No Arsenal player has played in as many games for the Gunners this season as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, although 10 of his 24 appearances for us have been as a substitute. That is probably more than the dynamic young England international expe3cted though, because with a fully fit squad, Arsene Wenger would often leave the Ox on the bench.
Chamberlain is well on course to enjoy his best season in an Arsenal shirt this time, which will go some way to making up for his injury hit campaign last time. He has done so well in the absence of Gunners like Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere, that they might find it hard to dislodge him.
And that attitude needed to take your chance when it comes is just what the Ox is urging from the young Gunners in the Arsenal squad to face Galatasaray tonight, as revealed in an Arsenal.com report. The 21-year old is already an inspiration and a role model to those hoping to break through from the Arsenal academy because of how well he has done for club and country at such a young age.
A big part of his success has come from his fearless approach to big games and pressure and that is just what he hopes to see from any of the six youngsters who get their chance in Turkey.
He said, “All young players have to start somewhere and you have to be challenged at some point, so if they have the opportunity to play they have a chance to prove they are capable.
“From what I have seen, they have all got good quality, they are all good lads and I am sure they will be up for the challenge and trying to prove to the boss they are good players.
“The pressures of the game at this level can be different for everyone but when you’re young you do play with no fear and that can be the best way to approach a big stage like the Champions League.
“The boys who have been here before have a responsibility to help the young ones to get through the game and cope with it.”
Let’s hope they follow Chambo’s advice as well as his example and we could see a few stars of the future being born.