. He has made 12 appearances so far this season, although half of those have been as a sub, and his only goal so far was the brilliant solo effort that won the Community Shield against Chelsea, so we need to see some improvement in that area.
But the team is improving and hopefully Alex will go with flow and end up as one of or heroes.
Onwards and Upwards!