Summer signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrated his first start for Arsenal with a debut goal against Shrewsbury Town in the Carling Cup, and the 18-year-old has revealed his delight in opening his account for his new club.
The England Under-21 international made the move from Southampton to the Emirates Stadium during the summer transfer window, and the midfielder came with a big reputation from the Football League.
A cameo appearance against Manchester United, was followed by his first start against Npower League Two Shrewsbury, and Oxlade-Chamberlain was thrilled to get on the scoresheet.
"I received the ball, it opened up for me and I thought I would try my luck," he said. "Luckily enough it went in and I’m delighted.
"I haven’t been on the bench as much as I would have liked recently and that is due to some quality signings. I forgot what it felt like to be out there.
"I came back here before the game this evening, walked out on the pitch and realised what a big stage it is. Straight away I was excited about the game and it was brilliant to be involved. I gave it my all tonight and I hope I did well."
Successive away defeats to Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers had many critics writing off Arsene Wenger's side of making any challenge of the Barclays Premier League title, and despite Oxlade-Chamberlain being confident in the squad's ability, he admitted last night's win could prove to be vital.
"It was a massive game for us," he added. "Even though you may say it is against lesser opposition, we still had to bounce back from the result at the weekend, put a statement down and make sure we qualified for the next round.
"With a younger, less experienced squad we did that tonight.
"I think it is a really good squad. I think we just need to keep plugging away and it will come right for us.
"There are a lot of quality, quality signings here and a lot of quality in the boys that are already here. We just need to gel together now and kick on. I think we have what it takes to get to the final in this competition and put in a good claim in the Premier League and the FA Cup too."
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