Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was pleased with his 70 minutes of action against Coventry City in the Gunners 4-0 FA Cup victory, and feels it will help him to regain full match fitness.
The England international started just his second game of the season on Friday night, playing in central midfield alongside the slightly more defensively positioned Jack Wilshere. The Ox certainly produced an impressive outing where he helped to dictate play in the middle of the park against a lower league Coventry City side.
There were a couple of moments to forget, namely when he lost possession in a dangerous position that almost led to a Coventry goal, however overall his distribution was solid and his energy and skill evident in the first half.
He dipped slightly in the second, something he puts down to his lack of match fitness that he feels is slowly coming back after five months out with a knee injury.
Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal Player after the tie:
I’m a bit tired and I’m not match fit yet. In the second half that showed a little bit in my performance but that will come.
It was really nice to get back on the pitch from the start of the game tonight and a little run-out in midfield was nice for me as well. That’s a stepping stone in the right direction for me and with a few more starts I should be back to match fitness.
After last seasons FA Cup exit at the hands of Championship side Blackburn, Wenger had warned his side against complacency and motivated them to be ready to attack from the get go.
The Ox added:
The boss warned us that we needed to come out all guns blazing and really get the job done properly. I think we did that, getting the first goal was always important tonight and we managed to push on from there.
At the start of the second half, credit to them, they came out right at it again. When we got the third goal it killed it again. To win 4-0 is what we wanted to do tonight and ultimately we’re through to the next round.
It’s hard coming into games against lower league opposition but we knew that they were a threat. We could see they tried to play out from the back and they did at times, they played some really good football.
We gave them the respect that they deserved and rightly so. We are Arsenal Football Club so if we prepare right, approach the game properly we want to be coming out of those games winning them. Tonight we showed good professionalism and we managed to get the win.
Overall it was a promising run out for the young Englishman. After such a length spell on the sidelines it was good to see him back in action especially in central midfield where he will slowly start to transition into full time. However it will be these sorts of fixtures when Wenger can rely on the former Southampton starlet to give his other stars a rest and gain some experience in the centre of the park.
There is certainly plenty more to come from The Ox.