Ox earned England start
Monday, 11 June 2012 23:27
Ox earned England start

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Selected instead of Stewart Downing for England against France

England manager Roy Hodgson had no doubts about starting with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against France.

The Arsenal teenager was in the first XI in Donetsk as the Three Lions drew 1-1 with Laurent Blanc's side in their Euro 2012 opener.It was expected that Liverpool's Stewart Downing was set to start on the left of midfield, but Oxlade-Chamberlain was preferred and Hodgson had no regrets."He deserved it," said England's manager of the 18-year-old."The way he's played since coming into the squad, the performance he gave against Belgium, the ability he has to skip past defenders, which is an important ability to have, is excellent.Ability"I said to him before the game that this was a big occasion, but there'll be so many more big occasions in the rest of his career so he shouldn't hang himself on this occasion."I just wanted him to play to the best of his ability, and remember he had plenty of games for England ahead of him."Thankfully, Hodgson was able to report no fresh injury concerns, other than a snapped Achilles tendon for goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence.However, as so many of his squad lack recent match practice, he does believe their overall fitness will improve as a result of playing in such searing heat."There is no doubt the heat has an effect," he said, "and the earlier you play, the more effect it has."Our team felt the heat, but the French felt it as well. We all have to come to terms with it."

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Read more http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/7807400/

source: http://www.clubs-eu.com/sports/football/1203-ox-earned-england-start


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