Euro 2012: Oxlade-Chamberlain vows to take England chance

By Phil McNultyChief football writer, BBC Sport in Krakow
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is ready to answer England's call once again against Sweden.

Boss Roy Hodgson preferred the 18-year-old Arsenal winger to the experienced Stewart Downing for the 1-1 draw with France in the Euro 2012 opener.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is now hoping to keep his place in Kiev on Friday.

"Whether I keep my place is not for me to say. I'll just keep working hard in training and if I do get the call I'll give it my all," he said.

"It was a nice surprise but one I needed to expect and be ready for if and when it came. It was a massive honour for me to get out there and represent my country in a competition like Euro 2012.

"I showed in small glimpses what I can do but I would have liked to have done a bit better and got on the ball a bit more in different positions where I like to attack players."

Hodgson was pleased with Oxlade-Chamberlain's 77-minute appearance in only his third cap and the teenager thinks his time in Poland and Ukraine will help him develop.

He said: "I'm only 18 and any chance I get, I'll try to 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 is a lot of competition for places. I'm sure there will be squad rotation because we've got the players to do it and there is a lot of physical demands from game to game."

He shared his manager's view that a draw against France has provided a platform for England to build towards qualification for the next stage.

"We would have liked to win and obviously it was unfortunate we couldn't hold out after going ahead," Oxlade-Chamberlain said. "But the way the game shaped up meant they had a lot of possession and for us to come out with the draw was a good step.

"It's a good start for us, we can build from here and we can definitely get stronger and we showed our quality as well in glimpses. We've got quality in the team but France also had quality as well."

Oxlade-Chamberlain's father, former Stoke City and England winger Mark Chamberlain, is on holiday and not attending Euro 2012 - but the pair spoke before the game.

He said: "My parents are just enjoying a nice holiday. For me, it's enough that they are watching on the TV. I spoke to them also. I don't need them to fly out here to support me. They are always there.

"I spoke to my dad briefly because he was struggling to get a signal on his phone in Portugal. I managed to get a two-minute conversation. He said 'if you do get on and play, all the best' and that was it."