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Oxlade-Chamberlain: There is always pressure

Arsenal attacker Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has admitted to feeling under pressure throughout his second season at the club.

The 19-year-old made an immediate impact following his move to the Emirates Stadium from Southampton in August 2011, appearing 26 times and notching four goals during his debut campaign.

That form subsequently earned the midfielder international recognition at senior level, and he has amassed a total of 10 England caps since making his debut in May 2012.

However, Oxlade-Chamberlain says following up such an impressive start has been a tough ask and is keen to emphasise that he is still learning his trade.

“It has been difficult,” he told Arsenal’s official matchday programme.

“There is always pressure, but maybe people forget that I am only 19 and will still be 19 at the start of next season. When you have a good first season, especially at 18, people hype you up and really want to see you kick on. They expect you to play lots of games and do really well.

“I have tried to carry on from last season, but sometimes you have to realise that you are a young lad and have a lot to learn. The experience of being in a club and league like this is a great education at this age.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain also claimed that he has no concerns over being used as a substitute at this stage of his career, having come from the bench in half of his 22 Premier League appearances this term.

“You always want to start but your responsibility when you are on the bench, especially as a winger, is to come on, change the game and help drive the boys forward, that is what I have been trying to do, to make things happen and add a different dynamic to the game,” he added.

“I have been working on things like my team play, my defensive play and getting back into the right positions off the ball and these things aren’t often noticed.

“I started pre-season playing in central roles and have played there in training, so I am trying to develop that as well. I am happy with the way things are going and the most important thing is that the team finishes where we need to. I am happy to be a part of that.”
Tue 30 April, 2013
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