Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hits back at 'out of touch' Roy Keane after 'selfies' criticism
Oxlade-Chamberlain hits back at Ireland assistant boss after ‘selfies’ criticism
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is adamant Arsenal's competitiveness is not being undermined by an obsession with selfies and washboard stomachs - pointedly dismissing Roy Keane's criticism that they were more concerned with how they look than winning medals.
Instead Oxlade-Chamberlain has insisted that these were the reflections of someone out of touch with the modern world. "It's a new era, isn't it? Some people do it, some don't," he said of the selfie habit.
Besides, he argued, a fondness for self-portraits - as demonstrated when several of the players seized a press photographer's camera to take triumphal snaps of themselves after the FA Cup win in May - was no distraction from the primary purpose of the Arsenal squad this season.
"We're serious about winning trophies. Personally - and I can speak for the rest of the squad - we've been serious every single year I've been at the club about winning trophies. You can see that on the pitch when we're playing.
"A lot of people don't see when we lose and go through tough times how upset and disappointed we are. We've always wanted to win trophies and in the last years we've won a few. This season we want to go that one better."
Indeed, Oxlade-Chamberlain - who scored Arsenal's winner in the Community Shield on Sunday - believes this to be the most confident, balanced and talented Gunners squad that he has been involved in.
After beating Chelsea, he said he had not felt as positive at the start of the season in his four years at the club. "We've all been together a good number of years, we've shared two consecutive successes in the FA Cup and we've had the highs and the nice feeling from that," he explained.
"That always helps. As a team we've suffered some upsets as well and I think we've grown from that and learnt from that. The addition of Petr Cech will certainly help us - he's a quality player with a winning mentality and that can only help us going forward."
Perspective is perhaps not in significant supply when standing in the bowels of Wembley clutching the man-of-the-match champagne, but Oxlade Chamberlain believes that the result in the season's curtain-raiser was one of real significance, not so much in the accumulation of another trophy as in the nature of the beaten opposition.
"Ever since I've been at Arsenal we've had numerous quality players and the squad had been very strong," he said.
"It just seemed that in the big games we came up short sometimes and you wonder why. The mentality going into those games was definitely a big thing. Since I've been here we've steadily got better at that, especially last year.
"It was the start we wanted, it was what we needed against a good Chelsea outfit. They've added to the squad and it's strong again like always, so it's important for us to come into these fixtures and lay down good foundations and good markers.
"I'm glad we did that at Wembley."