Jacob Steinberg on 15 November 2019
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes he is getting back to his best after continuing his comeback from a serious knee injury by maintaining his fine goalscoring form during England’s 7-0 win over Montenegro.
The Liverpool midfielder is making up for lost time after missing the 2018 World Cup and the 26-year-old, who has five goals in his last six games for club and country after scoring against Montenegro, is determined to keep improving after helping Gareth Southgate’s side qualify for Euro 2020.
“I’ve made steps forward for sure with where I was before,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said. “I’ve got that feeling back of attacking and getting into areas and a few goals help that and help my confidence and for others to say I have found my form.
“But at the same time there are some games in there – the Arsenal game I had a poor game to be fair; I scored a good goal but I wasn’t good enough – and there are games where I wanted my all-round game to be better. But I was starting to get into the positions I was before I was injured and finding a bit more joy in those areas and getting that feeling back.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain might have started for England at the World Cup had he been fit and he saw the competition in midfield intensify while he was out. “I have been around for a while and had a lot of injuries that have kept me out of big games and tournaments,” he said. “I was coming into form when we played Holland and Italy in the March just before I got injured and I think I brought that form into England. But since the injury I am trying to pick up where I left off.
“In that time there have been a lot of other boys who have come through. There are different players and new dynamics so it is nice to slot back in and push myself to keep improving and try to find something different to help this team move forward.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had not scored for England since June 2017, was omitted from Southgate’s squad for last month’s games against Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.
“He explained that in September he wanted to get me back in and around to show I was still part of his plans. But realistically at that point I wasn’t in a position to start. As far as I was concerned it was fair.”