As syndromes go, second-season syndrome isn’t that bad…it’s curable for a start. That being said, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admits that dealing with criticism this term has been tough even though he stresses that all feedback is being used as motivation to improve on the pitch.
The England international has struggled for a regular run in the team at the Emirates in recent months having been tipped last season to be a star for both club and country.
Nonetheless, optimistic about the future the 19-year-old believes that he can cope with the hype around his potential to deliver the goods.
“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.com.
“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.”
Looking back on his first 18 months at the Emirates Chamberlain also paid tribute to the Arsenal supporters having been welcomed into their warm, comforting, bosom-heavy embrace.
“The supporters welcomed me with open arms and really did make me feel welcome. 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.”
Arseblog News fully expects the Ox to come good and thinks that, unlike last summer when he was whisked off to Euro 2012 with the media clinging to his coattails, a good rest and full pre-season will do him the world of good.
Learning from the likes of Cazorla, Podolski, Arteta and Rosicky will do him the world of good in the long-term even if it means he’s confined to the bench at the moment and while the element of surprise may have gone, the boy still has everything in his locker to be a star at the highest level. Alongside Wilshere he’s fundamental to the future of the club.