Arsene Wenger only used Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sparingly last season as he was obviously worried about causing the same burn-out that affected Jack Wilshere the year before, and it looks like Arsenal are still being cautious with The Ox this season as well and he has only started 15 games so far.
But Alex is more than happy to wait for his chances and hopes to grab them when he can. “I’m only 19 years of age and I’m at Arsenal Football Club,” he said. “I know I’ve got to bide my time, and maybe this is one of those times. Just to get a start was really important to me, and I know that when I get the opportunity, I’ve got to make sure I try and take it.
“It’s always nice for the confidence when you get a run of games. I had a few a couple of weeks ago, I think I played maybe five or six games on the spin and that was nice. I’ve got to expect to sometimes be pulled out because we’ve got so many talented players at this football club.
“Everybody wants to play so you’ve got to take being taken out of the team sometimes, let someone else have a go and make sure you’re ready to come off the bench and affect the games and help the team.
“I can remember last season, Robin van Persie came and spoke to me. He said ‘When I was first at the Club, I didn’t start, the boss used to take me in and out’. Look at the season he had last season, he was a key player. It was the same with Theo. You’ve got to bide your time, especially when you’re young.”
His chances may become even more limited now that Gervinho is expected back from the African Nations Cup any day now, and to be honest I think it is a good idea not to rush his progress too quickly, despite the fact that he could make a real difference sometimes. Maybe he could be restricted to being an impact sub for now?