MIDFIELDER Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has denied claims by Roy Keane that Arsenal players are obsessed with selfies and insists that they are all deadly serious about winning trophies again next season.
The Gunners secured a long-overdue victory over Chelsea in the FA Community Shield on Sunday with a well-executed first-half goal by Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Ahead of the Wembley showdown between the 2015 FA Cup winners and defending Barclays Premier League champions, former Manchester United captain Keane had labelled Arsene Wenger’s squad as “more interested in selfies and six-packs” than focusing on delivering a first championship since the Invincibles of 2003/04.
While 21-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain accepts the players are all fully immersed in the modern social media culture, he insists that does not make them any less determined to deliver on the pitch this season.
When asked about Keane’s comments, Oxlade-Chamberlain said: “It is a new era, isn’t it? Some people do it, some don’t. We are serious about winning trophies.
“Personally, and I can speak for the rest of the squad, we have been serious every single year I have been at the club about winning trophies.
“You can see that on the pitch when we are playing, through the season.
“A lot of people don’t see when we lose and go through tough times how upset and disappointed we are.
“We have always wanted to win trophies and in the last years we have won a few. This season we want to go that one better.”
Arsenal’s victory over Chelsea was the first for manager Arsene Wenger against rival Jose Mourinho at the 14th attempt.
There is a growing feeling this season could just develop into a vintage campaign for an Arsenal squad now bolstered by the summer signing of veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech from the Blues.
Oxlade-Chamberlain said: “Ever since I have been at Arsenal, we have had numerous quality players and the whole squad had been very strong. 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 have been here we’ve steadily got better at that, especially last year.
“The addition of Petr Cech will certainly help us. He is a quality player but him as an individual and a character who won things, that’s another one with the winning mentality getting in our squad and can only help us going forward.”
The midfielder added: “It does help the confidence and that belief and faith going into that next fixture against them.
“It is a long season and it is very early doors. We can’t get too carried away but it is a good end to our pre-season which has gone really well.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain produced a lively display against the Blues and hopes it can be the start of a positive campaign on the back of some frustrating injuries.
“At the moment I feel good but you know what football is like. You can never speak too soon, so I take each game as it comes,” he said.
“I am putting in the work off the pitch and fitness is one of the most important things in the game, it gives you the platform and allows you to do the things you want to do.
“That is always important, so fingers crossed I have better luck this season.” — Sportinglife