Backpage roundup: Wenger’s hails Cazorla’s humility, Girard’s warning for Wenger, Ox earns Adkins’ praise, Ian Wright loves Drogba and more

Wenger: Success Won’t Get to Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Head

Arsene Wenger is confident that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will keep his feet on the ground despite the instant success he has achieved on both the Premiership and international levels.

The teenage winger’s impressive performances for Arsenal last season forced England coach Roy Hodgson to pick him in his squad for the European Championship and the youngster recently solidified his position at international by starting both of Three Lions’ World Cup qualifying matches.

While achieving too much too early could sometimes turn out to be detrimental for a player’s career, Wenger is sure that there wouldn’t be any such problems in Oxlade-Chamberlain’s case due to the player’s humble attitude.

Earlier today, the Arsenal manager said: “Alex is ahead of schedule, yes, because I didn’t expect him to be in the national team at the moment, so he is ahead of what I have planned. It could be bad if he was a bit big-headed, but he is very level-headed, very humble, so I think it is good to experience the tactical level of the other players in England.

“When you come from youth-team football basically to that level, it is like you go from primary school to university – and you have to learn quickly. It can be damaging if a guy thinks ‘hey, look who I am’, but Alex is not like that. In his case it is good.”

 

Southampton Boss Praises the Ox

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins has said that he is proud to see the development that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has undergone since leaving the Saints for Arsenal in the summer of 2011.

The 19-year-old Arsenal winger played a major part in Southampton’s promotion to the Championship in the 2010/11 season before being purchased by the Gunners for a fee that could cost them up to £15 million.

Ahead of Southampton’s clash with Arsenal, Adkins was full of praise for Oxlade-Chamberlain and said: “I am very proud. I think everybody should be proud because he has come through our system. We said at the time we would have loved him to have stayed with us because this is where we wanted to be.

“We wanted Alex to be playing for us in the Premier League, but as a League One player he made the decision to then move. He has done fantastic there. I think if we can give them (players) the right principles in life and the right standards in how they conduct themselves, they can improve. It is always a joy to watch him play. You want him to do well for England, and for himself and his family at his football club.”

 

Wenger Sings Cazorla’s Praises

Arsene Wenger has said that new signing Santi Cazorla’s humbleness and love for the game of football are the prime reasons why he has settled so quickly in the heart of Arsenal midfield.

In a recent interview, the Arsenal manager said: “Cazorla has gained the respect of everybody very quickly. Cazorla is humble, he loves the game and that is what you want from every football player.

“They talk on the pitch, don’t need to speak too much, just go on the pitch and show what you can do. That is what he does. He loves the game, loves to play with his partners and that is the best way to gain respect from everybody.”

Ian Wright Wants to See Drogba at Arsenal

Ian Wright says that he would love to see former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba sign for Arsenal.

The former Gunner is apparently a great admirer of the 34-year-old Ivorian, who is reportedly unsettled at his current club Shanghai Shenhua due the Super League outfit’s internal problems.

In a recent interview with Absolute Radio, Wright spoke enthusiastically about rumours linking Drogba to Arsenal and said: “I’d love to see Didier Drogba at Arsenal, I’d like to see him come back to England. And not play against Arsenal because he’s always demolishing them and the back four!”

“Of course you’ve got to play that kind of thing down. I think if Drogba’s coming back to the Premier League I’m sure there’ll be a queue and I think if Arsenal are in and around it, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. That’s not a bad signing.

“Hopefully Arsene can make that happen, if it can happen, because I think he will be a definite positive move in respect of Arsenal and I think he’s still got something to offer in the Premier League. So fingers crossed that something can come of that.”

 

Girard’s Warning for Arsenal

Ahead of Arsenal’s midweek Champions League meeting with Montpellier, the French club’s manager Rene Girard has warned Arsene Wenger that his team would have to be at their best in order to pick up a win against La Paillade at the Stade de la Mosson.

Girard, who is an old friend of Wenger’s, says that despite a poor start to the new season his men have enough quality to trouble the Gunners on their own turf.

In an interview on Friday, the Montpellier boss said: “It was good to see him [Wenger]; we’ve known each other for a long time. He was in fine form, so I hope his team isn’t doing as well as he is!

“There’s a lot of respect there. We spoke a lot about the upcoming match. He knows that we’re a good side and that his lads will have to be on the money to come out of it with the three points.”