OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN SURPRISED BY CALL

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admits his call-up to England's Euro 2012 squad feels "surreal".

Last Updated: 16/05/12 at 20:22 Post Comment

Oxlade-Chamberlain: Named in the squad

Oxlade-Chamberlain: Named in the squad

Arsenal teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admits his call-up to the England squad for Euro 2012 feels "surreal" - but he is ready to seize his chance in Poland and the Ukraine.

The 18-year-old was included in England manager Roy Hodgson's 23-strong squad for next month's European Championships after impressing during his debut season at Arsenal.

Oxlade-Chamberlain joined the London club from npower Championship side Southampton last summer, and his inclusion in Hodgson's plans is the culmination of a season which saw him put himself on the map in both the Barclays Premier League and Champions League.

"I'm obviously delighted," Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal.com.

"To be picked for your country at any stage is a massive honour and to be at a huge tournament likes the Euros is such a bonus.

"I would have probably laughed if someone had told me I would be in the Euro 2012 a year ago.

"Obviously you would like to think that and it is what you aim towards but sometimes you have to be realistic and realise it might take a little bit longer than that.

"So for everything to happen as quickly as it has, it has been surreal and I don't think it has really sunk in properly yet.

"I know I haven't made it and I have a long way to go but this is the first step in what I hope to be a long and successful international career."

The winger, who has also played at under-21 level this season, admitted the call from Hodgson came as a surprise, but he is determined to make an impact during the competition and win his first senior England cap.

"I got a call this [Wednesday] morning from the manager and he just explained it to me then - that was about two hours before it was announced," Oxlade-Chamberlain said.

"He said it was down to merit and I just have to prove him right.

"I am just looking forward to going there, learning from all the experienced players, training with them and trying my hand at everything. I am absolutely buzzing.

"I will just try and make things happen, although I know there are other players who can do that. It will just be nice to get the opportunity and I will see what I can do.

"I think I play with no fear, I run at players regardless of who they are and try to make a difference. I have a youthful enthusiasm and I am so excited about this that I will try and take any opportunity with both hands.

"It is a good opportunity for me to go and learn from everyone and if I do get a chance, work as hard as I can to make an impression and prove myself."

England squad for Euro 2012: Goalkeepers - Green (West Ham), Hart (Man City) Ruddy (Norwich).

Defenders - Baines (Everton), Cahill (Chelsea), Cole (Chelsea), Johnson (Liverpool), Jones (Man Utd), Lescott (Man City), Terry (Chelsea).

Midfielders - Barry (Man City), Downing (Liverpool), Gerrard (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Milner (Man City), Parker (Tottenham), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Walcott (Arsenal), Young (Man Utd).

Forwards - Carroll (Liverpool), Rooney (Man Utd), Welbeck (Man Utd), Defoe (Tottenham).

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sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

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eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

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ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

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