Gunners starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has set himself a milestone to achieve in his already flourishing England national side career – to reach the 100 cap mark similarly to England legends David Beckham and Bobby Moore.
The versatile midfielder who was a surprise pick in Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2012 side has already managed seven caps despite being only 19 years-old, and the highly rated teenager has set the benchmark to join the illustrious 100 club.
Gaining Hodgson’s trust has done wonders for Oxlade-Chamberlain’s confidence, and starting the match against France in the opening fixture of Euro 2012 was an inspirational experience for the youngster.
He told The Daily Mail:
Everyone would like to get to 100 but that’s a massive target.
If I can get close to that, I will be absolutely delighted. I guess I could say 100 and I would be more than satisfied. I’ve got to do well on and off the pitch to get there, though.
I want to make sure I keep working hard enough to keep getting in those England squads and to have many more of those experiences.
Just being able to train with the boys, people like Steven Gerrard that I’ve grown up watching, is huge for me.
The Euros was a massive experience for me, moving forward in my career. I didn’t think that would come so soon so it was an honour that it did. I enjoyed every minute of it.
Just seeing the stadiums and the fans and the buzz of a tournament like that was an experience I will never forget – and one that I hope will happen every two years.
It’s just inspirational for someone like me. And then to get the nod to play in the first game was unbelievable. It was great for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Ox will get a chance to add to his cap tally over the next week as England play their World Cup qualifiers against San Marino on Friday and Poland on Tuesday.
He has yet to cement a starting spot with the Gunners but that is completely understandable as he competes with Podolski, Gervinho and Walcott every week. For England though the competition is lower. Walcott and Milner are his two main threats, and Chambo has recently been preferred to Theo for club and country.
Consistency will be key for the tricky midfielder as he looks to establish himself for club and country, he can sometimes become non apparent in matches and becomes sloppy. But he is extremely hard working, his finishing is excellent as we’ve seen with some stunning strikes over the past year, he has the skill to succeed and most importantly he is a Gunner!
Can he make the 100 caps mark? Definitely! Beckham played his first match for the Three Lions when he was 21, Chambo has two years and seven caps already. It’s hard to deny that England and Arsenal’s future looks very bright with the likes of Wilshere, The Ox, Gibbs and Jenkinson gaining consistent minutes at a young age.