May 18 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain insists he is unfazed by the hype surrounding him and says he uses criticism as motivation to spur him on.
The 19-year-old made a big impact in his first season at the Emirates after joining from Southampton in 2011 and was called up for Euro 2012 by England manager Roy Hodgson.
But Oxlade-Chamberlain has yet to establish himself as a first team regular in Arsene Wenger’s side, with some suggesting his progress has been slower than expected.
The youngster admits it can be hard to ignore the hype that comes with such a high-profile transfer at a young age but insists the criticism only drives him on.
“It hasn’t really affected me too much, because I’ve always been focused on where I need to be, and I’m always trying to improve my game,” he told Arsenal Player.
“Sometimes it is hard to ignore, when it’s coming in the papers and your friends are telling you what people are saying.
“It is hard, but it’s all part and parcel of it. If you didn’t have people critiquing you, you wouldn’t find motivation.
“I always want people to be watching me and I like it when people tell me I need to be doing more.
“It gives me more motivation to go out and there, roll up my sleeves and prove to them that they can knock me down, but I’m going to keep going and keep proving that I can play and I can do well.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain also thanked Arsenal’s fans for the support he has received since moving to north London.
“The supporters welcomed me with open arms and really did make me feel welcome,” he said. “It’s nice when they take to you in a positive light.
“That support really did help me in my first season. I was a bit of an unknown quantity. People didn’t know what they were going to get from me.
“I was a young lad stepping up from League One into the Premier League and Champions League football. It’s a big jump and people didn’t really know if I was going to deliver.
“I think I found that in my first year, I was happy with the way it went and the fans took to me. It was almost quite exciting for them to see.”