Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hits back at Roy Keane's accusation that Arsenal squad 'more interested in selfies and six packs'

The England international scored the goal in Arsenal’s 1-0 Community Shield win over Chelsea, following another season interrupted by injury

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The Independent Football

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has struck back at Roy Keane’s accusation that the current Arsenal squad are “more interested in selfies and six-packs”, claiming they are just as determined to win trophies as any other club.

The England international scored the goal in Arsenal’s 1-0 Community Shield win over Chelsea on 2 August, following another season that was interrupted by injury. The victory followed a comprehensive savaging from Keane, who had accused Arsenal players of not focusing “on winning Premier League titles” but said instead: “It’s all about how their bodies look, how their hair is.

“They’ve got good players, really good players,” he said in an interview last week. “It’s just one or two of their players are more interested in selfies and six-packs.”

Asked about the rise of dressing-room selfie pictures, coincidentally banned by Sir Alex Ferguson in his final years at Old Trafford, Oxlade-Chamberlain said it was not a reflection of the hunger of the Arsenal players to be successful.

“It’s a new era, isn’t it? Some people do it, some don’t,” he said. “We’re serious about winning trophies. Personally, and I can speak for the rest of the squad, we’ve been serious every single year I’ve been at the club about winning trophies. You can see that on the pitch when we’re playing, through the season. A lot of people don’t see when we lose and go through tough times how upset and disappointed we are. We’ve always wanted to win trophies and in the last years we’ve won a few. This season we want to go that one better.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain said he had never known confidence among the Arsenal players to be as high as it is now, in his four years at the club. “We’ve all been together a good number of years, we’ve shared two consecutive successes in the FA Cup and we’ve had the highs from that. As a team we’ve suffered some upsets as well and we’ve learnt from that.

“The addition of Petr Cech will help us. He’s a quality player; an individual and a character who has won things. He has the winning mentality and can only help us.

“Ever since I’ve been at Arsenal we’ve had quality players. It just seemed that in the big games we came up short and you wonder why. The mentality was a big thing. We’ve got better at that, especially last year. A [win] against Chelsea is always important for us. It helps the confidence going into that next fixture against them. But it is a long season and it is early. We can’t get too carried away.”

Plagued by a groin problem last season, Oxlade-Chamberlain missed last summer’s World Cup with a knee ligament strain. He says this season he has worked harder than ever on his fitness. “At the back end of last season and recent times I’ve almost had to do more to give myself the best possible chance,” he said. “I’ve just continued that.”

The Real Madrid manager, Rafael Benitez, said yesterday he did not envisage striker Karim Benzema leaving for Arsenal or anywhere else this summer. The Frenchman has not travelled to the Audi Cup in Germany because of an injury. Benitez said: “I’m very content with him and we are happy to have him with us. He will stay with us. I can’t say any reason why he would leave.”

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