Not just selfies - Arsenal have self-belief, says the Ox

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is aware it's still early days yet but feels the squad are the most confident and serious in his time.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is aware it's still early days yet but feels the squad are the most confident and serious in his time.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has rejected Roy Keane's claim that Arsenal cannot win the Premier League because too many of their players are "interested in selfies" and care more about how they look than securing victories.

The Gunners midfielder said that the club's Community Shield win over Chelsea on Sunday had put down a marker for the season, as his side aim to improve on third place in the Premier League behind Jose Mourinho's side and Manchester City.

He struck the only goal of the game at Wembley and said the squad are the most confident he had been involved with at the club.

Asked about Keane's weekend remarks regarding selfies, Oxlade-Chamberlain, 21, said: "It's a new era, isn't it? Some people do it, some don't. We're serious about winning trophies. We've been serious every single year I've been at the club about winning trophies.

"You can see that on the pitch. 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."

The England international described the belief in Arsenal's squad as being the strongest since he joined in 2011.

"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 and the nice feeling from that. That always helps. As a team we've suffered some upsets as well and I think we've grown from that and learnt.

"It was what we needed against a good Chelsea outfit after the season they had last year. It's important for us to come into these fixtures and lay down good foundations and good markers. I'm glad we did that at Wembley.

"It does help the confidence and that belief and faith going into that next fixture against them. Against any of the teams at the top of the table, that helps but it is a long season and it is very early doors."

After Arsenal's victory - their fifth in five pre-season matches and one which ended a run of 13 matches without a win for Arsene Wenger against Mourinho - Oxlade-Chamberlain emphasised the need for results against the top sides: "Jose is a fantastic manager. He's shown that over a number of years and he puts out great sides - he's got great tactics.

"It's important we can compete with those teams and we've always got to try to go one better and win. We managed to do that this time and that's good but we can't get carried away. I'm sure we're going to have a few more fierce competitions and fierce games against them this season."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2015, with the headline 'Not just selfies - Arsenal have self-belief, says the Ox'. Print Edition | Subscribe