Arsene Wenger paid tribute to remarkable progress of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who makes his 100 appearance for Arsenal tonight against Borussia Dortmund.
“I like the way he is taking responsibility,” Wenger said. “He is knowledgeable about the team organisation and he is keen to do his job without losing his individual contribution. He doesn’t lose his quality with it.
“I’m very pleased with the way he is developing as a player. I have said it many times to my staff recently. He is becoming mature, responsible and still has initiative in the game.
“Alex is now at an age where he is ahead, because he already has 20 caps for England. That shows that the players that come here at a young age develop well. They get a chance to play with good players who improve their game a lot.
“I like Alex’s spirit as well. He has a good balance. His feet are on the ground and he accepts advice to improve. He is sociable and a good friend to the guys in the team.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain was oblivious to the milestone. “To play 100 games is a really nice milestone, but hopefully there is more to come.”
Starting with a goal away from the Emirates, bizarrely something he has yet to achieve. “Maybe I just feel at home here,” he said. “Sometimes you just can’t put your finger on it. It is something I need to get off my back sooner rather than later, though.”
A win tonight would take Arsenal to the knockout stages for the 15 consecutive season. Oxlade-Chamberlain made his Champions League
debut at home to Olympiacos three years ago. “I remember how much of a shock to the system it was,” he said.
“I scored early on, I think after about eight minutes so it was a dream start for me, but I didn’t have a great game that day. I was really surprised at how much quicker and how fierce the competition was. When teams counter attack you in the Champions League it is a real change of dynamic in the game.”
- More about: