Saturday 21 April 2018

Euro 2012: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain claims England have the quality to damage any team

England's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain battles with Yohan Cabaye of France. Photo: PA
England's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain battles with Yohan Cabaye of France. Photo: PA

ALEX Oxlade-Chamberlain believes England have the quality to "damage any team" during Euro 2012 providing they also adhere to the basics of hard work and physically matching their opponents.

Arsenal winger Oxlade-Chamberlain made his first competitive start for his country in England's 1-1 draw with France in Donetsk in their opening match in the tournament on Monday.

New head coach Roy Hodgson's side put the accent on denying France space and closing them down.

But Oxlade-Chamberlain is confident England can also cause their opponents problems ahead of Friday's meeting with Sweden in Kiev.

The 18-year-old said: "It's been a good start for us, we can build from here, we can definitely get stronger, and we showed our quality as well in glimpses.

"Every game in this competition is going to be very hard for us. Teams wouldn't have qualified unless they had the quality in the first place.

"We will approach every game in the same way and we know it is going to be a tough game against Sweden but we've got the quality in our team to do damage to any team on our day.

"As long as we keep approaching these games in the right way, keep our eye on the goal and work hard and match every team we come up against physically, hopefully our attacking prowess can come out."

Oxlade-Chamberlain showed glimpses of his potential against France but is refusing to contemplate the prospect of becoming a regular starter under Hodgson.

Little over a year ago he was playing in League One for Southampton and has made only six Barclays Premier League starts for Arsenal.

Oxlade-Chamberlain said: "It was a massive honour for me to get out there and represent my country in a competition like this.

"It was a nice surprise but one I needed to expect and be ready for when it came.

"But look, I'm only 18. Any chance I get, I'll try and take with two hands. I'm always learning from the boys around me. I'm grateful for any chance I get.

"There are really good players in all positions and there are a lot of competition for places and I'm sure there will be squad rotation.

"We've got the players to do it and there is a lot of physical demands from game to game.

"There is a lot of competition for places and whether I keep my place, is not for me to say."

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