This up and coming season will be, amazingly enough, the fifth as an Arsenal player for our young England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. And we are all hoping that the exciting and dynamic star can finally show us what he is all about over the course of the campaign and not just in flashes.
In a way, the Ox has had more success on the international stage than he has at club level, although he has been pretty unlucky with injury problems as well as having a lot more competition for places in the Arsenal squad. He did manage the most appearances in all competitions for us last season, but still only started 17 times in the Premier League and 23 times overall.
That has clearly been frustrating for him but is also making the Ox more determined than ever to shine in the coming months. And a decent and complete pre-season will certainly help with that, although the 21-year old has revealed that this is his least favourite part of the year, as reported by the Daily Star.
Chamberlain said, “It is horrible! The first week is hell. We’re on day two now and it’s hard work.
“It’s a lot of running, crying, sore muscles, painful massages – it’s horrible but this is my sixth pre-season including Southampton now and you get used to it.
“You know what you’re in for and I think that’s why you enjoy your holiday whilst you have the chance because once you come back here it’s not too much fun for the first three weeks until you get back into the season.
“You have to push yourself hard to get back to Premier League standards and level of fitness.
“Playing Premier League teams like Everton or Stoke, whoever it may be, is obviously a good test for us and will get us back to where we need to be.”
Where the Ox needs to be is in the Arsenal starting line up and these next few weeks represent a fantastic chance for him to prove to the boss that is where he belongs. But in which position do we want to see him?