Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain calls on England to beat Brazil at the Maracana
Arsenal midfielder wants to forget draw with Republic of Ireland
Friday 31 May 2013
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has called on England to banish the memory of their poor showing against Republic of Ireland by beating Brazil in the Maracana just as his father did 29 years ago.
England's final home game of the season ended in disappointment on Wednesday night as they had to rely on a Frank Lampard goal to save them from defeat against world-ranked number 39 Republic of Ireland.
Aside from the odd flourish from Wayne Rooney, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott, England lacked a cutting edge up front while the botched attempt at tracking Shane Long for Ireland's opener summed up the fragile state of the new-look Three Lions defence.
Given that Brazil represent at huge step up in quality from Giovanni Trapattoni's team, some fear England will be given a good hiding when they face the Selecao in the opening match of the new Maracana - provided the game goes ahead following yesterday's doubts about safety.
But Oxlade-Chamberlain, speaking before safety concerns were raised about the Maracana stadium that threatened the very fixture, was upbeat about England's chances of bouncing back with a good performance this weekend.
"There is nothing better than being able to go and play at the Maracana, it's amazing," the Arsenal winger said.
"To be able to round off the season like that is really good and I think more importantly we want to take the disappointment we felt(from not beating Ireland) into the game and put right.
"We want to make sure that we take the positives out of the performance, like how we did in the second half, into the next game and what better stage than the Maracana in Brazil to try and do something good..."
Of all the England players who touched down in Rio yesterday morning, you would have thought that Oxlade-Chamberlain would be best prepared to deal with the pressures of playing in the Maracana.
Oxlade-Chamberlain's dad Mark, after all, helped England secure a 2-0 victory on their last visit to the famous stadium in 1984 when John Barnes scored one of the best England goals of all time.
Oddly, Chamberlain Snr, has not spoken to his son in depth about the game in Rio almost three decades ago.
"He's not told me what to expect," the former Southampton winger said.
"If I asked what it's like he would tell me, but he has not made a big fuss.
"I asked him once how he did and he just said he had a pretty good game.
"I've not seen the game once. He's very modest. He hasn't spoken to me about it or bigged himself up at all about that game.
"I've only seen the John Barnes goal that everyone has seen,
"I don't need him to tell me what a stage it is, how amazing it is and what the atmosphere will be like.
"I'm looking forward to getting there and seeing what it's all about.
"Hopefully I get a chance to play, with what my dad has done out there it adds a bit more history and a bit more of a proud feeling to be out there."
Oxlade-Chamberlain's father will not travel to Brazil for the game.
"It's too far for him. He's happy to watch that on TV," Oxlade-Chamberlain said.
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