19-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain watched the FIFA World Cup 2010 with his friends in a pub in Southsea. But two years later, the Arsenal winger is a part of the England contingent that will travel to Ukraine and Poland to participate in the Euro 2012. Just an year ago, Ox was playing in League One for Southampton and his meteoric rise saw him earn his full England debut against Belgium at Wembley. And for the player, the journey has been amazing.
In a year, everything has changed around. It has changed around very quickly. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and I hope I continue in the same way. It was not long ago I was watching the 2010 World Cup with some friends in Southsea.
I went home to see my friends the other day in Southsea and we drove past the pub where we watched the England-Germany game. I was sitting with my best friend and he said it was unbelievable that a couple of years ago we were in there watching it and in the next major tournament I’m out there with all the boys.
It sort of puts things into perspective for you and it has been an amazing journey. But it is the start. It is just the start for me and I can’t get carried away. I’ve got a long, long way to go and I’ve got to keep working hard and try and make my future bright.
The winger, who made his full premier league debut against Manchester United and impressed all, admitted that his England call up was a surprise and that he had to cancel a pre-planned holiday to join the team.
I’d even booked a holiday to Marbella which was due to start on Saturday. All my friends have gone out there and I cancelled that one, and was happy to do so! To be involved with your country means so much.
It was nice to get the first one (start) out of the way. It’s a start in my England career I guess, the first of many I hope. It’s always nice to win as well. I thought we played some good stuff at times and it was against a good Belgium team.
It was a really good experience for myself and I enjoyed every minute of it and hopefully it is the first of many. A few of the lads had a word with me, Stevie Gerrard, Scott Parker, the experienced boys. They just said go out and enjoy it and, when someone says that to you, you do realise it is a game of football. I’ve been playing since I was seven at a professional club and you are tuned to perform in moments like that. If you go out and relax, it just comes to you.