Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says England coach Gary Neville’s job as a pundit puts him in a “tricky situation”, but admits he successfully manages to combine both roles.
Arsenal star Oxlade-Chamberlain has admitted his admiration for Neville, 40, and says the respect for the former Manchester United full-back makes it easy to take his criticism on the chin.
“Gary is my favourite pundit,” said Oxlade-Chamberlain. “When I watch Monday Night Football, I always want to listen to what he has to say and nine times out of 10 I agree with him.
“He’s brilliant the way he explains things and I think he is very respectful when he says what teams need to do better and what players need to do better in a game. It’s credit to him because, obviously, it could be a tricky situation where he’s talking about our games on TV and then he comes to work with England. But he seems to manage to do it without any of us holding a grudge against him. He hasn’t upset me yet.
“I’ve recorded games before because I quite like to hear what Gary has to say. I do believe he knows what he’s talking about. If I’ve had a bad game, I know I’ve had a bad game and I don’t mind hearing it. I’ve had 15 years of hearing it from my dad! I’m the first one to have a go at myself and then it’s my dad, so if Gary wants to join in, then it’s fine.”
Neville has been critical of Arsene Wenger and recently accused the Arsenal boss of being naive or arrogant, but Chamberlain, who will be working alongside Neville in the build up to England’s double-header with San Marino and Switzerland, says there is a mutual respect between the pair.
“I don’t need to act as a peacemaker (between Neville and Wenger). I have heard that our manager addressed what he said and I’m sure he addressed it in a very good way, but they are two people I highly respect and the only interaction I will have with Gary this week is about England and how we are going to beat San Marino and Switzerland, and what runs I need to make at the full backs. That’s all I’m concerned about.”