The Ox on Arsenal’s title chances, Deadline Day & England’s youngsters

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes Arsenal can win the title because of the collective spirit that is within the squad.

The 20-year-old is currently nursing a knee injury sustained on the opening weekend of the Premier League, cruelly ruling him out until November in what was supposed to be his breakthrough season in red and white.

Despite missing the subsequent games, Chambo has seen enough of their spirit to suggest that the club can end their trophy drought this season after eight years without any silverware.

With a battling 1-0 over rivals Tottenham Hotspurs fresh in their minds, the Ox knows there is plenty of ambition within the club and they will be gunning for the title this season.

He said in an interview with the Telegraph:

We’ve been contenders ever since I came to Arsenal. Or at least that’s the feeling in the squad. We really think we can take the title.

Obviously it hasn’t happened in recent seasons. But in the form we showed at the end of last season, and – when I was watching from the sidelines – in the spirit we’ve shown at the start of this, in the derby, everyone was fighting for each other.

That team spirit, you can’t buy it. That, along with our manager and the signings he’s just made, I’m absolutely full of optimism that this season can be a good one.

Without doubt we think we can win the title. Just like we believe we can win every competition we’re in. If you don’t believe that, if you aren’t striving, then you don’t deserve to be at Arsenal.

The Ox was excited to see Arsenal splash some cash on transfer record signing Mesut Özil after watching the Deadline Day action from home and felt a real buzz on what was a monumental day for the Gunners.

He added:

Literally from three o’clock when I got back from physio yesterday, I sat in the office with my computer, telly on and watched it straight.

My friends came over, we went out for dinner, then watched again through till eleven. Just sat on the sofa, loving it. It’s a real buzz, I get excited just like the ordinary fan. Just to see what’s going on, getting your head around a player putting on a different shirt. There’s always twists and turns. We’re in anticipation as much as anyone else.

Team-mate and friend Kieran Gibbs revealed his reaction when he heard the news that Özil was a Gunner, he revealed:

Jumped in the air. But you don’t even have to be an Arsenal fan to jump in the air. When you find out that a world class player like that is coming to England you’re going to jump for joy even if you’re a Tottenham fan.

Well, maybe not a Tottenham fan, I won’t push it too far. In the end the fans and the people inside the club have got what they want: a really great addition.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has had to watch the England national team from the sidelines while he undergoes rehabilitation from his injury, and while there is plenty of talk over a lack of English players in the Premier League, he said the international competition that arrives during every transfer window will essentially benefit the up and coming British players.

Asked whether he felt if young English footballers are becoming an endangered species, he said:

It’s a tricky one. To a certain extent. But there are a lot of young players out there stepping up and proving their worth: Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck. We’ve got Jack, Gibbo, Carl Jenkinson. I still think of Theo as young. I’ve been pleased to see Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend doing well.

But the Premier League is a very strong league, a lot of foreign players want to come here. And the big name players want to come, there’s a lot of money in the game, which means clubs can attract the stars from overseas.

At the same time, bringing in world-class players is only going to improve those already here. For me and Kieran to be able to work with Mesut Özil is surely good.

We’re aspiring to become England regulars, to learn how the foreign boys play will help us when we go on international duty. It definitely strengthens the league. Just as long as there is opportunity for young English boys.

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