Ox ready to fill Song role
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is confident he can become the lynchpin of the Arsenal midfield following the departure of Alex Song to Barcelona.
Last Updated: 25/08/12 12:39pm
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is confident he can become the lynchpin of the Arsenal midfield following the departure of Alex Song.
The Cameroonian made a shock exit from the Emirates Stadium in a £15million switch to Barcelona earlier this week.
But England's teen sensation Oxlade-Chamberlain feels he can step inside from his accustomed wide role into the heart of the Gunners engine room.
He said: "They are big shoes to fill but you've got that anywhere at Arsenal. In any position you've got a big role to play and big shoes to fill. You only have to look back at the Invincibles and the team that won the league - they are massive shoes to fill for us.
"Whenever you're playing on the pitch you have to step up to the plate and perform.
"Alex Song was a great player for us and he was a big player for us - but we've got a strong enough squad. I'm definitely confident of that and I'm definitely confident of filling Alex's role."
And Oxlade-Chamberlain, who turned 19 this month, revealed the time when manager Arsene Wenger asked him where he sees himself playing in the future.
He said: "My dad was in the room and said 'Centre mid, he's a midfielder'.
"The boss sort of laughed and said 'I think he could be as well'. He said maybe to start off with I would be out wide and last season I did play the majority of my games on the wing.
"But the boss has been pushing more this season to try my hand in a more central position.
"If I can prove I can play in that position as well then that will help me and my career at Arsenal."
Oxlade-Chamberlain, is also confident that Arsenal will click soon enough after their disappointing opening weekend draw at home to Sunderland.
"Everyone wrote us off last season after our start and we still finished third," he said.
"We're all confident players and it's Arsenal Football Club. If we didn't believe we were going to win the league then there's something wrong.
"We keep our feet on the ground and work hard. The manager is as enthusiastic as ever and confident.
"He's put his faith in us and it's early doors in the season. We don't get carried away at all, we just take it game by game.
"I think we can do good things this season and we're all working hard to make that happen."