Walcott the inspiration for Ox

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Football News

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will travel to Poland and Ukraine alongside Arsenal teammate Theo Walcott, who will provide him with a reassurance, and source of inspiration as he prepares to manage the pressure of expectation with England at Euro 2012.

Six years ago, Walcott was a surprise inclusion in Sven-Goran Eriksson's Three Lions squad for the 2006 World Cup, despite only being 16, and having never made a senior appearance for Arsene Wenger's first-team.

His experience will be a great asset to Oxlade-Chamberlain's transition into the senior international side, as he looks to make an impact at the finals this summer.

"It is massive to have Theo in the squad as well," the 18-year-old midfielder told "To be named in the squad, straight away you think of everyone else there.

"I have been watching the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and John Terry for a number of years on TV and also playing for England. That only seems like yesterday and now I'm going to be going with them, it is a bit daunting but I can't wait.

"Straight away, I thought about how good it would be having Theo there, because I have a mate! I get on well with Theo and when I first came to Arsenal he took me under his wing to help me out.

"I know Theo and I know that he went to a World Cup at 16 and enjoyed it. That obviously gives me inspiration and encouragement and I'm really looking forward to it."

Regarded as one of the hottest young talents in Europe, Oxlade-Chamberlain will be hoping to replicate his eye-catching performances for the Gunners this season, that have helped him earn a call-up to Roy Hodgson's squad. And, the talented teenager is confident he can deliver if called upon.

"The way I see it is that if you play football you want to play for clubs like Arsenal and you want to play for a country like England as well," he continued. "You would be silly to want to do these things and not expect people to have high standards.

"People will support you but they will also expect you to deliver and I think that is all part of it. You have to have some pressure but at the same time you can't get worked up about it - football is football.

"It's like a singer, when they go up on stage the crowd expects a good performance. It's the same with football, when we go onto the pitch people expect us to deliver. We all just have to try and make sure we do our best to do so. We can only do that by working hard and expressing ourselves."

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Premier League
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Theo Walcott

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