Pat Rice on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performance, explains Robin van Persie’s omission
Written by Jeffrey on September 29, 2011 4:45
He played, he scored, he impressed. Even if he was making his Champions League debut, young Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t disappoint as he scored, fought and assisted his team-mates.
Speaking in his Olympiacos post-match press conference, assistant manager Pat Rice was full of praise for the 18-year old as he explained that he can go inside, can go outside and possesses the pace to be dangerous in the final third with the Northern Irish adding that what the players needs after yesterday’s game is consistency.
On a healthy competition with compatriot Theo Walcott, the 62-year old declared that it will not be easy for the youngster to secure a regular place but added that he possesses the confidence and strength to become a top-class player.
Rice concluded by explaining why Robin van Persie was initially kept on the bench, saying that the Dutchman played a lot of games during the first two months of the season and was given a much-needed rest ahead of Sunday’s game against Tottenham Hotspur.
[Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] can go inside, he can go outside, he’s got that injection of pace and I think what he needs now is to be consistent in his play.
I am sure that is something he will be working on because he’s certainly not a stupid boy. He has good people around him and they are telling him all the right things.
He is a very confident boy, a strong boy and he listens to what people tell him. I think he makes his own mind up because when you are a professional footballer loads of different coaches tell you lots of different things.
What you have to do is pick out the best things that are applicable to you. That is something Alex will no doubt actually do. He is very friendly with Theo and no doubt he will give him the benefit of his experience as well.
From Arsenal supporters’ point of view, they are going to be seeing a lot of this boy. Whenever he breaks in permanently he has a big, big challenge to now get in front of Theo.
I know that Theo is a very strong-willed guy as well and he won’t give in easy. It all bodes well for England anyway.
[Robin's omission?] Robin’s been playing a lot of games lately and it was just a question of Chamakh needing games. We just thought that we would give him a go.
You can’t say that Marouane didn’t try. If he had a little bit more luck he perhaps might have scored a third goal. But you cannot fault him for his work ethic.