With an exceptional first season behind him, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin may well feel he has a good chance of making Roy Hodgson’s squad for the upcoming 2012 European championships. Although Hodgson has ruled out ‘wild-card’ selections from players who have not been in the England set up before, it was noted that the Arsenal winger was in his thoughts. Although Chamberlin is yet to full break into the Gunners starting eleven on a regular basis, many Arsenal fans are keen to see him take on greater responsibility next season anticipating him to feature heavily in their title challenge.
From performances both in the premier league and in Europe, where Chamberlin became the youngest English player ever to score in the competition, the 18 year old has done much to showcase his talent. However at such a young age is it wise to bring him into the squad now during such an uncertain time for English international football. Many feel Theo Walcott’s inclusion in the 2006 world cup, may well have been detrimental to his development as an international and there is a danger that the same could be done to the England U-21 star.
However, when analysing the competition for his position, Oxlade-Chamberlin’s inclusion seems increasingly necessary, as out of form Stuart Downing is sure to miss out after a terrible season with premier league underachievers Liverpool, and with questions asked over Chamberlin’s teammate Theo Walcott also suggesting the right midfield position could be his for the taking.
Although on a personal note it would be good to see Hodgson include Chamberlin, realistically as a new manger it would be unwise to make too many drastic changes. If Chamberlin does go it is likely he will operate off the bench and may see little action and if he doesn’t go, he will no doubt play a vital role in Stuart Pearce’s Olympic squad.