Oxlade-Chamberlain calm over role
Published 25/03/2013 | 08:06
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed words of advice from Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott helped him overcome the frustration of not playing as regularly as he wanted at Arsenal this season.
The midfielder, currently preparing for England's vital World Cup qualifier in Montenegro on Tuesday, admits he wanted to play more games during his second campaign of senior football.
But the 19-year-old also understands Gunners boss Arsene Wenger's desire to carefully nurture his younger players, and said: "My season hasn't progressed in a way as much as I would have wanted to because I always want to play. But I also understand the manager, in Arsene, will protect his younger players."
He went on: "I remember speaking to Robin van Persie last year, and Theo Walcott before, and they said they had experienced the same thing.
"They said if it happens to me, don't get frustrated.
"But I can't complain with the way the season has gone. There is still a long way to go in the season and I could be a crucial part of that at some time.
"I've just got to make sure I'm mentally ready and physically ready to help the team. Obviously we've got a tough run-in to make sure we get the top four."
Oxlade-Chamberlain added: "The boss (Wenger) has got his reasons for what he does. He's a very wise man, a brilliant manager, and I'm sure he has got good reasons.
"All I can do is keep working hard and, when I do get chances, make sure I'm doing well, and be a positive player in the team."