Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says football is his life and the Arsenal star is determined to make the most of his talent.
The 23-year-old has made over 200 senior appearances for club and country, winning two FA Cups with the Gunners and earning 24 caps for England.
He claims to study every game he plays in order to pinpoint areas for improvement and revealed a strong desire to better himself.
“Football, for me, is life,” the former Southampton player, who scored in Tuesday’s 4-0 EFL Cup win over Nottingham Forest, told Arsenal’s official website.
“If football’s going well, my life’s good and my life’s happy. If it’s not going well, off the pitch I’m not as happy and I go home and I take it around with me a lot.
“After every game, no matter what – whether it’s a win, a loss or a draw – the first thing I do when I go home is I get on the TV and watch the whole 90 minutes again before I do anything.
“I generally won’t go out for dinner or go and chill with my friends until I’ve watched the whole 90 minutes.
“Whether I’ve had the best game of my life or the worst game of my life, I always need to look back on the game and see what I did well or could have done better.
“That’s what I do and that’s how seriously I take my football – it’s not a job, it really is a lifestyle. It’s 24 hour, on and off the pitch. You have to think about what you’re doing and how that will affect you going into training.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has been deployed in several positions by Arsene Wenger, has often divided opinion, but he has long since given up on trying to satisfy every critic.
“I’m the type of person that tends to care a lot about what people are saying and what people are thinking,” he said. “I think as I’ve grown older I’ve learnt that you really can’t please everyone.
“As I’ve got older, the pressure on myself and the expectations go up. You need to find a way to manage that the best for yourself and I’ll be honest, it’s not until recently, the last six months to a year or so, that I’ve fully got my head around how to go about that with dealing with people’s expectations on me and my own expectations.
“It can be hard and I still think I’m quite young, I’ve just turned 23 and now it’s focusing on how to push myself further and better myself as a player.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain scored in Arsenal’s season-opening 4-3 loss to Liverpool, with Wenger’s side having taken 10 points from their four subsequent Premier League matches.
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