Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the young English winger, is one of the brightest young prospects at Arsenal. Fast, skilful and capable of dribbling past players with ease, he is a real danger in the final third. The Ox has featured in all of Arsenal’s games in the Premier League so far this season, and the talented youngster believes that Arsenal are just starting to find their fluency again.
In the build up to the North London Derby today evening, the Ox spoke to arsenal.com about the teams’ prospects this season. Although the Gunners are unbeaten in five games this season, they have not really played at the same fluency they displayed last season.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has been encouraged by recent displays though, particularly last week’s 3-0 win at Aston Villa, and says the signs are positive.
I don’t think [we’ve been at our best yet]. We’ve been hard to beat at times, which is good, and we have shown that never-give-up attitude – especially earlier in the season when we nicked a late winner against Crystal Palace and came back to draw at Everton.
That’s good, as is the fact that we haven’t lost yet in the league. Last week against Aston Villa we went 3-0 up in quick fashion and then killed the game really well. After that we were a bit more relaxed and played more fluently – we were a bit more like ourselves, so I think it is coming together again.
Sometimes it can a take a few games to start playing the way we like to play, and it is easier said than done. But the important thing is that we haven’t been losing and I am sure that the attacking fluency will come back and we will come good.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of 14 Arsenal players at the World Cup, and he feels that the tournament has had an effect on the start of the domestic season.
Lots of the squad came back at different times and we obviously had the three German boys who were World Cup winners and only came back on August 11. So for them it must have been quite hard to get settled so late in pre-season.
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It is tough fitness-wise when you’ve had three or four weeks off and come back in when your team-mates and everyone else in the Premier League is at full fitness and you have to catch up really quickly. They have done really well to have bedded in and contributed as much as they have considering they came back so late.
One of the good things with the way the squad is now is that there is so much quality in numbers that the boss can pick from boys who are fresher than others at times, so that helps as well. That is going to important for the rest of the season as the games come thick and fast.
Wenger strengthened key areas of the team in the summer, and the marquee signing of Alexis Sanchez in particular has been a good piece of business for the team. The Chilean has been impressive, and along with Wilshere is probably the most in form player right now.
This depth in key positions will come in handy when we reach the latter stages of the Champions League and have to compete on multiple fronts at once. The defence of the FA Cup is also a priority for the team, and as such Wenger may choose to further strengthen the squad over the January transfer window.