Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has admitted his second season with the Gunners hasn’t run quite as smoothly as he had hoped, but the advice from past and present Arsenal stars has helped keep things in perspective.
The 19-year-old burst onto the Premier League scene with all action displays last season consequently leading to an English senior call-up.
Since arriving on the international stage he has produced some thrilling performances including a goal scoring outing against San Marino on Friday, but despite his limited opportunites at club level recently he still is thinking positively about his future.
“Obviously, in a way, it hasn’t progressed as much as I wanted it to because I always want to play, but I always understood that sometimes the manager will protect his younger players,” said Oxlade-Chamberlain.
“I remember speaking to Robin and Theo before and they said they experienced the same thing so, if that happens to me, don’t get frustrated.
“I can’t complain with the way the season has gone. There is still a long way to go and I could be a crucial part of that at some point.
“I’ve got to make sure that mentally and physically I am ready to help the team. We’ve got a tough run-in to make sure we get in the top four.”
With fellow young star Jack Wilshere suffering heavily for playing too regularly early on in his career, Wenger has most likely held Oxlade-Chamberlain back to prevent applying too much pressure on the young man, and the England winger is content and trusts the Frenchman.
“The boss has his reasons. He is a very wise man, a brilliant manager,” he said.
“All I can do is keep working hard and, when I do get chances, make sure I am doing well, taking them and trying to score goals and just be a positive player.”
Roy Hodgson has continued to maintain faith in the youngster despite not playing regularly for his club, and Oxlade-Chamberlain is thankful for that.
“He showed good faith to play me. I knew I had to take my opportunity,” he said.