Both Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and gunners talisman Robin van Persie have hailed the impact of Arsenal starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in recent weeks, particularly after his brace at the weekend against Blackburn.
While both admit he is a very exciting prospect, both are still wary that the Englishman is still only 18 years of age and are cautious that people shouldn’t exert to much pressure on the 18 year old as well as making sure the youngster doesn’t suffer from burnout from being overplayed.
Wenger said on the Ox:
When he came on at Swansea I felt ‘oomph’.
He had an impact straight away and in a very difficult game he was mature.
I thought he had made a big improvement there. His defensive work has stepped up as well.
But with the ball at Swansea he created danger.
That’s what happened to us last year with Jack Wilshere, it was exactly the same.
At the start of the season you think, ‘I will play him 20 games, maybe 25′.
But when they deliver a performance like Saturday’s they play 45 and then they play for the national team and then they get injured.
It’s very difficult to manage because people understand very quickly what kind of influence the players have. You want to win the game so you play them.
I don’t say I don’t want him to be rewarded with some praise when he has a good game.
It’s about trying to find the right balance between having confidence and not being too early and too much under pressure.
Walcott went to the World Cup without having played in the Premier League at all, so it was a bit early because he was 17 years old.
For a while I felt that the pressure on Walcott was after that because nobody had seen him.
He didn’t play at the World Cup and when he came back people said: ‘OK, he has been at the World Cup, now he has to deliver something special’.
But you’ve seen now that Theo is developing very well.
Robin van Persie said about Chamberlain:
He is a fantastic player already; he’s only 18 and is so young.
He’s good on the ball – he has everything. He’s quick, he has movement, technique, can score a goal or give an assist. He has a great future.
But don’t put too much pressure on him. You always have periods when you are young when you have really high highs and you go up and down until you balance it a bit better.
He will have ups and he will have periods when he’s not playing so well. So my advice is to be aware of it and be patient.
With a lot of talk centering around the young Englishman, it seems there is a big chance of the starlet to be included in the England national team for Euro 2012. If he continues to make the huge impact he has made at Arsenal in his last three starts, there is no doubt he should make the squad at the very least!