Estonia vs England: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes having a core players from specific clubs will be good for the Three Lions

Nine of the current 21-man squad hail from Liverpool and Arsenal and Oxlade-Chamberlain believes it will help England to gel together

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes England could benefit from having a core of players from a handful of top clubs, as seen with Spain and Germany in recent years.

Both countries boasted a strong axis formed around individuals from two of their best clubs when they won the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, respectively.

A similar situation now appears to be building in the Three Lions set-up, with nine of the current 21-strong squad playing for either for Liverpool or Arsenal.

There are four players from Anfield in the side right now, whereas the Gunners' quintet all began the second half of Thursday's 5-0 defeat of San Marino together after Oxlade-Chamberlain came off the bench.

 

The midfielder's introduction helped up the tempo and underlined the strong bond with his club team-mates, like when he provided the assist for Danny Welbeck just minutes after the break.

"When you do get to play week in, week out with team-mates and then bring that to international football, just knowing each other, off the pitch and on it, does really help in gelling the team together," Oxlade-Chamberlain said.

"The Germans and the Spanish they've been able to do that. Spain have a big influence from Real Madrid and Barcelona and when you go and watch Spain play it's almost like watching Barcelona or Real Madrid play at times, with the number of players on the pitch.

"It is a nice thing to have that with Arsenal at the moment. Liverpool have got a good number of players as well.

"It's not just those two clubs, everyone who comes away really does gel in well with the team and helps us to hopefully be successful and do well."

Oxlade-Chamberlain says there is a "really nice feel" to the squad right now, despite the hangover from England's dismal World Cup having yet to fully subside.

The Arsenal midfielder could only watch on helplessly in Brazil after missing the tournament through knee ligament damage sustained in the warm-up clash with Ecuador.

"I guess all I can do is try and make up for lost time," Oxlade-Chamberlain said.

"I did get a lot of experience out of that. It was a disappointing experience for me personally on the injury front and obviously on the bigger scale, as well for the nation.

"I know what we're playing for again in this qualifying campaign and it does give you the bit between the teeth to try and really push on and keep yourself fit, keep yourself in and about, playing as much as football as possible.

"It's really nice to be in good form - touch wood, I don't want to jinx myself with injuries.

"It's nice to feel good at the moment. I feel fresh and it's important to keep myself that way so I can help the team progress."

Oxlade-Chamberlain will be hoping his display against San Marino could see him start Sunday's qualifier in Estonia, a match few are expecting Hodgson's men to fall short in.

That only fuels former England Under-21s manager Stuart Pearce's belief that eligible players like Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling and Jack Wilshere should be playing for the Young Lions, if Gareth Southgate wants them.

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Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of five Arsenal players to feature for England on Thursday

Luke Shaw and Chambers were, in Hodgson's words, "loaned" to the Under-21s for this week's two-legged European Championship play-off with Croatia, only for injury to see the latter bumped back up to the senior squad.

"Why did I come over here?" Oxlade-Chamberlain said with a laugh when asked about the hot potato subject.

"That's a tricky question to answer, obviously. It's for the England manager to put his views on that.

"If he's got boys in the England squad and wants them in and around the England squad that's his choice.

"If he wants to advise them to go and play for the Under-21s then again that's his choice. That's all I can say on that matter."

PA

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