Per Mertesacker, Alexis Sanchez, Nacho Monreal, Mesut Ozil… take your pick of heroes from Arsenal’s FA Cup final win over Chelsea.
Arsene Wenger got high-class performances out of each of his players as the Gunners ended what had been a pretty miserable season with a 2-1 win over the Premier League champions.
One player who didn’t have his best game of the season was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - but the 23-year-old was forced to cope with completely unnatural circumstances.
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The Ox hadn’t even played as a right wing-back before this season, so how he reacted when Wenger informed him that he would be deployed at left wing-back is anyone’s guess.
With Kieran Gibbs out and Nacho Monreal stepping in in a back three, it was left to Oxlade-Chamberlain to start on the left.
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Credit to the England international, though, who got on with the task at hand. He seemed less inclined to push forward but that was beneficial in the second half as Chelsea pushed in search of an equaliser.
When teased by BT Sport about wing-back becoming Oxlade-Chamberlain’s permanent role, he said: “I don’t mind it, I like it.”
He continued: “Playing for a team like Arsenal we usually have a lot of the ball so it ends up being more of a right-wing job and I get to come from deep and I think that plays into my hands more.
“When I play out wide I’m not so used to running off the ball in behind. I prefer the ball to feet so in that sense I’ve really enjoyed it and at the end of the day it’s given me minutes, and I’ve loved every minute of just playing and starting games so I’m not one to complain.”
Ox has been watching Dani Alves
The former Southampton man admitted earlier in the week that he has watched Juventus star Dani Alves in order to further understand the position.
"When I've watched Dani Alves recently, he might not play the five at the back, but the way he plays, he marches on and he adds a lot in an attacking sense as well as defensively,” he said, per Goal. “Players like that, you watch and you learn from them."
But it’s through the middle where Oxlade-Chamberlain really sees his future.
Funny exchange with Gerrard and Savage
He admitted to BT Sport that he wants to develop into a centre midfielder. And who does he wish to emulate? Steven Gerrard, who was standing right in front of him when the Ox delivered his comments.
“Maybe the centre-mid role, Stevie, I’ve always wanted to be Steven Gerrard so I’ve still got a hope of that,” he said.
Robbie Savage, standing between Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gerrard,” interjected.
“Not me?” he asked, much to the delight of the BT Sport pundits.
“No I’m sorry Robbie, unfortunately not mate,” Oxlade-Chamberlain replied. At least he’s honest.
Watch the funny exchange below.
Where should Wenger play Oxlade-Chamberlain? Let us know in the comments section below!
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