Chamberlain must now step up, says Wenger

 

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has called on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Park Ju-young to make new year's resolutions to step up from fringe players to contenders for the first XI.

Wenger is concerned that his attacking strength is heavily reliant on Robin van Persie, and the players at his disposal will be further diminished when Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh head off for potential seven-week stints at the African Cup of Nations.

With this in mind, Wenger is hopeful that Oxlade-Chamberlain and Park, who both joined in the summer but have yet to start a game for the Gunners in the Premier League, can make the step up. "Alex is not far," Wenger said of the 18-year-old bought from Southampton for £12m in the summer. "In 2012, at the beginning of the year, he will play games. He is a talented boy, it's all there – he just needs that toughness in the game and because every game for us is so tight.

"I could have brought him on the other night [against Aston Villa] and you [consider] it. But you do not want him to be a little bit overruled by the intensity of the game.

"He is ready to play. He is just missing that experience at the top level. You have to throw him a few games."

Oxlade-Chamberlain's first experience of the Premier League was when he came off the bench in the 8-2 defeat by Manchester United at the end of August. It was an unhelpful experience he may want to forget – Arsenal were 4-1 down when he came on and Wenger added: "On the day, it was [doing no one a] favour to come on. The team was completely lost and it was not the best of favours I've done."

On Park, Wenger said that his own actions had as much to do with why the South Korea international had not yet made an impact as the player's. "It has been difficult because I have not given him the chance to play and the intensity of the challenges – some players take a short [time], others take a long [time]. But it takes you time."

Wenger has the utmost respect for the job Mick McCarthy is doing at today's opponents, Wolverhampton Wanderers, in the face of criticism from some of the club's fans. "Mick McCarthy is doing miracles at Wolves," Wenger said. "He is always ready for a fight, never gives up, keeps his steadiness and mental strength, never shows any strain.

"It is great what he does for his club. I believe that they play extremely good football as well."

Odds Home 2-9; Draw 5-1, Away 14-1.

Kick-off Today, 3pm (Highlights Sky Sports 1, 10pm)

Team news Johan Djourou (groin) is pushing for a return from injury for the hosts, although Francis Coquelin is more likely to start at right-back. Alex Song returns from suspension. For Wolves, David Edwards (groin) and Jody Craddock (hamstring) are nearing comebacks, but Kevin Foley (ankle) remains unavailable.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
Voices
voices In defence of the charcoal-furred feline, by Felicity Morse
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
people
News
A speech made by the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister urging women not to laugh in public in order to preserve morality has sparked a backlash on social media from women posting defiant selfies of themselves laughing at his remarks.
GALLERYWhy are Turkish women having a chuckle at the government's expense?
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star